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Zero-Covid Policy Shakes Hong Kong’s Economy and Its ‘Soul’

  • January 21, 2022

The estimated loss for the current virus measures, which are expected to last for several more weeks, is at least $1.2 billion over a four-week period, according to Tommy Cheung, a legislative councilor who represents the catering sector in Hong Kong.

“This isn’t going away like SARS,” he said, referring to the coronavirus that devastated Hong Kong in 2003 and helped shape the city’s response to Covid-19. “This is one tunnel where I don’t see the light at the end. All these restaurants that ask me to their ribbon cutting, I keep saying that, ‘You guys are too damn brave.’”

Mrs. Lam last week announced a $500 million pandemic relief fund for restaurants, retailers and travel agencies, but many businesses say it won’t be enough.

Rob Cooper, who owns four restaurants under the Enoteca Group, said he received four rounds of government support between November 2020 and May 2021, but managed to break even in this year only because of generous landlords and some savings.

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