On July 15th here in my hometown, Hong Kong enacted its most stringent Covid-19 lockdown to date. The number of cases here has continued to rise over the past ten days with many of the new infections are coming from unknown origins.
On 21 May 2020, the Chinese government proposed enacting a new law in Hong Kong on national security regulations, under the provisions of Annex III of its basic law. This proposal, while lacking many details, has created speculation and concern regarding the impact it may have on the political and business environment in Hong Kong.
At the beginning of 2020, I surveyed Fort McMurray, an oil town in northeast Alberta, Canada. In January, there are limited outdoor activities in Alberta, so on a Sunday, it was recommended I go to a “park” walkable from the hotel.
With continual declines in confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the last 14 days, AIRINC APAC cautiously welcomes the re-opening of public facilities, as well as the loosening of social restrictions in Hong Kong this week. While residents look to regain some semblance of normalcy, I’ve observed several noticeable changes that may continue.
On Sunday, May 3, Hong Kong recorded no new cases of COVID-19 and 14 days straight with no cases of local transmission. As the COVID-19 crisis has begun to abate in the city, the protests that rocked Hong Kong for many months have begun to resurge. The big question is “what’s next for Hong Kong?”
Relocating is already a challenge, but relocating during a pandemic adds a new level of difficulty. After years of surveying based in AIRINC’s Cambridge office, I was honored to accept a position at our Hong Kong branch late last year. From the beginning, I was excited to move to a vibrant global city, but the logistics proved more challenging than expected as a novel coronavirus (at the time still unnamed) spread in January. Even before being declared a pandemic, COVID-19 was having a broad and unpredictable impact across the globe.
While no one can predict when the COVID-19 outbreak will be contained, the pandemic has firmly stalled and reversed rising property trends across Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore. AIRINC spoke to industry experts across Asia’s most dynamic business hubs to understand the unique characteristics of each market and what changes and opportunities lie ahead.
Perspective in Global Mobility is important, and we work hard to bring unique insights from across the world of mobility and the many facets it covers. The interview below is with AIRINC APAC's Client Solution Manager, Wei Wu, who is a Chinese National and completed a two-year assignment at our headquarters in Cambridge before transferring to our AIRINC Hong Kong office.
On January 30th, I arrived in Manila to start my recent survey quarter, and the Philippines had just confirmed their first case of COVID-19. I observed what seemed like a swift local response as much of the population was already wearing masks, and hand sanitizer was provided in most hotels and restaurants in the Makati area. One supermarket even advised customers to put on a mask upon entering, but it was not mandatory.
Last quarter, in the early stages of the global COVID-19 outbreak, I was surveying Southeast Asia. At the time of my transit through Kuala Lumpur, AirAsia had recently suspended flights from mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong. Though normally a carrier that promotes customer self-service, the airline was diverting all travellers from these locations to the check-in counters to undergo screening questions before being allowed to proceed; in fact, they were prohibited from using the automated-check-in machines as you can see in the photo below.