Hong Kong expats warn returnees to obey the rules or be reported

Published:  26 Mar at 6 PM
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Expats living in Hong Kong are blaming recent returnees for the spike in coronavirus victim numbers.

Expat professionals who decided to ride out the epidemic in Hong Kong are accusing those who’d left and are now returning as being responsible for last week’s sharp rise in the numbers of infections. According to long-stay expats, those who’re now returning from overseas are the wealthy who fled the island in the early days of the outbreak and who are rushing back because the pandemic has spread worldwide.

According to one expat pilot, the ultra-wealthy simply upped sticks and relocated in order to escape the virus, but they’re now bringing it back with them. They’re not wearing masks in a city where everyone is protecting themselves and their fellow citizens, and the rush to return began in order to avoid the recent 14-day self-quarantine rules. Prior to the arrival of those who’d fled, the city government’s actions had contained the spread of the virus, but the recent influx has seen a spike in cases to 356.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, responded to the surge in infections by announcing a two-week ban on foreign non-resident arrivals as well as restricting alcohol sales in restaurants, bars and nightclubs. With tears in her eyes, she angrily slammed the increasing numbers of residents caught breaching her quarantine ruling. As a result, new tensions are building inside the island’s expatriate community, with business owners, bankers and lawyers slamming quarantine-breakers on a variety of social media pages.

One small community mostly made up of expat air crew said it all on its Facebook page, with an expat restaurateur warning anyone thinking of returning from Europe that the area hosts a small community where everyone knows everyone else, meaning those breaching quarantine will be recognised and reported to the island’s authorities. The message made it clear that CCTV footages of those caught disobeying the rules will be reported, and ended ‘you have been warned’.
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