Authorities require restaurant owners to conduct contact tracing on their patrons. When school resumes in person after Easter, teachers are required to be screened for COVID-19 on a regular basis. When more than four demonstrators assemble in one location, they risk being fined by the police for breaking the social distancing law.
The new facts of life in Hong Kong are as follows.
The city has been registering the most new positive cases per capita of all China’s municipalities for the better part of a year, and fighting local clusters like a game of whack-a-mole.
To combat the virus, the government has resorted to drastic steps similar to those used in mainland China.
“Hong Kong’s leaders are under tremendous pressure from Beijing to contain COVID,” said Bruce Lui, senior lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University and veteran political commentator.
“That’s why they aren’t above ruling with an iron fist in order to deliver and show Beijing they mean business.”
Beijing’s national security law, which criminalizes demonstrations and most forms of political organizing, has cast a shadow over the 7.5 million-strong city, but health regulations are also infringing on rights guaranteed by the city’s constitution.