‘Stockholm syndrome’: Why some Hongkongers are in no rush to return, despite new Covid travel rules

Grace* left Hong Kong in mid-December for six weeks “to make the three-week quarantine on return worthwhile.” Or so she thought. 

Originally from New Zealand, the 32-year-old who works in holistic health flew to the UK to visit family she hadn’t seen for two years, including a new addition she had never met. About halfway into her trip, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that Hong Kong was “on the verge” of a fifth wave of Covid-19 as it banned flights from eight countries – Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, the UK and the US. Nepal was added to the list in February. 

Specimen collection area at the Hong Kong International Airport. File Photo: GovHK.

When she heard the news, Grace said she felt “a little annoyed, but not that surprised, given policies constantly changing in Hong Kong and the infection numbers constantly changing in the UK.” 

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