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Hong Kong

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Los Angeles-Hong Kong business class fare reaches $13,000 after quarantine requirements dropped

  • Hong Kong saw a massive surge of inbound and outbound travelers after Chief Executive John Lee uplifted its mandatory COVID-19 hotel quarantine protocol last week.
  • Travel agency Trip.com reportedly saw a 400% increase in outbound bookings on Sept. 24 and Sept. 25 compared to the previous weekend, while inbound bookings surged by 150%.
  • Flight bookings for Osaka, one of the recent top destinations alongside Tokyo, Bangkok and Singapore, were up by 7,300%, the website noted.
  • Ticket prices have also increased amid the influx of travelers.
  • “I’m conscious of the fact that, while we need to control the spread of COVID, we also need to ensure that there will be maximum activities in society and economic activities for society to carry on,” Lee said.

Plane ticket prices to and from Hong Kong recently underwent a massive surge after the city announced it would finally ease its COVID-19 protocols for arriving tourists and returning residents.

For the first time in two-and-a-half years, tourists can now enter Hong Kong without having to do a mandatory weeks-long hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong lift COVID-19 restrictions on inbound travelers after more than 2 years

goodbye covid
  • On Thursday, Japan’s government announced that the country would be reopening its borders to all individual tourists starting on Oct. 11.
  • Taiwan also announced its plan to remove inbound quarantine for international arrivals by Oct. 13.
  • Similarly, the Hong Kong government announced on Friday its conclusion of hotel quarantine for inbound travelers starting Sep. 26.
  • As for mainland China, the government maintains its “zero COVID” policy that still requires travelers to quarantine at a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

After more than two years of strict border restrictions, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong have lifted COVID-19 restrictions on inbound travelers.

On Thursday, Japan’s government announced that the country would be resuming visa-free access for certain countries and reopening its borders to all individual tourists starting on Oct. 11. 

Harmonica player at Queen Elizabeth II vigil in Hong Kong arrested for sedition

harmonica
  • A 43-year-old man, surnamed Pang, was arrested on Tuesday outside the British consulate in Hong Kong under the British colonial-era sedition law for playing a pro-democracy tune on a harmonica at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral vigil.
  • Pang played the song “Glory To Hong Kong,” which became known as a pro-democracy song during the city’s anti government protests in 2019.
  • Thousands of mourners gathered outside the British consulate in Hong Kong during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to pay tribute on Monday evening.
  • Following the queen’s death, more than 13,000 people have lined up to sign a book of condolences in the city’s British consulate.

A man in Hong Kong who played a pro-democracy tune on a harmonica at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral vigil in Hong Kong was arrested.

Thousands of mourners gathered outside the British consulate in Hong Kong during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to pay tribute on Monday evening. 

‘I am Chinese and I love my motherland forever’: Hong Kong opera star apologizes for praising Queen Elizabeth II

hong kong opera singer
  • Veteran opera star Law Kar-ying publicly apologized after sparking outrage among nationalists in China for praising Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Law was heavily criticized on Weibo after posting an image on Instagram of himself at the British consulate in Hong Kong to mourn the queen’s death with the caption: “Hong Kong was a blessed land during her reign.”
  • In response to the criticism, Law posted a video apology in Mandarin Chinese: “My original intention was to express condolences for a late elderly woman and I would like to appeal to everyone not to overly interpret what I said. I can’t possibly forget my origin and ancestry,” he added. “That I have been keeping a Chinese passport says it all, I am Chinese and I love my motherland forever. I am sorry.”
  • Some commenters were not convinced by his apology, and even urged him to “learn from his wife” Liza Wang, a longtime Hong Kong delegate to China’s National People's Congress.
  • Other commenters defended him and said he did not even need to apologize in the first place.

An opera star from Hong Kong has publicly apologized for praising Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II after her recent death. 

Law Kar-ying, a 75-year-old Cantonese opera star, was among those who mourned the queen’s death outside the city’s British consulate. 

Hong Kong-based food critic says Japanese omakase ‘treats diners like idiots’

food critic slammed
  • Hong Kong-based food critic Lam Chua is under fire for describing the Japanese omakase dining experience as treating “diners like idiots.”
  • Following his comments, a Chinese newspaper columnist criticized the food critic.
  • Although the columnist recognized Lam’s expertise, he stated that Lam has little experience dining at top restaurants in Japan.
  • Lam believes that food must have value and a reasonable price.

A Singapore-born food critic in Hong Kong has been criticized for stating that Japanese omakase chefs treat “diners like idiots.”

In a post uploaded to Weibo on Aug. 22, food writer and TV personality Lam Chua, 82, expressed his disappointment in the Japanese omakase dining experience. He added that he has “an issue” with the chef choosing the dishes throughout the entire course. 

Women who eat preserved foods have increased breast cancer risk, Hong Kong study finds

  • A study published in Cancer Prevention Research by Hong Kong researchers on Aug. 1 posits that women who consume preserved foods have an increased breast cancer risk.
  • The research involved Hong Kong residents composed of 1,307 women with breast cancer and 1,050 age-matched controls without cancer.
  • The participants were asked to answer a standardized questionnaire to provide their dietary information, including the amount of preserved foods they consume.
  • Based on their findings, consuming cured meat resulted in a 32 percent increase among the women in their risk of developing breast cancer. The risk increased more than double among women who consumed cured meat at least once per week than those who did not.
  • The scientists noted that while there is reason to believe that cured meat consumption suggests a potential novel risk factor for breast cancer, larger studies are needed to further validate their findings.

Women who consume cured meats and other preserved foods are more likely to develop breast cancer, a new study from local researchers in Hong Kong suggests.

The study, published in Cancer Prevention Research on Aug. 1, looked into how preserved foods that may contain nitrate and nitrite might increase the risk of developing breast cancer. 

Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant is now upside down and trapped on a reef

  • Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which closed its doors in 2020 but made headlines when it began to sink earlier this year, is now allegedly trapped upside down on a reef.
  • A Hainan Maritime Safety Administration duty officer said on Wednesday that the iconic boat was still near the Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands, in China.
  • “We cannot say for sure how much longer the investigation will take. It is being conducted in accordance with the relevant laws,” he reported.
  • The duty officer also noted, “Presently there is no threat to the safety of navigation in the area,” while declining to discuss the state of the Jumbo.
  • The Jumbo Floating Restaurant first capsized in June due to rough seas while en route to Cambodia after closing its doors in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hong Kong’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which closed its doors in 2020 but made headlines when it began to sink earlier this year, is now allegedly trapped upside down on a reef.

A Hainan Maritime Safety Administration duty officer said on Wednesday that the iconic boat was still near the Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands in China. 

Dancer for HK boy band Mirror may be paralyzed after giant screen crashes down on him during show

  • A dancer for the Hong Kong boy band Mirror may have been paralyzed from the neck down after a giant screen fell and crushed him during a concert on Friday.
  • The 16 by 10 foot screen was captured on video crashing onto the neck of the 27-year-old dancer.
  • The third and fourth sections of his cervical vertebrae were dislocated.
  • Another 29-year-old dancer was injured in the accident.
  • Experts are currently investigating the incident to figure out what caused the suspension wires to fail.

Fans attending a concert for the boy band Mirror were left shocked after a giant screen fell and crushed a dancer’s neck, potentially paralyzing them from the waist down.

At the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom on Friday, Mo Lee Kai-yin, 27, was hit on the head by a giant 16-by-10-foot screen that crashed onto his neck. Another dancer, Chang Tsz-fung, 29, was also injured in the incident. 

Hong Kong activist ‘Grandma Wong’ sentenced to 8 months in jail over pro-democracy protests

Veteran activist Alexandra Wong, popularly known as “Grandma Wong,” was sentenced to eight months in jail over her participation in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. 

Wong, 66, was sentenced at the Eastern Court on Wednesday with two counts of unlawful assembly in connection with two flash mobs during a protest on Aug. 11, 2019.  

Man falls to his death while trying to retrieve AirPods outside his window in Hong Kong

  • A 26-year-old man, only identified as Fan, was declared dead on Tuesday after reportedly falling from his apartment building in Sai Wan, Hong Kong, while trying to retrieve his AirPods.
  • Fan had dropped his wireless earbuds onto a metallic canopy outside his window, according to reports.
  • Several eyewitnesses reportedly tried to stop him, thinking he was attempting suicide, but he reassured them that he was not trying to kill himself.
  • Fan slipped and fell from either the fourth or fifth floor of his building onto the East Side street pavement.
  • Paramedics arrived at the scene at 12:18 a.m. and found him in a coma with severe head injuries before taking him to Queen Mary Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to reports.

A man in Hong Kong met his untimely demise on Tuesday after reportedly falling from his apartment building while trying to retrieve his AirPods.

The 26-year-old man, only identified as Fan, was playing video games in the apartment he shared with his brother in Sai Wan, Hong Kong, just before the fatal accident happened, according to reports.

Hong Kong to issue over 100,000 electronic tracking bracelets to COVID patients to enforce quarantine

  • The Hong Kong government will be distributing more than 100,000 electronic wristbands to better track COVID-19 patients amid the city’s fifth surge of cases.
  • Health secretary Lo Chung-mau announced during a press conference on Monday that those who test positive will have to begin wearing the bracelet on July 15.
  • The city had previously used the wristbands in March 2020 to enforce the mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone coming from outside the country.
  • There were two versions of the bracelets given to patients: one much thinner with a QR code that could be scanned to check in, and another more intrusive, clunky version.
  • It is unclear which version of the wristband will be given to patients on Friday.

The Hong Kong government will be distributing more than 100,000 electronic wristbands to better track COVID-19 patients amid the city’s fifth surge of cases.

Health secretary Lo Chung-mau announced during a press conference on Monday that those who test positive will have to begin wearing the bracelet on July 15. 

Viral videos of couple having sex outside in private Hong Kong hotel jacuzzi sparks privacy concerns

Two viral videos showing a couple having sex in their private outdoor jacuzzi in a Hong Kong hotel have ignited privacy concerns among social media users.

The videos, which were reportedly shared on Facebook and WhatsApp groups several days ago, show a couple having sex in their private outdoor jacuzzi as another person films them from above.