Hong Kong’s retail market faces ‘slow recovery’ as Covid-19 cases surge

Photo for representation. AP

New Delhi: The recovery of Hong Kong’s retail market is likely to be slow and uncertain as Covid-19 cases surge in mainland China.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, “Because of the uncertain outlook of the pandemic and high infection numbers in the mainland, cross-border economic activity will be hindered.”

Luxury retail shops may see sales remaining at a low level as the three years of lockdown has changed the shopping behaviour of mainlanders,” the report added.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s health minister has expressed hope the city will lift more of its remaining coronavirus curbs after Lunar New Year.

The further easing of restrictions was set to go ahead even as Covid-19 cases were expected to surge after the holiday period, Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau said, explaining the city had a “better immunity barrier” against the virus and a well-equipped healthcare system.

Meanwhile, people across China rang in the Lunar New Year on Sunday with large family gatherings and crowds visiting temples after the government lifted its strict “zero-COVID” policy, marking the biggest festive celebration since the pandemic began three years ago.

The Lunar New Year is the most important annual holiday in China. Each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle, with this year being the Year of the Rabbit. For the past three years, celebrations were muted in the shadow of the pandemic.

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