Foreign Executives in Isolated Hong Kong Head for Exit, Sick of Zero-Covid Curbs

当今世界,新冠肆虐。中国政府执行严格的零新冠政策后,——虽然隔离会对个体带来很多“麻烦”,但对全体居民(包含外籍人士)而言,生产生活并没有收到太多的影响。很多在香港的公司高管们——虽然高学历高薪资,由于不能理解并遵守港府的防疫政策,而竟想要离开香港。
下面看看西方是如何漂白这一行为的吧。

词组

Foreign Executives in Isolated Hong Kong Head for Exit, Sick of Zero-Covid Curbs
标题: 厌倦香港零病例隔离政策的外国高管们期盼离开

flight bans
航班禁令

quarantine stays for arrivals
入境隔离检验
quarantine [ˈkwɒrəntiːn] n&vt

school closure
停课

jeopardize the city's status as a business hub
危机香港作为商业中心的地位

push sb to a breaking point
将某人推向临界(奔溃)点

the pandemic enters its third year.
疫情进入第三个年头。

travel restriction
旅行禁令

keep tabs on operations in other countries
密切关注其他国家/地区的运营情况
keep tabs on 密切关注

visit business partners and potential clients
拜访商业伙伴和潜在客户

poll in a survey
参与调查

The survey was conducted late last year.
调查是去年年底进行的。

struggle to fill senior roles
努力招聘高级职位(而不得)

six other countries
其他六个国家

impose strict border controls
实施严格的边境管制

have stood firm in the face of dire warnings from international businesses and foreign diplomats
立场坚定地面对国际企业和外交官们的严厉警告
dire [ˈdaɪə(r)] adj 可怕的,恐怖的

Chief Executive Carrie Lam
行政长官林郑月娥(没有想到吧)

stick with its zero-infections policy of suppressing outbreaks
继续坚持其能够抑制爆发的零感染政策

despite wide vaccine availability
尽管疫苗供应充分

receive two doses of a coronavirus vaccine
接种了两针新冠疫苗

less than half of people in their 70s
不到一半的年满70岁人

Its high quality of life and low taxes
它的高品质生活和低税收

appeal to many expatriate workers
吸引了许多外籍工人
expatriate /ɪks'pætrɪət/ n 侨民

be hit repeatedly by mass Covid-19 outbreaks
一再遭受大规模新冠疫情爆发的额打击

With community transmissions rising to more than 100 over the weekend
随着周末社区传播达到到100例以上
with sth doing

test positive for the virus
病毒检测呈阳性

be impressed by the city’s containment efforts
对香港的遏制措施印象深刻
containment 抑制,遏制

intend
打算做

The officials abruptly raised the quarantine stay for inbound U.S. travelers to three weeks.
政府官员突然将从美国入境者的隔离时间延长到3周。 abruptly 突然地 raise the stay to 3 weeks 使用了 raise

For personal reasons and out of principle
出于个人原因和原则

an uptick in candidates (looking to leave the city)
寻求离开香港的求职者有上升趋势

句子

Stringent rules to try to keep Hong Kong free of Covid-19 are driving away more foreign executives, chipping away at the city’s decades-old status as one of the world’s top business hubs.
Stringent [ˈstrɪndʒənt] rules to xxx xxx的严格政策
keep xx free of Covid-19 使xx免受Covid-19感染
drive away sth 驱离 chip away at 拆掉,消掉
one of the world's top business hubs 世界顶级商业中心之一
努力保护香港免受新冠病毒侵袭的严格政策正使更多的外国高管离开香港,影响了香港作为古老的世界顶级商业中心之一的地位。

the city clings to a zero-Covid strategy (abandoned by nearly all countries save for China).
cling to 坚持 save for 此处意思是除了,等同于 except
香港坚持零病例政策。除了中国,近乎所有国家都放弃了零病例政策。

(A growing outbreak at a public housing estate) has prompted the government to lock down buildings and send more people into quarantine.
一个公共住宅区疫情的持续爆发,促使政府封锁大楼和把群众送往隔离区。
a growing outbreak at sp
a public housing estate
prompt the government to do lock down buildings
send sb into quarantine

There is the ever-present risk of being sent to quarantine if they happen to cross paths with a Covid-19 sufferer in Hong Kong just by visiting a pet store or eating lunch out.
如果在香港逛宠物店或在外午餐时恰好与一名新冠病例感染者存在轨迹交叉,被送去隔离的风险将始终存在。
ever-present risk 始终存在的风险
cross paths with sb

The city’s increasing isolation is compounding concerns for foreign businesses that include China’s national security crackdown and strained U.S.-China relations.
compound concerns for 加剧担心 compound 常见的意思是复合物 这里是 vt 使加重,使恶化
香港日益的隔离政策加剧了外资企业的担心,包括对中国国家安全措施和紧张的中美关系。

It said renewed outbreaks locally could drag on private consumption, sustain global supply-chain disruptions and shift market confidence in the city’s status as a major international financial center.
shift market confidence in
它称当地新爆发的疫情可能会拖累私人消费,继续毁坏全球供应链和转移市场对香港作为国际金融中心地位的信心。

But constantly changing restrictions took a toll and made trips to see family difficult.
但是,不断变化的限制措施造成了损失,使探亲之旅变得困难。
take a toll 付出代价
make trips to see family difficult [to see family]形容 trips

Many companies with big operations are reluctant to leave because many have big investments in the city and it remains an important fundraising hub.
许多拥有大型业务的公司都不愿意离开,因为许多公司在这座城市有大量投资,而且它仍然是一个重要的融资中心。
reluctant [rɪˈlʌktənt] 不情愿的,勉强的

原文

Foreign Executives in Isolated Hong Kong Head for Exit, Sick of Zero-Covid Curbs
Flight bans, quarantine stays for arrivals and school closures jeopardize the citys status as a business hub

HONG KONGStringent rules to try to keep Hong Kong free of Covid-19 are driving away more foreign executives, chipping away at the citys decades-old status as one of the worlds top business hubs.

Flight bans, lengthy quarantine stays for arrivals and repeated school closures are pushing more people to a breaking point as the pandemic enters its third year and the city clings to a zero-Covid strategy abandoned by nearly all countries save for China. A growing outbreak at a public housing estate has prompted the government to lock down buildings and send more people into quarantine.

Executives complain the travel restrictions have prevented them from keeping tabs on operations in other countries or visiting business partners and potential clients, even in mainland China. Meanwhile, there is the ever-present risk of being sent to quarantine if they happen to cross paths with a Covid-19 sufferer in Hong Kong just by visiting a pet store or eating lunch out.

More than half of executives polled in a survey by an American business group in Hong Kong released Wednesday said the citys Covid-19 policies made them personally more likely to leave. Almost a third said they were struggling to fill senior roles and had delayed investments in Hong Kong. The survey was conducted late last year, before the most recent round of restrictions that has barred flights from the U.S., U.K. and six other countries.

Hong Kongs airport arrivals area is often deserted as officials impose ever more strict border controls, with officials giving priority to efforts to reopen the border with mainland China. The citys increasing isolation is compounding concerns for foreign businesses that include Chinas national security crackdown and strained U.S.-China relations.

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday estimated that the citys rebounding economy could suffer, with growth slowing to 3% this year, down from last years 6.4%. It said renewed outbreaks locally could drag on private consumption, sustain global supply-chain disruptions and shift market confidence in the citys status as a major international financial center.

Hong Kong officials have stood firm in the face of dire warnings from international businesses and foreign diplomats that the city is becoming harder to operate in. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said Saturday that Hong Kong is sticking with its zero-infections policy of suppressing outbreaks, saying the city wasnt ready to live with the virus and its vaccination rate is too low.

Hong Kong has struggled to get its most vulnerable vaccinated despite wide vaccine availability. Overall, 71% of Hong Kong residents have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine. But less than half of people in their 70s have received two shots, while the rate is under a fifth for people in their 80s.

Hong Kong has long been a hub for many of the worlds largest corporations, with its business-friendly government, easy access to capital and role as a bridge to China. Its high quality of life and low taxes appeal to many expatriate workers.

While much of the world was hit repeatedly by mass Covid-19 outbreaks, Hong Kong largely kept the virus out, recording fewer than 14,000 cases and 213 deaths since the pandemic began. Recent outbreaks of both Delta and Omicron variants ended a monthslong stretch of almost no locally transmitted cases.

With community transmissions rising to more than 100 over the weekend, all schools will be closed starting Monday, while restaurants remain closed for dine-in after 6 p.m. Gyms, pools and bars are shut. More concerning for international businesses and employees is a requirement that almost all arrivals spend three weeks in hotel quarantine or be sent to a hospital if they test positive for the virus. Most nonresidents are barred from entering.

Nicole Cheng, who moved to the city from Canada in 2019 to work at a foreign consulate, said she was initially impressed by the citys containment efforts. But constantly changing restrictions took a toll and made trips to see family difficult. Last year, after a difficult two-week hotel quarantine, she left for London.

Quarantine is honestly very mentally taxing, Ms. Cheng said. The rest of the world has kind of fully accepted Covids going to be around.

Kevin Tranbarger, a real-estate executive, left Hong Kong for the U.S. last summer after 25 years, though he hadnt intended to. Vaccinated and armed with a positive antibody test, he planned to return for what was then a mandatory one-week hotel quarantine. He changed plans when city officials abruptly raised the quarantine stay for inbound U.S. travelers to three weeks.

For personal reasons and out of principle, I wont do three weeks, he said. Just from a state-of-mind and from a wellness point of view, and the cost of it. Mr. Tranbarger never returned, and is now transferring to California.

Executives say the restrictions are making it harder to convince bosses back at headquarters that it makes sense to stay in the city.

Hong Kong-based recruitment firm Argyll Scott said there is an uptick in candidates in Hong Kong looking to leave the city for roles outside the region and that more companies will need to replace departing executives over the next six to 18 months.

Its become increasingly difficult to attract overseas talent due to quarantine measures, said Gin Sun, managing director at Argyll.

The number of foreign companies with regional headquarters in Hong Kong fell by the largest amount in more than a decade during the 12 months ending June 1, according to government data. The citys population recorded an annual net drop of more than 75,000 at mid-2021, government data show, following a period of political upheaval.

The survey of executives by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong found that more than a third of members who responded felt foreign businesses were less welcome than a year ago, while 15% said they had scaled down operations in the city. The survey of 262 of executives was conducted between Sept. 10 and Oct. 8.

Many companies with big operations are reluctant to leave because many have big investments in the city and it remains an important fundraising hub.

Hong Kongs role as a financial gateway between China and the rest of the world has been shored up in recent months with launches of cross-border programs for wealth management and for mainland investment in offshore bonds.

Hong Kongs stock market is likely to win more business from China in the years ahead, as it grows harder for mainland companies to secure or maintain U.S. listings.

Many companies, however, are shifting staff outside the city, according to executives and investors, with Singapore a popular alternative. The city state has opened quarantine-free travel for many locations, even as cases have risen to more than 1,000 a day in recent days. Last year, for every one LinkedIn member who moved from Hong Kong to Singapore, 0.71 moved the other way, from Singapore to Hong Kong, according to the professional-networking platform.


Justin Soin, a former Hong Kong resident who runs a tech startup in Singapore, used to return as often as once a month for meetings and considered setting up an office. A trip back to the city in December, involving 21 days of hotel isolation, scuttled the idea.

Its impossible with the quarantine, he said. Doing business in Hong Kong used to be very easy.