US warns citizens to ‘reconsider travel’ amid COVID separation of mother and son

The United States is urging its citizens to “reconsider travel” in its latest travel advice for US nationals.

Commentator: Even with the incident in which a mother and child were forcibly separated after entering quarantine, there are still no apparent signs that the Hong Kong government is taking action to look into these misadventures.

Commentator Simon Lee says the Hong Kong government is no longer under media scrutiny. Thus, he has no constraints and Hong Kong will suffer from his actions.

The US travel alert for Hong Kong is now at level 3 “Reconsider travel”. He mentions in particular that if children are diagnosed, they can be separated from their parents.

Simon Lee Sai-man, a political and economic commentator, said Hong Kong’s current administration may act recklessly when there is no more media scrutiny in place. It’s no surprise that HK is placed in the travel warning category by the US, all because of its own lack of restraint.

The US State Department had already updated its travel advisory on July 19, urging all US nationals not to travel to Hong Kong. To underscore this, it indicates a possibility in bold: “…including the risk of parents and children being separated due to current pandemic prevention restrictions. As justification, he cited a few relevant cases, “Children in Hong Kong and China who test positive have been separated from their parents and kept in solitary confinement until they meet local discharge requirements. hospital”.

In an interview with an online program, Lee said that after a mother and son checked into a designated quarantine hotel in Hong Kong, authorities said the son tested positive when he entered. the country and that he would be sent to Penny’s Bay for isolation. The mother tested negative.

The mother asked if she could move in with her son, but was refused. As a result, the son was forcibly separated from his mother and sent to Penny’s Bay. The mother remained totally flabbergasted at that moment.

Current rules state that people entering Hong Kong from outside China must undergo a so-called “7+7” quarantine for those who test negative on entry. This is a 7 day stay at a designated quarantine hotel plus an additional 7 days of self-monitoring. However, from August 13, the quarantine will change to 3+4.

Those who test positive on entry will be sent to an isolation center without delay.

In addition to the separation of mother and child, Lee added that he has also seen strange cases through the online group chat. When some people were spending their last days in a hotel quarantine but due to some reasons due to flight delays and had to stay longer, they were denied any booking of additional days at the hotel to meet the new check out date of their flight.

Lack of media monitoring is the most likely culprit

Under Hong Kong’s National Security Law (NSL), freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Hong Kong have both been severely restricted. Critics of the government have been reduced or even “cancelled”. Based on all of this, Lee said bluntly that the biggest problem is that the media no longer has a role to play in government surveillance.

Without proper oversight from the free media, the Hong Kong administration becomes ignorant of all criticism. And on the other hand, we see more and more cases where he continued to apply the law recklessly. The elevated travel warning (Level 3) marked on HK by the US could be considered ‘self-inflicted’, and they have only themselves to blame.

Lee said that in the past, when Apple Daily, Stand News and others were still around, they would put such headline news on their front pages to get government attention or force some kind of concession. Even the pro-establishment media would likely follow this lead and report on it. Most of the time, in the face of such pressure from all sides of the political spectrum, the government will deal with each case in a “more appropriate” way.

If that were still the case now, it’s likely mother and son will stay together in Penny’s Bay, as a gesture of leniency or special treatment in exceptional circumstances, leading to a happy ending. Unfortunately, with the current HK media all in a state of virtual self-castration, the Hong Kong government can do whatever it wants. That’s why when the United States said you’re “too arbitrary and rigid” in enforcing these laws, there’s a lot of truth to that.

Lee pointed out that in the case of reckless law enforcement by the Hong Kong government, it is right for the United States to list all the risks and advise its nationals to avoid coming to Hong Kong to protect the well-being of its citizens. It has nothing to do with what the Hong Kong government says all day long, “foreign governments shouldn’t make irresponsible remarks.” He sighed, “The problem isn’t that people want to smear you, it’s just that you show no restraint.”


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