The long closure has impacted businesses and frustrated residents. Yet the government has stood firm -- repeatedly emphasizing that its priority is reopening its border with mainland China, not with the rest of the world. "We have made it very clear that our focus will be opening the border with the mainland. Hong Kong people need to go to the mainland," said the city's leader, Carrie Lam, at a news conference on Tuesday. "Of course, international travel is important, international business is important to us -- but by comparison, the mainland is more important."
Lam's comments illustrate just how closely Hong Kong's government has tied its Covid strategy with China -- not surprising for a Chinese territory but a further sign of Hong Kong's deteriorating reputation as an international hub.