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Zero-Covid Policy Shakes Hong Kong’s Economy and Its ‘Soul’

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HONG KONG — Perry Lam felt confident that his business had weathered the worst of the pandemic. Several rounds of bar closures in Hong Kong had dimmed the city’s vibrant nightlife, threatening to destroy his brewery. But things seemed better late last year.After the government’s relentless effort to stamp out the virus, there were no local infections, bars began ordering kegs of his lager again and money was coming in. “You saw the silver lining,” said Mr. Lam, 34.That changed this month when Omicron started spreading, and officials returned to the trusted zero-Covid playbook that Hong Kong shares with mainland China. Restaurants were forced to shut down by 6 p.m. Small animals were culled. Flights from eight countries were suspended. …

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