After nearly three years of global isolation, Hong Kong has announced that it will lift various COVID-19 restrictions and allow international travelers to enter the city. Hong Kong, a major financial and trade hub, lost its “aviation hub status” due to the strict COVID-19 measures implemented by China. However, with Hong Kong lifting COVID restrictions, Hong Kong is expected to see economic growth in the coming year. While some scientists have warned that there may be a rise in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, health experts and politicians have advised Hong Kong to ease restrictions gradually in order to prevent further outbreaks.

In this survey, we aimed to understand China’s COVID-19 situation and China’s strict COVID restrictions. The survey on Hong Kong reopening borders and restrictions amid a surge in cases was conducted on Real Research, an online survey app, among a sample of 20,000 participants aged 21 to 99 and collected data through a combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions.


  • 68.54% are aware of the recent COVID-19 surge in China
  • 50.39% say Hong Kong’s COVID-19 situation would likely worsen by reopening borders
  • 51.56% stand with Hong Kong reopening borders and restrictions

COVID-19 cases are reportedly rising in a recent surge across several cities in China, seeing almost half a million COVID cases per day. We asked our respondents if they were aware of the outbreak in China; results reveal that 68.54% are well aware, 25.69% are partially aware, and 5.76% are unaware.

According to the following poll, 64.14% of respondents believe that COVID cases will increase significantly in the coming weeks, while 24.27% think they will increase moderately. Only 5.87% believe cases will increase slightly, while 2.78% say cases will remain the same, and 2.94% think cases will decrease.

This suggests that a large majority of respondents expect COVID cases to continue rising, potentially affecting nearly 10% of the global population.

Figure 1 Respondents’ stance on Hong Kong lifting restrictions
Figure 1 Respondents’ stance on Hong Kong lifting restrictions

Hong Kong restrictions amid surge have been implemented by the government in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to rise in the region. But now the government has decided to lift various restrictions, including border restrictions. According to our respondents, 51.56% stand with Hong Kong lifting COVID restrictions, and 48.44% stand against the decision.

Hong Kong Lifting COVID Restrictions, Why?

17.39% of respondents say to return to normalcy, 16.75% say to revive the economy, 15.79% say to reduce unemployment rates, 13.85% say to improve the declining standard of living, and 12.31% to increase access to medical facilities.

Here’s Why Others Deny This Decision

According to the survey findings, 18.29% of respondents denied the decision to lift COVID-19 restrictions due to concerns about the risk of spread and transmission. 12.43% were concerned about the possibility of newer variants. Other reasons for denying the decision include the possibility of overwhelming the healthcare system (12.67%), the potential for negative economic impact (12.72%), and the risk of increased harm to society and interpersonal relationships (13.59%).

Figure 2 How likely respondents think Hong Kong would lift its restrictions
Figure 2: How likely respondents think Hong Kong would lift its restrictions

When the respondents were asked how likely they think of Hong Kong lifting COVID restrictions, results revealed that 32.24% said highly likely, 31.27% said somewhat likely, 20.19% said somewhat unlikely, 9.21% said highly unlikely, and 7.09% remained undecided.

Hong Kong Lifting COVID Restrictions, What Would Happen?

50.39% predict that given the COVID-19 situation in Hong Kong, reopening its borders would mean the COVID situation is prone to worsen. 37.78% say the situation would remain the same, compared to 11.83% that say the situation would improve.

Figure 3 Respondents on when Hong Kong should have ideally opened its borders
Figure 3: Respondents on when Hong Kong should have ideally opened its borders

Lastly, when Japan opened its borders nearly after three years of global isolation, the poll asked when would have been the ideal time for Hong Kong to reopen its borders. Results showed that 31.31% said 2021, 23.42% said 2022, and 19.69% said 2023. 5.43% said after the surge in COVID cases, while 6.26% said after zero COVID cases.


Survey TitleSurvey on Hong Kong Reopening Borders & Restrictions Amid Surge in Cases
DurationDecember 28, 2022 – January 4, 2023
Number of Participants20,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.