A growing sense of anxiety among many of Hong Kong's seven a half million residents manifested itself in fresh queues on the streets on Monday, as people took action to protect themselves over what they see as yet another crisis for the city.
Unlike the scramble for face masks in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the new queues were of people rushing to apply for British National (Overseas) passports in light of the national security law Beijing will soon foist on the SAR.
"Honestly, I really want to leave right now," said graphic designer Matthew, as he waited outside a parcel delivery company in Admiralty to post his BNO passport renewal application form.
"But there are many things to consider, like career, finance, and the family," the 40-year-old added.
"I don't really trust the Chinese government. We've seen during the past half year how they treat Hong Kong people and we've lost trust in the government ... What happened in Hong Kong has made me feel it is time to leave this place."
Others also expressed concern that the national security law will severely curtail Hong Kong's rights and freedoms and said they are now considering moving abroad.
A 25-year-old man surnamed Chong said he is thinking of emigrating to Taiwan due to what he sees as a deteriorating political situation in Hong Kong. He said he was renewing his BNO passport as a back-up plan.
"I feel upset and unhappy because I don't know what I can do," he told RTHK.
"I'm very nervous about the national security law. I'm very nervous our freedoms will be damaged."
Looming security law sparks rush for BNO passports
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