proposed locking down workers on their day off. She did not propose any restrictions during the week, when they often buy groceries and run other errands.

Mr. Law, the labor secretary, rejected that proposal at the time, noting that the infection rate among domestic workers was half of the rate in the general public.

Maricel Jaime, a Filipina worker who has been in Hong Kong for six years, said she had come to expect constant supervision on Sundays, when most domestic workers are off. During Christmas, she and her friends were careful to gather in small groups and to maintain distance. Still, whenever they briefly got close — to pass around food, or to retrieve something from a bag — officers hurried over to chastise them, she said.

“The police are around us, always checking. Even if we are following the rules, the police are still hassling us,” Ms. Jaime said.

Puja Kapai, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong who studies ethnic minorities’ rights.

immediately denied that the rule was discriminatory. (He had, however, previously said that restricting access to restaurants by vaccination status could be discriminatory.)

Despite the attention that the pandemic has brought to the difficulties faced by migrant workers, Professor Kapai said she doubted that governments would embrace reform. Hong Kong’s economy has been battered by the outbreak, making pay raises for domestic workers unlikely, and few local residents have spoken out in the workers’ defense.

“I don’t think there is much of an incentive for the Hong Kong government to do anything differently,” she said.

Still, some workers are trying to create change.

Ms. Jaime, who is also a leader in a union for domestic workers, said she spends her Sundays trying to inform other workers of their rights — while complying with social distancing rules.

“I have fear to go outside because of Covid,” she said. “But I have so much fear that this kind of discrimination will get worse and worse.”

Joy Dong contributed research

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