Thursday’s announcement by the Chinese government was made by almost three years after it had been closed to Hong Kong in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid.
According to John Lee, Hong Kong’s leader, the gradual opening of border controls points will allow up to 60,000 Hong Kong residents to cross into mainland China. This was announced by Beijing on Thursday.
This shift will end the mandatory quarantine that was in place for all travelers between Hong Kong and the mainland. Travelers will need to be negative for Covid by a PCR test 48 hours before crossing. Passenger quotas will apply for travel in both directions.
China announced that it will reopen its borders on the same day as the removal of quarantine requirements for international travelers and the elimination of some Covid restrictions placed on airlines since the outbreak of the pandemic.
These changes are occurring amid Beijing’s abrupt dismantling its covid controls, which were imposed in response to nationwide protests. After three years of self-imposed isolation on the continent, efforts to resume regular transit with Hong Kong were continually delayed.
Since early 2020, most of the bustling border crossings between Hong Kong & mainland China have been closed. This has caused a significant burden for families and businesses that had ties to both countries.
The quota allows for 50,000 people to travel via 3 land checkpoints. The remaining 10,000 people can travel via the Hong Kong International Airport, 2 ferry piers, and the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau Bridge.
Lee stated that the cap does not apply for residents of Hong Kong who travel back to Hong Kong via the mainland or mainland Chinese who return to Hong Kong from Hong Kong.
For some travel, reservations will be required in advance.
China’s State Council stated that flights from Hong Kong to Macau and Macau will resume, and passenger capacity caps will be lifted. The statement also said that the number of flights would increase “phased and orderedly”.
The “phased and ordered” resumption of land and maritime border control between mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Macao will also be possible.
The statement also stated that China will resume issuing tourist visas and business visas to mainland Chinese citizens who travel to Hong Kong.