Hong Kong-Mainland Border: Quarantine-Free Travel to Be Expanded

By Lars James Hamer, January 5, 2023

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Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), John Lee announced today, January 5, that 60,000 people would be able to travel quarantine-free each way between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland every day from Sunday, January 8, 2023. 

Travelers are required to apply online and permission to cross the border will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Those traveling north from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland will have to state what time they wish to cross the border and from what border point. 

The HKSAR government also stated that the daily quota did not include those returning to their home side. They did not elaborate on whether this also applies to foreigners living on the Chinese mainland. 

Border points at Shenzhen Bay, Lok Ma Chau and Man Kam To will operate from 6.30am to midnight. 

Private vehicles will also be able to cross. 

The new system will go live at 6pm on Thursday, January 5, 2023. After which those wishing to enter the Chinese mainland will be able to choose a time from the seven-day time slot every Sunday at 6pm.

All travelers crossing the border are still required to obtain a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result within 48 hours before departure.

The negative test result will need to be added to the health declaration card needed to enter the mainland. 

Health minister Lo Chung-mau added that 85 testing centers around the city are capable of conducting PCR tests for those wishing to cross the border and prices are capped at HKD150. 

The transport and logistics chief also announced that the government is aiming to resume high-speed rail links at the West Kowloon border by January 15. 

When asked why the high-speed rail wasn’t restarting services on January 8, he said that the drivers still needed more time to become familiar with the routes after three years of suspended operations. 

Macao Cancels COVID Tests for Arrivals

In other COVID-related news from the Greater Bay Area, the Macao SAR will no longer check negative COVID-19 tests for arrivals from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, starting from January 8.

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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