Hong Kong Allows Qualified Mainland and Macao Residents to Forgo Quarantine
What’s new: Hong Kong on Wednesday resumed a long-delayed program allowing qualified Chinese mainland and Macao residents to enter the city without going through mandatory quarantine, following Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s announcement early last week.
Under the program, up to 2,000 people a day will be allowed to enter the special administrative region, 1,000 through the Shenzhen Bay Port and 1,000 via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Port.
Travelers eligible for the program have to have been staying in the neighboring region of Macao or the mainland province of Guangdong for 14 straight days before entering, according to the Hong Kong government.
Those who were under mandatory quarantine during the 14-day period or those who recently visited “at-risk” places for Covid-19 infection identified by the Hong Kong government do not qualify.
Currently there are two such places in Guangdong: Yuexiu district and the Nanhua West area of the provincial capital of Guangzhou.
The background: The program’s restart had been delayed since May due to Covid-19 flare-ups in the special administrative region and the mainland. Strict border controls between the two regions has been in place for about two years since the outbreak of the new coronavirus in late 2019.
“We have been talking about this for a long time but were never able to launch it, as there were often problems, either because of the rebound in cases in Hong Kong, or the mainland’s pandemic situation,” Lam said during a press conference last week.
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