China said on Friday that cross border travel between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau would fully resume from Feb. 6, dropping existing quotas and scrapping a mandatory COVID-19 test that was required before travelling.
Group tours between China and its two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau would resume, while the number of customs checkpoints open will return to pre-pandemic levels, China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in a statement on its website.
Even after China reopened its borders to the world on Jan. 8, a quota system and COVID testing requirement remained for travelers between the mainland and Hong Kong. Three of Hong Kong’s border checkpoints have not yet reopened.
China’s announcement came a day after Hong Kong launched a promotion campaign including 500,000 free flights to lure back visitors, businesses and investors to the financial hub after more than three years of tough COVID curbs.
Hong Kong was largely sealed off behind closed borders for much of the past three years in a bid to ward off COVID, with mandatory quarantine of up to three weeks for people arriving as well as intensive testing and screening.
The former British colony closely followed China’s zero-COVID policy until the middle of 2022 when it began to gradually unwind its rules.
Hong Kong dropped most of its remaining COVID rules in December, but mask-wearing remains mandatory unless exercising, and students must take daily rapid antigen tests.
China city converts COVID-19 quarantine camp into homes for ‘skilled talents’
WHO says COVID-19 still an international emergency, three years after initial alert
France extends COVID-19 tests for China travelersFrance on Saturday said it had extended until February 15 COVID-19 tests for travelers arriving from China due to the “evolving situation.”For all the ... Coronavirus
China reports drop in COVID deaths during Lunar holiday despite travel reboundChina reported a sharp drop in new COVID-related deaths during the Lunar New Year holiday, even as a spike in travel increased the likelihood of more ... Coronavirus
China city converts COVID-19 quarantine camp into homes for ‘skilled talents’Local governments in China are looking for new uses for the makeshift quarantine facilities built during the pandemic, after years of strict ... Coronavirus