China’s border with Hong Kong will reopen on January 8 after being mainly closed for nearly three years in a bid to stop the spread of Covid, the Chinese government stated on Thursday.

Following a notification from Beijing on Thursday, Hong Kong leader John Lee told the media that when a gradual reopening of border check stations begins, up to 60,000 people from Hong Kong will be permitted to enter the mainland.

The change will end the previously required quarantine for visitors from Hong Kong to the mainland. Passenger quotas apply to travel in both directions, and every traveller will need to pass a Covid PCR test within 48 hours after crossing.

The announced reopening occurs on the same day that China would abolish several Covid restrictions on flights that have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as quarantine procedures for international arrivals.

The adjustments occur as Beijing abruptly lifts its oppressive Covid regulations in response to widespread protests. After three years of self-imposed global isolation, during which efforts to reestablish regular transit with Hong Kong were repeatedly postponed, the mainland appears to be reopening.

Since early 2020, the majority of the once-bustling border crossings between Hong Kong and mainland China have been closed, putting a significant burden on families and businesses with connections to both sides.

All About Travel When China Opens Its Borders

10,000 persons must go via the Hong Kong International Airport, two ferry piers, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, while 50,000 must pass through three land checkpoints.

Residents of Hong Kong who return to Hong Kong from the mainland or Chinese citizens who return to the mainland from Hong Kong are not subject to the cap, according to Lee. In addition to testing, some travel will also need to be scheduled in advance.

Flights from Hong Kong and neighbouring Macau to mainland China will resume, and passenger capacity restrictions will be lifted, according to a statement from China’s State Council. The number of flights will also increase in a “phased and orderly” manner, the statement added.

According to the announcement, China will also start providing tourist and business visas to citizens on the mainland who are visiting Hong Kong.

For more info @dissent times

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