China announced on Friday that inter-border travel between the mainland and the two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau would resume from Monday.
All current travel quotas are set to be dropped, and the compulsory Covid-19 test required for travelers will no longer be mandated.
According to China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, previously closed customs checkpoints will resume accommodating the gradual return to pre-COVID travel rules.
While China reopened its borders on January 8, a quota system and a Covid-19 testing requirement remained for people traveling between the mainland and Hong Kong.
China’s announcement is coming just a day after the government of Hong Kong launched a travel promotion campaign that is set to offer 500,000 free flights to Hong Kong.
The campaign aims to attract visitors, businesses, and investors to the region after more than three years of hard-line COVID-19 restrictions that affected the region’s economy.
In a press conference held on Friday, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive John Lee announced that Hong Kong will also scrap the COVID-19 vaccination requirement to enter Hong Kong for all arrivals, including non-Hong Kong residents.
Border checkpoints in the region that are yet to be reopened will be reopened from Monday, Lee confirmed.
Closely mirroring China’s zero-COVID, Hong Kong almost entirely closed off its borders throughout the past three years to fend off the virus, setting up rules including compulsory quarantine of up to three weeks for all arrivals alongside extensive testing and screening.
The region only began to relax its COVID rules a few months into 2022 gradually.
As of December 2022, most COVID-19 rules in Hong Kong have been dropped. However, mask-wearing is still mandated unless exercising, and students are required to conduct daily antigen rapid tests.
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