China will fully resume cross-border travel between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau from Monday, February 6, after it claimed earlier this week that the Covid-19 situation was at a ‘low level’.
China on Friday announced that it will drop its existing quotas and scrap a mandatory Covid-19 test that was required before travelling, according to news agency Reuters.
“The overall epidemic situation in the country has entered a low level, and the epidemic situation in various places has maintained a steady downward trend,” National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said on Monday, according to the news agency.
It is to be noted that even as China reopened its borders to the world last month, a quota system and Covid testing requirement sustained for travellers between the mainland and Hong Kong. Three of Hong Kong’s border checkpoints are yet to reopen.
ALSO READ: Calicut-Bound Air India Express Flight Lands In Abu Dhabi After Engine Flameout, Passengers Safe (abplive.com)
This means all group tours between China and its two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau will be allowed and customs checkpoints will be opened whose number will touch the pre-pandemic levels, China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in a statement, as per the report.
The move comes 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 the virus which included mandatory quarantine of up to three weeks for people arriving. Travellers were mandated to go through 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.
Leave a Reply