Hong Kong to start reopening border with China on Sunday

Jan 4, 2023, 9:39 AM | Updated: Jan 5, 2023, 2:47 am
FILE - People visit the border of Hong Kong, with the skyline of China's Shenzhen in the background...

FILE - People visit the border of Hong Kong, with the skyline of China's Shenzhen in the background, in Hong Kong Feb. 13, 2021. Hong Kong will start to reopen its border with mainland China on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, allowing tens of thousands of people to travel between both sides each day under a quarantine-free arrangement, the city's leader said Thursday, Jan. 5. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

(AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong will start to reopen its border with mainland China on Sunday and allow tens of thousands of people to cross from each side every day without quarantine, the city’s leader said.

The city’s land and sea border checkpoints with the mainland have been largely closed for almost three years under China’s “zero-COVID” strategy, which has restricted entry to the country, isolated infected people and locked down areas with outbreaks. The reopening is expected to provide a much-needed boost to Hong Kong’s economy.

Thursday’s announcement came as China is easing some of the world’s toughest anti-virus controls. From Sunday, China will also gradually increase the number of flights between Hong Kong and the mainland and scrap the limit on passenger numbers for flights from the city, the Chinese government said in a statement.

“My personal inclination is, if factors permit, I want to allow a large number of people to go through because that has been the voice of a lot of people, both locally and overseas — wishing Hong Kong to proceed to normalcy as quickly as possible,” Chief Executive John Lee said at a press conference.

During the first phase of the reopening, four border checkpoints that were closed for nearly three years will resume operations, bringing the number of checkpoints up and running in the city to seven, Lee said. Currently, all but three checkpoints in Hong Kong are shut.

The Hong Kong government will decide when to expand the scale of border reopening after reviewing the situation with mainland authorities, Lee added.

Under a quota system, up to 60,000 people can travel from Hong Kong to mainland China each day. The same cap is also imposed on the number of travelers entering the city from the north, he said.

But Hong Kong residents in mainland China who want to return to the city are not bound by the quota system, and neither are mainland Chinese residents in Hong Kong going north.

Travelers will have to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours before departure. Those crossing via designated land border checkpoints have to register online to secure a quota slot.

Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese territory that borders Guangdong province in southeast China. People must pass through immigration to cross between the two. The border restrictions imposed since 2020 have hammered the city’s economy, especially the tourism sector.

Also starting from Sunday, the mainland will no longer require inbound travelers to quarantine, marking a major step toward fully reopening travel with the rest of the world.

Mainland Chinese residents will be allowed to visit Hong Kong for sightseeing purposes in a gradual and orderly manner, depending on the city’s capacity and pandemic situation, the Chinese government added.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
7 hours ago
budgets...
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
7 hours ago
Students from drama and arts schools gather during a protest outside parliament in Athens, Greece o...
Associated Press

In Greece, artists’ strike closes theaters, music schools

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Performing artists and art students – some banging drums, playing trumpets and dressed in clown outfits – gathered outside Greece’s parliament Thursday during a strike that closed theaters, halted TV shoots and disrupted art school classes. More than 2,000 people took part in the demonstration, on the second day of a […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

9 held in Netherlands, Belgium over German ATM explosions

BERLIN (AP) — Nine men suspected of involvement in blowing up dozens of cash machines in Germany and stealing some 5.2 million euros (nearly $5.7 million) have been arrested in the Netherlands and Belgium, German authorities said Thursday. The arrests were made during raids on 16 properties in the two neighboring countries on Monday, prosecutors […]
1 day ago
In this photo released by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, an excavator makes n...
Associated Press

Hawaii whale dies with fishing nets, plastic bags in stomach

HONOLULU (AP) — A whale that washed ashore in Hawaii over the weekend likely died in part because it ate large volumes of fishing traps, fishing nets, plastic bags and other marine debris, scientists said Thursday, highlighting the threat to wildlife from the millions of tons of plastic that ends up in oceans every year. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Italian mob suspect held in France after 16 years on the run

PARIS (AP) — Police in southeastern France have arrested a convicted murderer linked to Italy’s most powerful organized crime group, the ‘ndrangheta, who was on the run for 16 years, Interpol and Italian police said on Thursday. Italy’s ANSA news agency reported that the 63-year-old had been working for the past three years as a […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Hong Kong to start reopening border with China on Sunday