Mainland China normalizes passenger transit between Hong Kong, Macao

Beijing, Feb 6 (EFE).- Full passenger traffic between mainland China and Hong Kong and Macao was officially restored Monday after three years of being partially or completely restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the opening of the Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang and Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang checkpoints, the seven official crossings between the mainland city of Shenzhen and Hong Kong were reopened, as announced last week by the government.

The country hopes this normalization “gives a strong boost to the economic development of the two regions,” the official Xinhua news agency reported Monday.

Among travelers who went through the decorated checkpoints on this first day of full opening were students, cyclists, and people traveling for business or family reunions, greeted with red welcome banners and floral decorations.

Hong Kong Executive Chan Kwok-ki acting head went to the Lo Wu post to supervise together with other authorities, the restart of traffic and said 83,000 people had passed through the controls by noon, according to a statement from authorities.

The land border posts between mainland China and Hong Kong reopened on Jan. 8 after having been closed since the outbreak of the pandemic and, for the first time since then, travelers from the former British colony were able to cross customs without having to guard quarantine, but with limited quotas.

Since 2020, Hong Kong has applied strict controls under a zero-tolerance policy against the coronavirus similar to the one in place until just a few weeks ago in mainland China.

The territory announced in December the withdrawal of the three-day observation period for foreign arrivals, after hotel quarantines for incoming passengers, which once stood at 21 days, were lifted in September.

For its part, Beijing began to dismantle the “zero Covid-19” guideline at the beginning of December, after protests were registered, and on Jan. 8 it reduced the management of disease, thus effectively marking the end of this strategy.

This date also marked the end of the strict quarantines for passengers arriving in China, which had been mandatory since March 2020. EFE


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