Border reopening with the mainland set for January 8

The Chinese government announced on Thursday that its border with the HKSAR would reopen on January 8, the first time in three years, as Beijing accelerates the unwinding of its stringent Covid rules in recent months.

According to the announcement, all inbound travelers from Hong Kong will be required to present a negative Covid-19 result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test carried out within 48 hours before arrival.

Travelers will be asked to fill in their test results on a health declaration card when going through Customs. Those who have undergone the necessary customs inspections will be cleared to enter the mainland.

Meanwhile, travelers who showed symptoms such as fever will have to undergo antigen tests carried out by mainland officials. Asymptomatic Covid patients and those with mild symptoms will be allowed to undergo home quarantine, while more seriously ill people should be sent for medical treatment.

Separately, a transit flight ban for passengers entering China via the Hong Kong International Airport will be lifted. A passenger cap for flights between Hong Kong and the mainland will also be canceled.

It also said more flights between Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland will gradually be introduced and ferry services will be resumed in a gradual and orderly manner.