Chinese commuters welcome smooth border-crossing travel to HK

Chinese travellers enjoy a smooth cross-border journey at seven checkpoints on the first day of the resumption of quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and mainland China after a three-year absence.

At 7 am on Sunday, Lok Ma Chau checkpoint welcomed the first batch of visitors from Shenzhen. 

"I had a very smooth crossing within 20 minutes," said a Hong Kong resident who lived in Shenzhen, "I suppose the peak hours would start at eight to ten."

"My wife works in Hong Kong and my child studies there. We could only have 20 days to stay together in the past three years," a visitor from China surnamed Yeung said it was very nice to be back in Hong Kong.

According to figures released by the Shenzhen government, about 6,600 people went to Hong Kong on the first day of the cross-border travel resumption.

"Not many mainland tourists as expected to come today," said a staff surnamed Lee in a pharmacy in Sheung Shui.

He added that he was worried the mainlanders become accustomed to not coming to Hong Kong for shopping after three years of the border closure.

As of 11 am today, Lok Ma Chau Port had received 9,000 cross-border passengers, with more people departing than arriving, said MTR's head of cross-boundary operations Cheung Chi-keung. 

On a visit to the Hong Kong-Macau-Shenzhen Bridge, Secretary for Transport Lam Sai-hung said the high-speed rail has started trial runs and will be in service no later than January 15.