Cross-border quota might not be enough during CNY

The border between Hong Kong and the mainland will be reopened on Sunday for the first time in three years, with the first phase limited to 60,000 travellers a day heading to China. Lawmaker worried the quotas might not be sufficient as the Chinese New Year approaches.

Lawmaker Kitson Yang Wing-kit said on Thursday that the quotas should be enough for the initial stages of the resuming of cross-border travel, but might not meet the demand during the Lunar New Year as more people wish to go north or come to Hong Kong.

Yeung also worried it is not convenient for the elderly to book their travel slot online.

He also believes that the peak season of the pandemic has already passed, and society has generated herd immunity, meaning there won't be as significant stress put on the local healthcare system once the borders reopen.

Separately, Hong Kong Seamen's Union chairman Cheung Sai-teng said only five ships from two companies are ready to resume travel between the city and China at Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal.

He added that compared to the peak season of around 30 ships operating, various vessels need at least six months to a year to resume full service due to repair or maintenance works.

The two ship companies also have to recall employees who have been let go during the pandemic, along with helping them to renew their licenses.