Over 286,000 people secure their tickets to the mainland since booking system went online

More than 286,000 people have secured their place to travel to the mainland in the first 14 hours after an online booking system for people to reserve their slots to cross the mainland border went online on Thursday evening, according to the government's top IT official.

Speaking on a radio program this morning, Tony Wong Chi-kwong, acting chief information officer, said people only have to wait for their turn to access the website in the first hour since the system went live at 6pm, with more than 150,000 having successfully booked their slots in the first two hours.

The website this morning showed that some of the border control points are already fully booked for dates ahead of the Lunar New Year, with only a few vacancies left at other checkpoints.

Wong reminded members of the public that they must have their reservation details, their negative result proof of COVID-19 by taking Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based tests, and their personal ID ready when crossing the border.

Speaking on the same program, DAB lawmaker Ben Chan Han-pan believed the daily quota is enough to cater to those who need to go to the mainland during Lunar New Year.

He noted that, due to the Covid situation on the mainland, people would not travel across the border unless they have important or urgent matters to deal with, or they really want to visit their relatives there.

Chan also said he hopes the quota will be increased soon if everything goes smoothly.