Government advisor David Hui Shu-cheong has indicated that the border between Hong Kong and the mainland may reopen as soon as February 2022, basing his anticipated timeline on the period it took for cross-border travel to resume between Macau and the mainland. This prediction is in line with his previous statement that the HK-Mainland border reopening process would take at least 4-5 months.
Speaking to mainland Chinese media, Hui, who is Chairman of CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine, added that travellers will probably have to record their information using the proposed Hong Kong Health Code app, a system which would store vaccination records, Covid-19 test results and travel history from the previous 21 days. He also recommended that the app come with a location tracking function to minimize the risks of large infection clusters. This health code system has replaced quarantine measures in Macau and some parts of China.
This development comes after the news that Hong Kong will further tighten international travel restrictions to convince Beijing to permit quarantine-free cross-border travel between the SAR and the mainland. The quarantine regiments in the mainland vary depending on the city or province one visits. Beijing’s entry requirements – which include 14 days’ quarantine at a designated location and seven days at home, followed by an additional seven days of self-monitoring – are considered the strictest in the country.
In other news, the previously suspended Return2hk and Come2hk schemes exempting travellers going from Macau to Hong Kong from quarantine measures will resume on November 2.
Header image credits: Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong