The border crossing at Shenzhen Bay will stay open for 24 hours during next month’s long weekend from February 9-13, 2024, for Chinese New Year. The Hong Kong government and Shenzhen authorities have also agreed to keep the boundary control point at Lo Wu open for an extra two hours, and allow the East Rail Line to operate longer on certain days during the holidays.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said, “The Shenzhen Bay border control point will operate round the clock from February 9-13, 2024. The Lo Wu Border Control Point, over February 9 and 11, will extend its operating hours by two hours to 2am. Train services to Lo Wu will be extended to allow transport to pass across the border.”

lo wu mtr station
The East Rail Line of the MTR that takes passengers to Lo Wu will extend its operating hours during Chinese New Year (© devilreborn via WikiCommons)

While goods vehicles are allowed to use the Shenzhen Bay crossing around the clock, private vehicles and buses can only pass through this boundary crossing between 6.30am and 12am. Currently, passengers can go between Hong Kong and Shenzhen using the Lo Wu crossing from 6.30am-12am. In addition, the last MTR train to Lo Wu departs Hung Hom at 11.07pm, and the final departure from Lu Wo is normally at 12.30am.

The move to keep the crossing at Shenzhen Bay open all day is seen as a way to prevent passengers from being stuck on either side of the border, in light of reports that Mainland tourists were stranded at Sheung Shui MTR station during the New Year’s Eve rush. Lee added that keeping the East Rail Line open to passengers during Chinese New Year will “help divert passengers from coach services”.

See also
China To Allow Foreigners To Get Visas On Arrival & Multiple-Entry Visas, Scraps 24-Hour Transit Visas

While the Hong Kong government has not yet revealed its estimates for how many people authorities expect to make Hong Kong-Mainland China trips during Chinese New Year, they predicted that more than 9 million travellers would make cross-boundary visits during the Christmas and New Year year-end holiday rush last month. Data recently released by the Hong Kong Tourism Board also showed that the city welcomed 34 million visitors in 2023, with the majority of inbound travellers coming from Mainland China. 

Header image credits: Can Pac Swire via Flickr

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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