Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu announced that, from February 6, unvaccinated tourists can enter Hong Kong. Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Lee said that overseas travellers to the city will still need to undergo a pre-departure rapid antigen test before they arrive and can only enter with a negative result “to ensure that any risk from overseas can be monitored and controlled”.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee talking about the pre-departure rapid antigen testing requirement for overseas travellers to Hong Kong.

The CE added that travellers to Mainland China from Hong Kong will no longer have to take a pre-departure PCR test before crossing the border, from February 6. However, those who have been overseas or in Taiwan within a week of travelling to the Mainland will still need to take a PCR test within 48 hours of their departure. Children under three years old will be exempt from this measure.

In addition, travellers from Macau will no longer need a negative rapid antigen test result to enter Hong Kong. Last month, Macau scrapped the pre-departure Covid-19 test requirement for visitors from Hong Kong and introduced a buy-one-get-one-free offer for ferry tickets between the two SARs.

The daily 60,000 quota on travellers to the Mainland from Hong Kong will also end on February 6. The remaining border control points at Lok Ma Chau, Heung Yuen Wai, Lo Wu, and Sha Tau Kok (cargo only) will also reopen then.

Earlier this week, Lee said that Hong Kong has entered a new phase of anti-epidemic measures and will treat Covid-19 as an upper respiratory disease. From next Monday, the only Covid-19 restrictions that will remain in Hong Kong are the pre-departure tests for international visitors, the compulsory indoor and outdoor mask-wearing mandate, and the daily testing requirements for high-risk groups, such as schoolchildren.

Header image credits: Dltl2010 via WikiCommons

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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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