As borders reopen, Hong Kong sees an inflow of Chinese visitors

4 min read
as borders reopen, hong kong sees an inflow of chinese visitors

Monday, February 6th, was the first time in three years that all border gates were fully reopened without COVID-19 limitations. Tens of thousands of travelers traveled between mainland China and its special administrative territory of Hong Kong.

China stated last week that cross-border travel between the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao will resume in full on February 6, removing current limitations and eliminating the pre-trip COVID-19 exam.

Monday at noon, around 22,000 people had passed through the Lo Wu station checkpoint, according to a statement from Hong Kong’s MTR Corp. Lo Wu was one of three border checkpoints in Hong Kong that has not yet reopened.

“I was ecstatic from the moment I stepped off the train till I passed through the border crossing. It felt like returning to the past,” Christine Li, 35, was traveling from Hong Kong to Shenzhen to see her family, as she stated.

Outside the Shenzhen checkpoint, hundreds of red lanterns and enormous red banners were displayed to commemorate the resumption of transit between the two cities.

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Dozens of travelers affixed colorful Post-it notes on a red wall in front of the Lo Wu gate.

One stated, “I am very delighted to be back in my homeland,” while another exclaimed, “We are free.”

After more than three years of strict COVID-19 restrictions, Hong Kong initiated an advertising drive branded “Hello Hong Kong to entice back visitors, firms, and investors to the financial powerhouse. Travelers will receive 500,000 free flights as part of the incentives.

In an effort to combat COVID, Hong Kong was essentially walled off behind closed borders for the majority of the last three years, with enforced quarantine of up to three weeks and intense testing and screening for new arrivals.

The former British colony strictly adhered to China’s zero-COVID policy until the middle of 2022, when it began to progressively relax its regulations.

In December, Hong Kong eliminated the majority of its remaining COVID-19 regulations, but masks are still required unless exercising, and students must perform daily quick antigen testing.

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