Chief Secretary for Administration Chan Kwok-ki delivers a Lunar New Year message at the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2023 at Lam Tsuen, Tai Po on Jan 22, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government is seeking the scrapping of the nucleic acid test requirement and daily quota restrictions for travel between the SAR and the Chinese mainland, Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki said Sunday.
Speaking to members of the media at the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2023 in Tai Po, Chan said he understood the inconvenience people felt when taking the PCR test.
“I understand people would think that to do the PCR (polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid) test is not that convenient; even in some areas, they have to queue up for quite some time,” Chan said.
“Our target is to cancel this arrangement – and eventually it is quota-free – with no need (for people) to do any testing before going (from Hong Kong) to (the mainland) or coming from (the mainland) to Hong Kong. This is our ultimate target,” he added.
Hong Kong reported 2,737 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down from 3,507 on Saturday, 3,789 on Friday, and 4,015 on Thursday
Hong Kong reported 2,737 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down from 3,507 on Saturday, 3,789 on Friday, and 4,015 on Thursday.
Quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and the mainland resumed on Jan 8, with 60,000 people per day permitted to travel from one side of the border to the other via seven control points. Until Saturday, in the build-up to Lunar New Year, the quota for those traveling via land ports was increased to 65,000 a day, as a temporary measure.
Chan visited on Sunday, the first day of the Lunar New Year, the frontline staff on duty at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian Control Point.
He thanked all the frontliners for their hard work during the Lunar New Year holidays and for helping ensure the smooth resumption of normal travel between the SAR and the mainland, according to a government statement.
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Accompanied by the Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung, Director of Immigration Au Ka-wang, and Commissioner of Customs and Excise Louise Ho Pui-shan, Chan first visited the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian Control Point to inspect its operation and meet the frontline staff of the Immigration Department, the Customs and Excise Department and the Hong Kong Police Force.
Chief Secretary for Administration Chan Kwok-ki (fourth right), accompanied by the Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung (third left), meets with the frontline staff of the Hong Kong Police Force at the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line/Futian Control Point on Jan 22, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
He learned about the overall arrangements for customs clearance and public order maintenance at the control point during the Lunar New Year period. He also met residents and travelers and extended his New Year greetings to them.
Afterwards, Chan headed to Lam Tsuen in Tai Po to officiate at the lantern lighting ceremony of the Hong Kong Well-wishing Festival 2023 and kick-start the event.
Meanwhile, Principal Officials of the HKSAR government also visited grass-roots families in Tuen Mun District on Sunday and distributed blessing bags in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
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Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan, and Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn Hon-ho visited the elderly people and an ethnic minority family in Yau Oi Estate, Tuen Mun to understand their needs.
Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun, Secretary for Housing Winnie Ho Wing-yin, Secretary for Education Choi Yuk-lin, and Acting Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Joseph Chan also visited the elderly living in the estate.
Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po (second left), accompanied by Secretary for Development Bernadette Linn Hon-ho (first right), and Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan (second right), visit an elderly person to learn about her needs and daily life n Tuen Mun on Jan 22, 2023. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Chinese New Year blessing bags were distributed to the families with an aim to deliver the HKSAR government's seasonal greetings and celebrate the festive joy with residents.