Passengers line up at checkpoints at Lok Ma Chau Station in Hong Kong on Jan 8, 2023 after the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong resumed normal travel after three years. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
The quota for Hong Kong residents traveling to the Chinese mainland via three land ports in use will be increased from 50,000 to 65,000 from Jan 18 to 21 – Lunar New Year’s eve – the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Saturday.
A government spokesperson said there has been demand from Hong Kong residents intending to visit the mainland through land ports before the start of the Year of the Rabbit, which falls on Jan 22 this year
The same adjustment will be made for the number of visitors arriving in the SAR from the mainland.
Among the land ports, 10,000 places will be added to the Lok Ma Chau checkpoint, while 5,000 more be allocated to Shenzhen Bay Port to ease the surge in demand for the Lunar New Year.
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The quotas allocated earlier for the period from Jan 18 to 21 had been quickly snapped up. Travelers can now book their trips for those three days via a designated booking website for land port users.
A government spokesperson said there has been demand from Hong Kong residents intending to visit the mainland through land ports before the start of the Year of the Rabbit, which falls on Jan 22 this year.
Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki said in his social media page said the adjustment is in response to the nearly full bookings made for Jan 18-21 by Hong Kong residents traveling north.
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He said the increased quotas will allow incoming and outbound travelers to prepare themselves before Jan 18.
Meanwhile, the number of private cars departing Hong Kong for Zhuhai through the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will also be increased — from 1,000 to 2,000.
Since quarantine-free travel between the SAR and the mainland resumed on Jan 8, operations at cross-boundary checkpoints, as well as the flow of commuters, have been smooth, the SAR spokesperson said. Travelers are no longer subject to quarantine, but need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours. They either use the three land ports or the four sea, bridge and air ports.