Press Releases in Hong Kong

Lam: Large-scale border reopening likely in February

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks at the second Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development forum and prize presentation ceremony, Nov 5, 2021. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Friday expressed her hope for a "large scale" reopening of the border in February next year.

Large-scale forum activities can be held around the third anniversary of the release of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development outline, she said while addressing the second Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development forum and prize presentation ceremony.

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Quarantine-free cross-border travels between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland remain suspended since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year.

Lam said Hong Kong officials and experts have made progress with their mainland counterparts on the issue in recent meetings

Saying that she can feel the strong wish of people for border reopening, Lam told the forum Hong Kong officials and experts have made progress with their mainland counterparts on the issue in recent meetings. 

She hopes to bring good news to Hong Kong people soon.

A local newspaper in Hong Kong reported on Thursday that Lam expressed the hope that the border will be reopened by the end of the year. The arrangements would be implemented under a quota system, with priority given to business exchanges, she was quoted to be saying.

During the Friday forum, the Hong Kong leader said both the travel schemes of Return2HK and Come2HK have been conducted smoothly. 

READ MORE: Border reopening needs multipronged anti-pandemic approach

The Return2HK scheme has enabled 300,000 to 400,000 Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong without 14-day compulsory quarantine in the city, she said. Over 10,000 non-local Hong Kong residents were exempted from the quarantine upon entry into Hong Kong under the Come2HK scheme, Lam added.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (third left) and Chairman of the Hong Kong Ta Kung Wen Wei Media Group Jiang Zaizhong (fourth right) with the award winners at the second Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development forum and prize presentation ceremony, Nov 5, 2021. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)

On Thursday, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said in a statement that mainland and Hong Kong are working together on the resumption of quarantine-free travel and their efforts are proceeding in an orderly fashion.