Mainland China to Fully Resume Travel with Hong Kong and Macao

Posted by Written by Giulia Interesse Reading Time: 2 minutes

From February 6, 2023, Mainland China will resume travel with Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Following the downgrading of COVID-19 to a Class B infectious disease and the removal of centralized quarantine for incoming travelers, on February 3, 2023, the State Council’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism released Circular of the People’s Republic of China on the Comprehensive Restoration of Personnel Exchanges between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao (Circular), to optimize the measures regulating passenger travel between the mainland and the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs).

List of optimized measures to be implemented from February 6

Starting from February 6, 2023, the optimized measures listed in the table below will be implemented:

Optimized travel measures 
Resumption of travel
  • The requirement for advance appointment at the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao land ports will be canceled.
  • The daily limit on the number of travelers will be removed.
Testing
  • Travelers from Hong Kong and Macao who have not been overseas in the past seven days before their trip will no longer be required to present a negative test result to enter the mainland.
  • Those who have been overseas in the past seven days preceding their trip must provide proof of a negative PCR result taken within 48 hours before entering the mainland, as verified by the Hong Kong and Macao SAR Governments.
  • Infants and children under the age of three will be exempt from testing.
Quarantine
  • Travelers from Hong Kong and Macao must complete the required entry procedures at the port of entry using their health declaration codes.
  • If the health declaration does not show abnormalities, inbound travelers can directly enter the mainland without additional checks.

In addition, to accommodate the influx of travelers and increase the capacity of passenger transportation companies, authorities will work to open more ports.

Background

Previously, on January 5, 2023, China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office announced the optimization of personal exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao, as part of moves to reopen its border and resume cross-border travel.

Fully reopening to the two special administrative regions is part of China’s latest steps toward a “living with COVID” approach, which is well situated in the country’s more extensive strategy to end mandatory quarantine and boost investor confidence. In addition, as confirmed by several Chinese embassies, Beijing resumed applications for most visa types while promising to gradually reintroduce tourist visas for short-term travelers.

The resumption of group tours included in the policy will also benefit the recovery of tourism both ways, thus further accelerating the area’s economic growth.

Macao, for example, had already removed the requirement for mandatory testing at customs as early as January 8, 2023, and consequently experienced an exponential 154 percent increase in the number of visitors, compared to the same period in 2022.


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