“Expert docking” mechanism with the central government to be established to discuss specific border reopening arrangements

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14th September 2021 – (Hong Kong). There is still no schedule planned for border reopening with relaxed conditions between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in response to a question in the Legislative Council last week that she would establish an “expert docking” mechanism with the central government to discuss specific border reopening arrangements.

Before attending the executive meeting this morning (14th), she said that she had begun discussing the arrangements for the “expert docking” mechanism with the central government, and is currently clarifying some information related to epidemic prevention as required by the central government. A reporter asked about the details of the “expert docking” for border reopening and the progress of the health code.

Lam responded that the government is actively following up with the relevant mainland authorities to discuss the circumstances under which border can reopened in an orderly manner. Now the notice has been received, the central government is very supportive of the “expert docking” arrangement and is requesting the SAR to streamline information of some of the Hong Kong epidemic prevention work to be reported later. She pointed out that the central government has not yet set objective and specific conditions for border reopening. She believes that these conditions must be “matched” before they can be discussed. Of course, the health code may also be one of the factors.

Lam also believes that the current epidemic prevention work of the SAR government is still very effective. The last local case was on 17th August and prevention measures of imported cases are very strict. She believes that this is a good basis for border reopening with the mainland. As for the selection of “experts” for future meetings, Lam pointed out that they would depend on the needs and they may include officials from the Food and Health Bureau, the Centre for Health Protection and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. The Immigration Department, Customs and police will also participate.

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