Explainer: Key arrangements for full resumption of normal travel between HK and Mainland from 6th February

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Hong Kong Government Press Release

3rd February 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today announced that, upon deliberation and co-ordination with the Central Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland will fully resume starting 6th February. The arrangements concerned include opening up all boundary control points (BCPs) without imposing any prescribed daily numbers of people thereon; cancelling the pre-departure nucleic acid test requirement; and enabling cross-boundary students to resume face-to-face classes in an orderly manner.

Since the implementation of the first-phase resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland on 8th January, the various BCPs have been in good operation overall and people have been travelling between the two places in a safe, orderly and smooth manner. The Co-ordination Group on Resumption of Normal Travel led by the Chief Secretary for Administration has been in close liaison and co-ordination with the relevant authorities of the Central Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, with timely responses given and adjustments made. Upon a holistic review of the implementation of the first-phase resumption of normal travel, epidemic risk control, etc, Hong Kong and the Mainland are now well-placed to fully resume normal travel to further promote the normal flow of people between the two places. The Co-ordination Group on Resumption of Normal Travel, jointly with the relevant authorities of the Central Government, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government, will closely monitor the progress of the full resumption of normal travel.

Key arrangements for full resumption of normal travel

Starting 6th February, normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland will fully resume. Key arrangements are as follows:

(1) Opening up all BCPs without imposing any prescribed daily numbers of people thereon: Alongside the various BCPs in operation at present, the Lo Wu Control Point, the Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang Control Point and the Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang Control Point will be opened up for full passenger clearance services (including private car clearance services) under normal operating hours; and the Sha Tau Kok Control Point will resume cargo clearance service for vehicles conveying coffins (see Annex 1 for the operating hours of the existing and newly added BCPs). Furthermore, no prescribed daily number of people will be imposed on any BCP, so that any person can travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland through any BCP without the need to make an online booking. The online booking system of the HKSAR Government will accordingly cease operation;   

(2) Cancelling the pre-departure nucleic acid test requirement: all people entering the Mainland from Hong Kong, and all people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland, will not be required to undergo any nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to departure and obtain a negative result. However, for people travelling from Hong Kong to the Mainland (except those aged three and below), if they have stayed in any overseas places or Taiwan on the day of departing Hong Kong for the Mainland or during the seven days before that day, they will still be required to conduct a nucleic acid test within 48 hours prior to departure and obtain a negative result; and 

(3) Enabling cross-boundary students to resume classes in an orderly manner: Cross-boundary students will be arranged in phases to travel every day between the Mainland and Hong Kong for face-to-face classes. The first phase will start on February 8 to cover cross-boundary students in secondary schools, and the second phase will start on 22nd February to also cover cross-boundary students in primary schools, special schools and kindergartens.  

Transport arrangements

 The Transport and Logistics Bureau, the Transport Department, the Civil Aviation Department and the Marine Department have co-ordinated with the seaborne, land and air transport operators to press ahead with the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and to ensure adequate public transport services for the public travelling to and from the BCPs. As regards the three newly added BCPs, the transport arrangements are as follows:

(1) Lo Wu Control Point: The Lo Wu Station of the MTR East Rail Line will be re-opened to serve cross-boundary passengers. Members of the public can take the MTR East Rail Line to the Control Point;

(2) Heung Yuen Wai/Liantang Control Point: Members of public can take franchised buses, green minibuses or taxis to the Control Point. They can also drive their own private vehicles or walk through a pedestrian subway for direct access to the Control Point for immigration clearance to cross the boundary. Guangdong-Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars under the quota of the Control Point may also use the Control Point to cross the boundary; and 

(3) Lok Ma Chau/Huanggang Control Point: Members of public can take Lok Ma Chau – Huanggang cross-boundary shuttle buses (Yellow Buses) to the Control Point. They can also travel by Lok Ma Chau – Huanggang short-haul cross-boundary coaches directly to the Control Point from Wan Chai, Prince Edward, Jordan, Kwun Tong or Tsuen Wan. Members of public can use taxi service and green minibus service to the Control Point and change to Yellow Bus for crossing the boundary during the period from 11pm to 6.30am on the next day. Guangdong-Hong Kong cross-boundary private cars under the quota of the Control Point may also use the Control Point to cross the boundary.  

Further details about the public transport services to and from the BCPs are in Annex 2. Public transport operators will stand ready to enhance services at the BCPs when necessary subject to patronage demand and deploy additional manpower to assist passengers in need.

Arrangements for cross-boundary students to resume classes

In view of the situation of immigration control and transport at the initial stage of the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, and in line with the timetable for the resumption of whole-day face-to-face classes at all schools in Hong Kong, the Education Bureau (EDB) has decided, after discussion with the education sector, that arrangements will be made for secondary cross-boundary students to return to schools in Hong Kong starting February 8, two days after the full resumption of normal travel. Cross-boundary students of primary schools, kindergarten and special schools will return to schools in Hong Kong starting February 22.

 The EDB will inform parents through schools to ensure that they are aware of the arrangements of customs clearance and transport at the BCPs, so that they can choose the appropriate BCPs for their children and allow sufficient time for crossing the boundary to return to schools. The HKSAR Government will also provide clearance facilitation for cross-boundary students when they arrive in Hong Kong. The HKSAR Government has reminded cross-boundary students and their parents to apply for the relevant travel documents as soon as possible and will assist them in handling the applications.

To help cross-boundary students adapt to face-to-face classes as soon as possible, the EDB has provided suggestions on supporting them to adjust to the resumption of classes on the EDB’s “Mental Health@School” webpage. The contents cover getting familiar with the school campus, adapting to daily routines, building social circles, offering emotional support, etc. Schools can plan and arrange on-campus activities to cater for students’ needs. The EDB urges schools and parents to pay special attention to the social and psychological conditions of cross-boundary students after the resumption of classes and provide them with appropriate support.