Representatives of the tourism sector are urging the authorities to allow Hongkongers to go to Shenzhen on quarantine-free day trips so they can be vaccinated there against Covid-19.
Working in concert with local deputies to the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the Hong Kong Travel Agent Owners Association said vaccination trips on cross-boundary coaches should be
arranged for SAR residents.
They said the process could be similar to arrangements made for local deputies who recently travelled across the border to get Sinopharm jabs.
NPC delegate Nick Chan said that procedure went smoothly, showing that it is viable.
"As a bubble we move up, as a bubble we come down. And we don't get to interact with anyone who is not within the bubble, except for people who are in full PPE gear and who know what they are doing. It was quite efficient. If it only takes a few hours to solve a problem, why not?" Chan said.
"The key isn't about prioritising this over our local Hong Kong vaccination programme. This is about making available more avenues for people to be able to be vaccinated quickly, efficiently and safely."
Hong Kong is expected to start its vaccination programme after the Chinese New Year with BioNTech jabs - the only vaccine approved in the city so far.
But Freddy Yip, president of the Hong Kong Travel Agent Owners Association, said his sector and other businesses cannot wait a few months for more vaccines to be approved and for the wider population to be vaccinated.
"Totally and completely we don't have any business for almost one year. We can wait in Hong Kong, but as we know, it can take some more months, and we cannot afford to wait for another month," he said.
Yip said he hopes normal cross-border travel can resume as soon as possible, suggesting that people who have been vaccinated should in future be exempted from quarantine when they travel from Hong Kong to the mainland.