Govt seeks to scrap cross-border health declaration - RTHK
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Govt seeks to scrap cross-border health declaration

2023-02-07 HKT 11:45
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  • Govt seeks to scrap cross-border health declaration
Acting Chief Executive Eric Chan on Tuesday said the government will discuss with mainland authorities on doing away with the requirement for travellers heading north to declare their health status.

Officials lifted travel restrictions on Monday and reopened all border checkpoints between Hong Kong and the mainland, with travel quotas eliminated and pre-departure tests scrapped for most people.

However, commuters are still required to make a health declaration and receive a "black code" before crossing into the mainland. Some travellers, especially the elderly, have complained about the arrangement, saying the process is too complicated and time-consuming.

"We will talk to mainland authorities to see if we can enhance or even cancel this arrangement. Mainland authorities made this rule and there has to be a reason for that. We must respect that," Chan told reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting.

"But we will continue to voice our demands, and hopefully we'll be able to reach a consensus to ensure a smoother immigration clearance."

A total of 280,000 people crossed the border on the first day of the full border reopening. The Lo Wu control point, which reopened on Monday after a three-year hiatus, saw the most travellers.

The acting CE said the administration will continue to monitor the situation at the various checkpoints, adding that special counters will be set up to cater for cross-border secondary school students who will be returning to the SAR for face-to-face classes on Wednesday.