Hong Kong and China today announced the procedures for crossing the border from January 8, 2023, when the mainland no longer requires quarantine from international arrivals.
Visitors between Hong Kong and China must register in advance and have a negative PCR-RT test not more than 48 hours old at the time of crossing. There is an initial daily limit of 50,000 crossings through the land border each way.
Excerpt from the SCMP:
The daily quota for quarantine-free travel between Hong Kong and mainland China would be set at 50,000 people each way from Sunday, authorities revealed on Thursday at a press briefing for the long-awaited reopening of the border after three years of strict Covid-19 pandemic curbs.
Another 10,000 travellers are expected to travel daily each way using bridge, air and sea entry points, which will not be under the quota system, according to officials.
Travellers are required to register online before crossing the border, with those heading north having to indicate a specific time and checkpoint via a system to be launched at 6pm Thursday.
I had quite an exciting experience entering Hong Kong on one of the first quarantine-free flights on September 26, 2022:
The airport was very quiet in March 2020:
It used to be very easy to arrange a mainland China visa in Hong Kong that required minimum red tape beyond filling out an application, attaching a photo, and paying a fee.
Some of these required you to enter China through the Shenzhen land border, but you would then be free to go anywhere on the mainland.
When I was in Hong Kong in late September, it was clear that the city’s hospitality sector desperately needed mainland visitors.
The only negative for Hongkongers is that they are lumped together with mainlanders when it comes to the entry testing requirements of many countries.
I had planned to revisit the city briefly in late January, but it might be a good idea to postpone it by a few months to see how this all pans out.