China said on Friday that cross border travel between the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau would fully resume from February 6, dropping existing quotas and scrapping a mandatory Covid-19 test that was required before traveling.
Group tours between China and its two special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau would resume, while the number of customs checkpoints open will return to pre-pandemic levels, China's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in a statement on its website.
The office also said that only travelers who had been outside the mainland in the seven days before they cross the border will now have to do a PCR test. The test will have to be conducted within 48 hours of the crossing, and children aged three or below are exempt.
China previously reopened its borders to the world on January 8, but a quota system and Covid
testing requirement remained for travelers between the mainland and Hong Kong.
The three border checkpoints that have not yet reopened will do so from February 6, including the Lo Wu Control Point, the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai boundary control point, and the Lok Ma Chau Control Point, Hong Kong's leader John Lee Ka-chiu said at a press conference on Friday.
Hong Kong will also scrap a Covid
vaccination requirement to enter Hong Kong for all arrivals, including non-Hong Kong residents, Lee added.
However, overseas travelers were still required to undergo rapid Covid
tests before traveling to Hong Kong, with Lee citing the possible risk of transmission having a large number of travelers coming into the city, especially when the city is about to fully resume travel with the mainland.
China's announcement came a day after Hong Kong launched a promotion campaign including 500,000 free flights to lure back visitors, businesses and investors to the financial hub after more than three years of tough Covid
Hong Kong dropped most of its remaining Covid
rules in December, but mask-wearing remains mandatory unless exercising, and students must take daily rapid antigen tests.