Hong Kong and mainland Chinese authorities said a meeting on Thursday moved them closer to partially reopening the boundary between them as they continue to pursue a zero-Covid-19 strategy.
The Asian financial hub has implemented some of the strictest travel restrictions in the world, hoping that would convince Beijing to allow some cross-border movement.
Delegations from the two governments met in Shenzhen on Thursday, authorities said.
“Good progress was made in the meeting on exploring the resumption of quarantine-free travel between the mainland and Hong Kong in a gradual and orderly manner,” a Hong Kong government statement said.
China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in a separate statement the epidemic situation in Hong Kong was “stable and controllable”.
Cross-border travel is expected to resume next month, the South China Morning Post reported.
Despite few local cases this year, Hong Kong has imposed mandatory hotel quarantine of up to 21 days for arrivals from most countries at the travellers’ cost.
The Hong Kong government said it would plan workflows at boundary control points, “allocation of manpower, the co-operation mechanism between Hong Kong and the Mainland, as well as the mechanism to identify high-risk persons”.
- George Russell