Mainland and Macao residents will be allowed to enter the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) without undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine starting from Sept. 15, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said at a press conference yesterday, according to China News Service.
A maximum of 2,000 non-Hong Kong residents from the mainland, except those from the medium- and high-risk areas for COVID-19, and the Macao Special Administrative Region will be permitted to enter Hong Kong each day under the Come2hk Scheme.
Under the scheme, a 1,000-person quota will be available daily both at the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Checkpoint. Lam said the HKSAR Government had planned to launch the scheme earlier, but it was suspended in view of the previous pandemic situation.
Lam also announced the resumption of Return2hk, a quarantine-free travel scheme for Hong Kong residents returning from the mainland or Macao, starting today. Those from medium- and high-risk areas for COVID-19 on the mainland are excluded from the scheme.
Lam said those coming back under the Return2hk and Come2hk schemes will have to present a negative nucleic acid test result at the border and be tested regularly after their arrival.
Lam pointed out that since the Return2hk scheme was implemented in November last year, more than 200,000 Hong Kong people have returned and there hasn't been any single confirmed infection so far.
Currently, arrivals from the mainland are required to undergo 14 days of mandatory at-home quarantine upon entry to Hong Kong. They must also undergo compulsory virus testing on the 3rd, 7th and 12th days upon arrival and the 16th and 19th days after quarantine.
For arrivals who have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations, the compulsory quarantine period can be shortened to seven days at home and another seven days of self-observation, but the individual is still subject to compulsory virus tests.