China agrees to reopen border with Hong Kong after pandemic

HONG KONG (HPD) — China has agreed to reopen its border with Hong Kong following restrictions imposed by the pandemic, with the reopening likely to take place in mid-January, Hong Kong’s governor announced Saturday.

Governor John Lee, returning from a trip to Beijing where he met with President Xi Jinping and other officials, told reporters at the airport that the two sides will develop a plan to reopen the border gradually and in an orderly manner.

The announcement comes as China is loosening its “zero COVID” policy under which people have been banned from entering the country, the sick have been isolated and several areas have been placed under lockdown orders.

Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous Chinese territory bordering the Chinese province of Guangdong. Those wishing to cross the border must pass through immigration points and most points of entry by sea or land have been closed amid severe restrictions due to the pandemic.

Lee has made opening the border a priority in order to boost the struggling economy. That was one of several topics he had for his visit to Beijing, where he delivered his annual report to the central government, the first since he took office on July 1.

Lee did not offer details on how the opening will take place, nor did he say whether the required five days of quarantine for those entering mainland China will be lifted.

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