BUSINESS travellers based in Hong Kong dealing with sizeable operations in neighbouring Guangdong province will be among those given priority when border crossings between the SAR and the Chinese mainland reopen.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam said business travellers permitted into a daily quota of people who can cross the border must be involved in activities considered vital to the Special Administrative Region’s economic development.
Chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and listed companies are being contacted by officials to propose names for a daily quota of quarantine-free travel to and from Guangdong.
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The central government in Beijing has given final approval for the scheme to begin after December 19 when elections for the Hong Kong legislature take place.
Hong Kong dropped plans for a travel bubble with Singapore following Covid surges in both cities, but the cross-border travel scheme with mainland China is set to go ahead despite the rise of Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
“Bureau heads will get in touch with people who were previously exempted from quarantine, meaning they had already been recognised by us that they have business needs to enter the mainland. When we have the quota, they will be given priority,” Lam told a press conference on Tuesday.
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Major technology and manufacturing facilities are located in Guangdong based around Dongguan, Nansha, Shenzhen, Zhuhai among other regions. Many Hong Kong companies operate as the link between factories in China and global businesses.
Lam said it was not yet known what size the daily quota for business travellers would be. People with urgent needs to travel to mainland China other than business would have to apply to the government first before being allowed to make quarantine-free cross-border trips on the daily quota.