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Hong Kong Plans to Reopen Borders With Mainland China by Mid-January

Hong Kong has recently announced plans to reopen its borders with mainland China by mid-January 2023. This news is welcome for travelers, as it marks a significant step towards the return of international travel. However, it is important for travelers to be aware of the current situation and understand what the reopening of borders will mean for them.

After returning from Beijing, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee stated that the government will work with the government of neighbouring Shenzhen to control the flow of people and would attempt to "gradually, orderly, and fully" reopen all entrance points between the two sides.

At the moment, only the airport of Hong Kong and two checkpoints—Shenzhen Bay or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge—allow people who want to reach the mainland through the city.

Also required before they are allowed to roam about freely is a hotel quarantine for visitors visiting the mainland.

China's domestic zero-COVID limits were lifted by Beijing earlier this month, including the removal of testing requirements and travel limitations.

Although the softening has been warmly received by many, families and the healthcare system were not ready for the ensuing spike in illnesses. Authorities are racing to create clinics, hospitals are battling for beds and blood, pharmacies are battling for medications.

According to estimations from the highest health authority inside the federal government, as many as 37 million people may have contracted COVID on a single day this past week, according to a report from Bloomberg News on Friday. The report was not addressed by the authorities.

According to a Qingdao health official, the port city sees almost 500,000 infections every day, according to news reports on Friday. Daily infections in Dongguan, a major manufacturing hub in the south, are estimated to be between 250.000 and 300,000.

Due to a shortage of donors, the spike has put a pressure on the medical community, particularly blood banks, whose supplies are running low.

According to a statement released by China's National Health Commission on Saturday, people who experienced moderate or typical COVID-19 symptoms can safely donate blood a few days after their symptoms go away.

The media reported on Friday that the regional blood repository in Wuhan, the central city where COVID first surfaced three years ago, had just 4,000 units, or enough to survive two days. People were urged to "roll up their sleeves and donate blood," according to the repository.

While the reopening of borders between Hong Kong and mainland China is a positive development, it is important for travelers to be mindful of the current situation and take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and others. By following the latest guidelines and recommendations, travelers can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to both Hong Kong and China.


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