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Normal travel between mainland, Hong Kong resumes with border reopening

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Hong Kong, Jan 8 (IANS) Normal travel between mainland and Hong Kong resumed as various control points linking Shenzhen and Hong Kong reopened on Sunday morning.

The progressive and orderly reopening of Shenzhen-Hong Kong boundary control points marked the first step of the resumption of normal personnel exchanges between mainland and Hong Kong over the past three years, Xinhua News Agency reported.

After inspecting the Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point Sunday morning, John Lee, chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said the overall operation of the first day of the border reopening was smooth, safe and orderly.

At around 6:30 a.m. local time, the Lok Ma Chau Control Point was packed with people waiting to enter the mainland.

The HKSAR government has said a daily quota of 60,000 Hong Kong residents are allowed to enter the mainland, in which 50,000 of them are allocated at the three land control points – Shenzhen Bay, Man Kam To and Lok Ma Chau Spur Line. The remaining 10,000 quota is available through ferry terminals, the Hong Kong International Airport and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

Wang Pengjun, a Shanghai resident working in Hong Kong, has not returned to the mainland for nearly three years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. He took the first metro train to Lok Ma Chau Station early Sunday morning, looking forward to getting reunited with his family.

Wang appreciated the efforts made by the HKSAR government and the mainland authorities, which he said fulfilled people’s long-awaited wishes.

A daily quota of 50,000 at the three land control points is also applied to mainland residents heading to Hong Kong. Shenzhen’s Shekou port and Fuyong Ferry Terminal are controlled through ticketing mechanism, while land control points arrange the number of daily outbound passengers through the reservation system.

Fung, a Hong Kong resident working in Shenzhen, took a taxi to the Futian Control Point and waited in line to cross the border. He said he was excited and would stay longer in Hong Kong this time as he had not seen his family for nearly three years.

Shenzhen and Hong Kong will review the first phase of border reopening in a week. On the basis of consensus reached by both sides, arrangement of the second phase will be announced.

–IANS

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