Hongkongers must prove they have tested negative for Covid-19 to cross the border into Guangdong from Friday as the mainland Chinese province tightened its entry requirements in response to the city’s third wave of infections.
The tougher policy from the mainland came after Hong Kong recorded an all-time daily high of 67 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, including 63 locally transmitted infections, of which more than half were untraceable.
Health officials have so far confirmed 1,655 infections since the city’s outbreak of the public health crisis in January.
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The Hong Kong government said late on Thursday that people entering Guangdong province from the city, via Shenzhen Bay Port or the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, must present proof of a valid negative nucleic acid test result for Covid-19.
The certificate must be obtained from one of the 15 testing institutions recognised by the city’s authorities, which include some private hospitals and diagnostic laboratories.
The negative test result will only be considered valid for 72 hours from the time the samples were collected.
A notice from the Zhuhai authorities states the new arrangement takes effect from 10am on Friday, adding those presenting the negative coronavirus test result will still need to be quarantined for 14 days upon crossing the border.
“Before departure to Guangdong, members of the public must bring along the valid proof of negative Covid-19 nucleic acid test result, or otherwise they will be refused entry into Guangdong,” a Hong Kong government spokesman said.
“When they re-enter Hong Kong after being refused entry to the mainland, they will be subjected to compulsory quarantine of 14 days [in Hong Kong]. Members of the public should pay extra attention to avoid such a situation.”
The city government said that since the start of the summer holidays and the worsening epidemic in Hong Kong, it had been aware of people crossing the border to Guangdong, which has “unduly overburdened the mainland boundary control points and health quarantine facilities”.
Previously, those going to Guangdong from Hong Kong would have to be quarantined for 14 days on the mainland, but offering a negative virus test was not needed.
Exemptions to the requirement imposed on Friday applied to those who had the prior approval of the Guangdong authorities for performing essential, official and business duties, as well as cross-border goods vehicle drivers, cross-border students, or those falling under the mutual recognition of compulsory quarantine by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
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More from South China Morning Post:
- Hong Kong third wave: Covid-19 infections soar to record high of 67, more than half from unknown source
- Hong Kong’s Covid-19 third wave ‘most severe’, with 61 new confirmed and provisional infections