Business travellers get priority when border reopens

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said some people who need to make business trips to the mainland would be given priority when the border reopens.

Lam stressed their activities have to be in the interest of Hong Kong’s economic development.

The chief executive said although it’s not yet known what the daily quota for quarantine-free travel would be, officials will start contacting chambers, professional bodies and listed companies to come up with a list of people belonging to the priority group.

“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,” she said.

Lam said the remaining quota would be allocated to people who have urgent needs to go to the mainland other than business reasons, but they would have to apply with the government first before being allowed to travel quarantine-free.

She reiterated that Hong Kong must stay vigilant against imported Covid-19 cases, so the plan to reopen the border won’t be affected.

The CE added that the government would not rule out introducing the so-called vaccine passports, which would see only vaccinated people be allowed to visit certain venues.

“If we reach a stage that vaccine take-up needs to be drastically raised to protect the people of Hong Kong especially the elderly, as well as the progress made in relation to the opening of the border that we’ve been working on for so long, the government will have to consider it. But we haven’t gone to that stage yet,” she said.