Carrie Lam says Hong Kong pushing Beijing to drop border restrictions

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam says she is pushing for renewed talks with Beijing over a timeline for reopening the border for Hong Kong residents to travel to mainland China quarantine-free.

Lam was questioned by parliament over the current state of affairs on Wednesday after revealing a day earlier that Hong Kong would allow quarantine-free entry for up to 2,000 arrivals from mainland China and Macau each day starting next week.

At present, the arrangement is not reciprocated with entry into mainland China requiring 14 days in quarantine.

However, as reported by the South China Morning Post, Lam told lawmakers on Wednesday that she is pushing to see all borders between Hong Kong and mainland China reopen. It is expected that such easing of border restrictions would also pave the way for Macau to drop its own quarantine requirements for Hong Kong arrivals.

I cannot speak for the central government on what areas Hong Kong needs to strengthen so we can achieve a gradual and orderly border reopening, Lam said. But I have proposed to the central government that we need exchanges between the experts, so that this gradual and orderly reopening can take place.

Lam also pointed to Hong Kongs strong position in relation to COVID-19.

Now the epidemic is well under control, she said.

We have achieved zero local cases for more than 21 days in a row. We also have very strict measures to guard the city against imported cases. The measures are so strict that some business chambers have opposed them.