China to Fully Reopen Borders with Hong Kong and Macau

    China to Fully Reopen Borders with Hong Kong and Macau
    Last updated Feb 03, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]


    • On this coming Monday, travel will fully resume between China and its special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Reopening travel is expected to revive and reinvigorate these regions' suffering economies following an extended COVID lockdown.[1]
    • Three border checkpoints will reopen and travelers will not need to provide proof of a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.[2]
    • In January, Beijing announced a partial reopening between China and Hong Kong after abruptly abandoning its long-standing "zero-COVID" policy. Following the limited reopening, Hong Kong leader John Lee said that the process was "orderly, safe and smooth."[3]
    • With all COVID restrictions removed, analysts believe the region could see upwards of a three to four percent increase in economic growth. The reopening is expected to aid Hong Kong in returning to its prior status as an international business hotspot.[1]
    • Lee announced the launch of a rebranding effort by committing to giving away at least 500K flights at no cost to travelers and promising "no isolation, no quarantine and no restrictions."[4]


    Narrative A

    Hong Kong has been preparing for a full reopening ever since its first partial reopening proved successful. The region is ready to open without restrictions for travelers. Yes, there will be a risk — but it's a manageable risk. As long as officials continue to review the data and make necessary improvements, Hong Kong will be a safe and enjoyable location for world travelers.

    Narrative B

    Beijing is anxious to reopen and re-establish itself as a global leader but it's too soon. The abrupt abandonment of the three-year-long zero-COVID strategy is alarming. Infections are raging across the country, resources are lacking for residents, and travel fares are outrageous. While the international community is overjoyed to see China reopening, even they share some skepticism over safety and the extent of the outbreak taking place. There are significant challenges that need to be resolved before China blows the doors open to foreigners so quickly.

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