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CE: Quarantine-free travel with mainland focus of Shenzhen meeting

By Chen Shuman | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-11-23 14:20

People line up at the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint on Nov 24 to enter the Chinese mainland. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The second meeting on the resumption of quarantine-free travel with the Chinese mainland will be held in Shenzhen on Thursday, said Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday.

Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu will attend the meeting on behalf of the SAR government, Lam added.

On Saturday, a delegation of experts organized by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and the National Health Commission arrived in Hong Kong for a four-day visit to learn about local anti-pandemic efforts and measures.

Speaking to media ahead of the weekly executive meeting, Lam said that the mainland experts' visit is crucial to an early and orderly resumption of quarantine-free cross-border travel.

She noted that the delegation has examined in detail the anti-pandemic measures in major facilities related to anti-pandemic work, including checkpoints, healthcare facilities, quarantine centers and contact tracing offices.

Lam added that a circuit-breaker mechanism will "surely" exist if quarantine-free travel resumes as there would still be possible community outbreaks resulting from imported COVID-19 cases.

Lam called on people to get vaccinated, in a bid to accelerate the process of an early quarantine-free border reopening with the Chinese mainland as well as overseas nations. Hong Kong's first-shot vaccination rate is yet to reach 70 percent, she said.

Also Lam will embark for Wuhan city of Hubei province this Sunday to attend a high-level meeting with provincial leaders of Hubei to discuss a cooperative mechanism.

Starting Dec 3, a delegation of about 30 national Olympian medalists will visit Hong Kong for three days, including the renowned table tennis player Ma Long and the sprint star Su Bingtian, the first Chinese runner to make it to the Olympic 100-meter final.

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