China-to Hong Kong travellers will not need quarantine.

HONG KONG — Hong Kong’s top officials said Tuesday that travelers arriving from China won’t need quarantine. This follows the lifting of restrictions imposed by the government following the outbreaks.

Starting Wednesday, people who haven’t been to medium- or high-risk areas on the mainland or Macao can enter the city, capped at 2,000 travelers a day, chief executive Carrie Lam said in a news conference. Travelers will still need a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival and must take several tests while in Hong Kong to ensure they’re not infected.

Hong Kong halted quarantine-free travel in early August and imposed a mandatory quarantine period of seven or 14 days, depending on the traveler’s vaccination status. In Hong Kong, authorities have imposed strict border restrictions on the island and banned flights from high-risk nations in hopes that it would not be affected by any local incidents.

Currently, mainland China has strict border restrictions that allow only Chinese nationals or those with valid residence permits and visas to enter the country, and all travelers are required to quarantine at least 14 days. Most Hong Kongers are unable to enter China freely since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Restrictions will ease further next Wednesday, when mainland residents will be able to enter the city without quarantine via the Shenzhen Bay port and the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge, capped at 1,000 visitors each, Lam said. They will need to be negative tested before they can travel.

The changes, part of a “Come2HK” plan announced Tuesday, are expected to boost the city’s tourism industry, which took a beating during months of political strife in 2019 and pandemic-related border restrictions. Tourist numbers fell by as much as 99% in 2020 compared to pre-pandemic levels.

This story corrects that the “Come2HK” plan was announced Tuesday.

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