More boundary points to close

February 3, 2020

(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today announced the closure of more boundary control points to protect Hong Kong from the spread of the novel coronavirus.


Mrs Lam told a press conference this afternoon that the boundary control points at Lo Wu, Lok Ma Chau, Lok Ma Chau Spur Line and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal would be closed from midnight, while only those at Hong Kong International Airport, Shenzhen Bay and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge would remain open.


When asked why all the boundary control points were not being shut, the Chief Executive pointed out that the situation between Hong Kong and the Mainland was unique.


“Over the years we have established a very close relationship - I do not mean the government-to-government relationship - but it is the relationship between the two people, the two economies, the two communities. So there is a huge legitimate demand for that sort of cross-boundary travel.”


Mrs Lam cited examples of legitimate and genuine cross-boundary traffic including Hong Kong workers who commute to the Mainland, mothers without the right of abode in Hong Kong travelling to the city to take care of their children, as well as the supply of food and other necessities.


“Our strategy is really to consolidate as much as possible the existing control points. Now it is really down to, excluding the airport, only two - one is Shenzhen Bay, the other is the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge - and the additional benefit of doing that is we are channelling all cross-boundary traffic into these two cross-boundary control points. And because of the inconvenience that we have caused to people as a result, the numbers will come down.”


Mrs Lam noted the added benefit was government staff could be sent to the remaining open boundary control points.


“We can release a rough estimate of about 1,000 civil servants from the other control points to be suspended from operation into these two remaining open control points. So they can do a much better medical surveillance, enquiries, temperature check in order to fulfil that same purpose of infection control. So this is really a balance that one has to strike, given Hong Kong’s very unique situation.”

The Transport Department will implement special arrangements for cross-boundary transport services in view of the further closures of boundary control points.


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