Restrictions on Hong Kong passenger flights are lifted, while travellers from Mainland China are no longer required to undergo COVID tests upon arrival.
Both the Japanese and South Korean governments have announced the lifting of restrictions imposed on Hong Kong passenger flights, starting from 1 March 2023.
The HKSAR government welcomes the development, and believes that the lifting of the relevant restrictions by the Japanese and Korean authorities can bring more convenience to travellers and help speed up the recovery of Hong Kong's aviation industry.
Meanwhile, both countries have eased the inbound rules for travellers from Mainland China on the same day.
According to Kyodo News, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno has announced the end of blanket COVID-19 testing of visitors from China effective 1 March 2023. All those entering Japan via a direct flight from China are no longer required to undergo COVID tests upon arrival, instead, they will be tested by random selection at Japan's airports.
The Japanese government has also eased the rule of limiting departures and arrivals of direct flights connecting Japan with China to four major airports in Japan, namely Narita, Haneda, Kansai and Chubu. Airlines are allowed to increase the number of direct flights to and from China.
However, those who are entering Japan via a direct flight from China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), and those who have visited the country within seven days, are still required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure.
On the other hand, the Korean government has implemented similar practices by lifting the requirement of post-arrival COVID tests for travellers from China, and resuming the landing of flights from China at other airports besides Incheon International Airport starting from 1 March 2023, as reported by Yonhap News Agency.
Similarly, travellers from China (including Hong Kong or Macao) must take a COVID-19 nucleic test within 48 hours, or a RAT test at clinics or hospitals within 24 hours, before their departure, and upload a negative result to Q-Code before travelling to South Korea. Such requirements are extended to 10 March 2023.
According to another piece of news from Yonhap News Agency, both the Korean government and the Chinese Embassy in Seoul have resumed the issuance of short-term visas for citizens of both countries on 11 February 2023 and 18 February 2023 respectively.
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