A staff member conducts maintenance work in the Futian Port in Shenzhen on Jan 6, 2023. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG – Starting Jan 8, people entering the Chinese mainland from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must present the negative result of their COVID-19 nucleic acid test done within 48 hours prior to entry, and declare the test result in their customs health declaration card.

According to a government statement, the test must be done within 48 hours before the flight departure or arrival time and the negative report must be issued by an HKSAR government-recognized local COVID-19 testing center. Travelers with a valid test result report may use the same report to cross the boundary more than once.

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Travelers can choose the standard paid service (capped at HK$150 or $19.20) or express self-paid service (capped at HK$240) at community testing centers for nucleic acid testing done via collection of throat swab samples starting Jan 7.

The time slots for COVID testing will be extended from the next two weeks to four for online booking.

Starting Friday, travelers may present to checkpoint staff the record or report of their "self-paid nucleic acid tests” in electronic or paper form. Free community test results shown in SMS will not be accepted for cross-boundary and outbound travel.
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The government estimated that its 80 community testing centers or stations across the city will be able to handle more than 100,000 self-paid tests daily at the initial stage of the cross-boundary reopening.