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Government continues streamlining of outbound arrangement at Shenzhen Bay Port
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     The Government announced on July 9 that the testing capacity for rapid nucleic acid test at Shenzhen Bay Port had been enhanced to tackle the rising number of outbound travellers there. An online booking arrangement for the special nucleic acid testing service will also be launched soon to facilitate outbound travellers' planning of cross-boundary journeys through the control point. The Government urges travellers to avoid crossing the boundary during peak hours before the online booking arrangement is in place, so as to avoid prolonged waiting at the control point due to the clustering of large number of passengers. 
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     With the increase of the quotas for Shenzhen's quarantine hotels on July 8 and the additional compassionate quotas for application by specific groups, the number of travellers departing to Shenzhen through Shenzhen Bay Control Point has been on the rise. The Government has arranged the testing operator to put additional testing machines and manpower according to the expected number of travellers. The current testing capacity at the control point is sufficient to handle the overall daily number of cross-boundary travellers. However, during peak hours, travellers would need to wait for quite a long period as it takes time for the people flow to be digested. Also, as there is limited waiting space at Shenzhen Bay Control Point, some travellers may have to wait outdoors at the control point.

     To facilitate travellers' planning of their trips and for travellers to depart through Shenzhen Bay Control Point in an orderly manner, the Government is making relevant preparations on launching an online booking system for the departure special nucleic acid test at the control point. The booking system is expected to be rolled out within next week. Under the upcoming booking arrangement, travellers must first obtain a quota at a Shenzhen quarantine hotel and then reserve a timeslot for the special nucleic acid test on the day of departure through the online booking system. Relevant travellers shall arrive at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point for the special nucleic acid test according to the timeslots booked. Travellers without bookings will not be allowed to enter the control point for nucleic acid testing and immigration clearance. The arrangement will help further shorten the processing time of the special nucleic acid test, reduce the long waiting time of travellers at the control point, and refine the crowd management at Shenzhen Bay Control Point.

     Currently, the operating hours of the Shenzhen Bay Control Point for passenger clearance is 9am to 8pm daily. The free special nucleic acid testing service is provided from 8am to 6.30pm. As estimated according to the latest passenger flow at clearance, the time for travellers to undergo the special nucleic acid test during peak hours is around three hours, whereas it generally takes around 2 hours during non-peak hours.

     To avoid overcrowding at the control point, the Government appealed to relevant travellers that they should avoid using the Shenzhen Bay Port during peak hours from 9am to 12noon. The Government will announce regularly the daily peak hours and the expected waiting time at Shenzhen Bay Port for travellers' reference. Before the implementation of the aforementioned booking arrangement, the Government will consider adopting crowd control measures as appropriate if there is overcrowding at the control point.

     The Government will continue to closely monitor the passenger flow at Shenzhen Bay Port and consider adopting corresponding measures in order to minimise the inconvenience to travellers as far as possible, while ensuring that the exportation of cases can continue to be prevented.

     In order to prevent the exportation of local cases and to support the Mainland's anti-epidemic efforts, the Government implemented a special testing arrangement starting from March this year, requiring outbound travellers to undergo an additional free rapid nucleic acid test prior to their departure to the Mainland via land boundary control points. Only those who received a negative result can continue with their journeys.
 
Ends/Sunday, July 10, 2022
Issued at HKT 1:02
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