The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will restart its high-speed rail link with the Chinese mainland on Sunday after obtaining approval from the central government, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said on Wednesday.
The West Kowloon Station, the city's only high-speed rail station, will initially bring trains to Shenzhen s Futian, Shenzhen North and Guangzhou South Station and Guangzhou North Station.
According to a government statement issued on Wednesday, trains will be calling at Guangmingcheng, Humen, Qingsheng and the newly added Dongguannan and Dongguan stations.
No prior bookings for checkpoint services are required for passengers boarding high-speed trains to depart or enter the city. They are required to produce a negative result from a COVID 19 nucleic acid test conducted within 48 hours.
The checkpoint of West Kowloon Station will be operated from 6.30 am to 11.30 pm every day, the same times as before the closure.
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MTR Corporation has been working with its mainland counterparts on a trial run since Jan 8 to allow its train captains and staff to familiarize themselves with track conditions after the three-year hiatus.
Disciplined Services of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region conducted a drill at the West Kowloon Control Point Wednesday morning to ensure smooth operation at the initial stage of service resumption.
In a post on his social media site, Lee thanked the central government for its support for Hong Kong and the close coordination of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and the China State Railway Group, China Railway Guangzhou Group and MTR Corporation.
Lee said that Hong Kong has slowly returned to normalcy with the resumption of cross-boundary travel progressing on schedule, a move that has given a boost to the city's economy and has had positive effects on various sectors.
Lee said he and his team will continue to work closely with mainland authorities in a bid to fully resume cross-boundary travel as soon as possible and to revive the city's economy.
On January 8, Hong Kong opened four checkpoints connecting with the mainland. In the initial stage 60,000 people are allowed to travel through the seven checkpoints that are in operation daily between Hong Kong and the mainland. They will not be subject to a quarantine. They will only need to provide a negative COVID - 19 test result within 48 hours and make a prior booking through designated websites if they choose to pass through the three land ports.