Travelers from Macau and mainland China can visit Hong Kong without being subjected to a strict mandatory COVID-19 isolation starting next Wednesday, Bloomberg and other news reported.
The easing of policies is a major first step toward the bustling city's border reopening with the mainland and reviving the influx of local and foreign tourists that has long been vital to the economy.
Hong Kong authorities announced the government will allow a total of 2,000 entries a day.
Carrie Lam, the city's chief executive, said during Tuesday's weekly press conference that Hong Kong will launch the "Come2hk" program next Wednesday.
Visitors will still be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before entering the city and must undergo other tests while in Hong Kong to make sure they are free from the virus.
Lam said authorities will allow entry to up to 1,000 travelers daily at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Port and Shenzhen Bay Port, respectively.
The latest scheme would mark a significant opening of the financial district's pandemic era travel directives -- some of the most rigid in the world with compulsory hotel isolations lasting as long as 21 days.
Hong Kong lifted quarantine-free travel early last month and enforced a must-comply quarantine period of one week of 14 days, depending on the visitor's vaccination status.
According to Lam, Hong Kong has safely passed the virus incubation period. "We have attained zero infections," she told journalists, adding the resumption of quarantine-free movement from China to the city is "what the general public and the business sector hoped for."
The loosened travel requirements could provide an added vigor to Hong Kong's income, since arrivals from the mainland have long accounted for a large portion of travelers to the metropolis.
Currently, China has strict border protocols that allow only Chinese citizens or those with government-approved residence certifications and visas to enter the country, with all visitors mandated to quarantine for two weeks. Hong Kong residents have not been able to enter the mainland since the pandemic broke out.
On Tuesday, Lam hailed the Hong Kong government's "strict measures" as being effective in keeping at bay imported cases of the virus.
Between August 1 and September 5, Hong Kong has registered 138 confirmed COVID-19 infections among the 34,300 visitors entering the city from high-risk nations, Lam said.