In April restrictions imposed by PRC authorities meant that visa applicants had to get a visa in their home country and produce advance hotel reservations and return-flight bookings.
The popular ‘144-hour’ visa for groups of at least three tourists visiting Guangdong from Hong Kong by land will be reintroduced, said Paul Leung Yiu-lam, a deputy chairman of the Association of Travel Agents.
Short-visit visas to Shenzhen had also been suspended; they allowed visitors to stay in mainland China just for a few hours.
The measure, which had ostensibly been introduced for security reasons and to prevent the entry of potential troublemakers, was criticised a lot by foreign business people, if for no other reason than the fact that it was introduced almost without notice.
Hong Kong is home to many multinationals whose officials often must go to China on short notice, almost impossible under the rules in place in the last few months.
Nationals from 33 countries including India, Malaysia and the Philippines were never the less able to obtain visas in Hong Kong if they were residents.
Similarly, during the Olympic Games the authorities granted visa-free access to overseas visitors accredited by the International Olympic Committee for a month before and after the Olympic Games. These visitors included journalists, athletes and support staff.