Shataukok residents yesterday urged the government to end their long-time isolation. The call came after the chief executive said in Wednesday's policy address that the size of the closed border area would be significantly reduced. A proposal on ways to reduce the restricted area will be ready by spring. Part of the Shataukok border town, including its pier and market, would be open to visitors at weekends, but they would still have to apply for special permits and arrive in tour groups. Visitor numbers to the area will also be capped. North District Council member Wan Wo-fai, of Shataukok and Ta Kwu Ling constituency, said he had been inundated with calls. Residents have been demanding the opening up of the closed border zone for years to end inconvenience, improve the economy and employment locally. Mr Wan, who has been campaigning to develop its tourism potential which he says could generate up to 1,000 jobs, said previous talks with the Security Bureau suggested that Shataukok had little chance of being totally opened up. The Security Bureau said yesterday that Chung Ying Street, which straddles the border, was managed in an open manner. It felt opening up the whole town would severely affect its management. However, it still believed the closed area could be reduced as security there had been improved following better co-operation between mainland and Hong Kong police. Mr Wan, who warned that residents could take action if Shataukok was not fully opened up, plans to meet the bureau.