Hong Kong ends mask mandate after 945 days

MARCH 1: The virus is under control in Hong Kong with no major signs of recovery, the city’s leader John Lee said.

Under the injunction, which began in July 2020 and lasted 945 days, people could be fined up to HK$5,000 (£530; $640).

“With the removal of the mandate, Hong Kong will return to normal,” Lee said on Tuesday.

“In this year and next, we will do our best for the economy and development at full speed.”

Hong Kong has largely followed mainland China’s lead in efforts to combat the virus, including attempts to eliminate it with a “zero-Covid” strategy.

Other Covid restrictions in Hong Kong included strict quarantine rules, limitations on the number of people gathering in public places, as well as visitor restrictions at nursing homes.

Most of these curbs were removed late last year.

Some residents and business owners have said that these strict rules hurt Hong Kong’s economy and international standing. The city’s gross domestic product fell 3.5% last year.

In a bid to lure foreign visitors, Hong Kong in recent weeks announced plans to give away half a million airline tickets starting Wednesday.

The masks are still used in some parts of Asia. In South Korea, for example, they are still required on public transportation, as well as in hospitals and pharmacies.

The Japanese government has said it will ease mask-wearing guidelines on March 13, recommending masks only on trains and buses during rush hour, or where public transport is particularly congested. Masks have never been mandatory in Japan, but most people have been wearing them.

Leave a Reply