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Hong Kong to drop Covid-19 mask mandate in a bid to restore tourism

Hong Kong to drop Covid-19 mask mandate in a bid to restore tourism

Hong Kong reportedly moves to end its Covid-19 mask regulation, Chief Executive John Lee announced on Tuesday, to encourage visitors and reinstate normalcy in the financial capital over three years after tough rules were originally enforced.

Lee announced that the move will take place on Wednesday.

For the unversed, Hong Kong's special administrative zone is one of the few places in the world where masks are still required.

Throughout the past three years, Hong Kong and Macau both adhered to China's zero-Covid policy.

Although Hong Kong began to relax its strict Covid-19 regulations last year, mask usage had been steady since 2020.

Lee noted that administrators in high-risk environments, including hospitals, can decide whether to mandate employees and patrons to wear masks.

On Sunday, neighboring Macau announced that it will no longer require masks in most places, except for hospitals, public transportation, and a limited percentage of other facilities.

Residents of mainland China are not forced to wear masks outside, but the government does recommend them to wear them in public indoor spaces, including train stations and airports.

Hong Kong's decision to ban masks comes after the city's administration in February began a marketing initiative called ‘Hello Hong Kong’ in an effort to draw travelers and companies that had avoided the former British colony since 2020 return.

The city has strictly enforced its mask policy, even in schools where kids as young as two years old were mandated to put on masks outside their homes.

It has also been reported that many teachers and students have expressed concerns regarding the influence on their development and learning.

Pupils are still required to do daily antigen quick tests in order to screen for Covid-19, despite the fact that the authorities indicated last week that this would be phased out for students in secondary schools beginning Wednesday. Primary school and daycare students will still need to take the test until at least March 15.

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Pursuing her professional career as a content writer for over two years now, Pooja Sharma is endowed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature. The articles that she writes are a balanced blend of her ever-growing love of language and the technical expertise that she has gained over the years. Currently Pooja pens insightful articles for Newsorigins and numerous other websites, covering subjects such as business, finance, and technology.