Hong Kong to end mask mandate from March 1

Over the past few weeks, Hong Kong has been gaining momentum on the road to recovery. Now, in a long-awaited move, the city is waiving the mandatory wearing of masks from Wednesday, March 1st. Since then, other Hong Kong COVID regulations have been lifted, including mandatory isolation for positive cases and mandatory testing.

Hong Kong COVID guidance: SAR government lifts mask mandate

CEO John Lee announced today that the government is finally phasing out the mask mandate after almost three years. So far, it has been the city’s only curb with zero COVID days. Masks will no longer be mandatory on the street, indoors or on public transport. The move hopes to attract tourists and slowly lift the economy under strict regulations.

“We think this is the best time to make this decision. This is a clear signal that Hong Kong is returning to normal,” Li said.

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Neighboring Macau has also waived mandatory outdoor wear since Feb. 27. Masks are required only on public transport or when visiting medical facilities.

The government is getting rid of other testing requirements

The lifting of isolation requirements comes after the city’s decision to downgrade COVID-19 to an endemic disease. Mayor John Lee said in an address to lawmakers that they would lift the lockdown order effective January 30, after the Lunar New Year.

In addition, the nucleic acid testing requirement for public hospitals and nursing homes is being replaced by rapid antigen tests (RATs) effective March 1. Those visiting public hospitals and nursing homes only have to show a negative test result within 24 hours to enter.

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Free nucleic acid testing services at public testing centers will also cease. Only 21 community testing centers and stations will remain for self-supporting nucleic acid testing services. It will be open from 10:00 to 20:00.

(All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

This story first appeared Here

Related: COVID-19 update: Indian travelers flying to Thailand will no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination

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