Hong Kong, one of the last cities to still have a mask regulation ever since Covid began, finally lifted the rule.
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The city which is a popular destination for tourists had been under a mask mandate for 945 days, from July 2020 to February 2023. Starting from March 1st, the citizens and visitors can go mask free.
While wearing a mask indoors and outdoors will not be compulsory, it would still be a necessity in places with people that are vulnerable such as institutions like nursing homes and hospitals. Those with chronic illnesses or respiratory complaints should follow the recommendations of the Center for Health Protection when it comes to wearing masks in places with poor ventilation.
The health minister Lo Chung-mau hoped the repeal of the mask requirement, marked Hong Kong’s return to normalcy. He stated that the lift of the mask mandate means an official end to all social-distancing measures and hopes that tomorrow, March 1, will be a better day. He also looks forward to all of them displaying their smiles and saying ‘Hello Hong Kong’, alluding to the government’s most recent international marketing campaign to draw tourists to the city.
China’s zero Covid policy
As the name suggests, according to this uncompromising policy, Covid rules and regulations are supposed to be followed until they are no new virus infections. In order to achieve this, lockdowns, mass testing, social isolation, and contact tracings were carried out.
Hong Kong, an administrative region of China has been following this policy for the most part for the past few years. The policy had managed to create quite the havoc among the citizens as they were getting tired and weary from following the stringent measures and undergoing an emotional disruption as they continued to live away from their loved ones.
Initiatives and strategies ahead
Hong Kong under stringent Covid measures for 3 years will have to take carefully analyzed measures to make up for all the loses it incurred in this period.
The government is trying to revive the financial centre by luring tourists and foreign workers. The largest collection of international events, including a music festival, Art Basel, and the Rugby Sevens competition, will take place in Hong Kong the next month. The city was mostly shut down by often violent demonstrations in 2019. By early this year, Hong Kong has lifted the majority of its previous pandemic restrictions.
A few weeks ago in February, “Hello Hong Kong” a campaign was set in motion to promote and attract people from all over the world. It was announced that they will distribute 500,000 free air tickets and will sponsor trips to prominent personalities.
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