HongKong

Hong Kong to finally end mask requirement on March 1, 2023

Hong Kong to finally end mask requirement on March 1, 2023


In a long-awaited move, Hong Kong finally lifted its mandatory wearing of face masks from Wednesday, March 1. Other COVID guidelines in Hong Kong have since been lifted, including mandatory quarantine and mandatory testing for positive cases.

Hong Kong COVID guidelines: HKSAR government lifts mask-wearing requirement

Chief executive John Lee announced today that the government has finally lifted the mask requirement after nearly three years. So far, it remains the only restriction on the city’s COVID zero day. Wearing a face mask will no longer be mandatory when outdoors, indoors or on public transport. The move hopes to lure tourists back and slowly boost the economy under strict rules.

“We think this is the perfect time to make this decision. It’s a clear message that Hong Kong is getting back to normal,” Lee said.

Neighboring Macau also lifted its requirement to wear masks in outdoor areas from Feb. 27. Masks are only required when taking public transport or going to healthcare facilities.

Government lifts other testing requirements

The lifting of the quarantine requirement follows the city’s decision to downgrade the status of COVID-19 to endemic. Speaking to lawmakers, Lee said they would lift the quarantine order starting Jan. 30, after the Lunar New Year.

In addition, from March 1, the nucleic acid testing requirements in public hospitals and nursing homes will be replaced by rapid antigen testing (RAT). Visitors to public hospitals and nursing homes can enter the country only by presenting a negative test result within 24 hours.

The free nucleic acid testing services of community testing centers will also end. Only 21 community testing centers and sites are reserved for self-paid nucleic acid testing services. Opening hours are 10am to 8pm.

(Featured and hero image credit: Catgirlmutant/Unsplash)



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