Hong Kong’s leader said on Tuesday that the city would lift its mask mandate, one of the last such policies in the world, as it winds down its once-stringent Covid control measures.
“Evidence shows that the coronavirus is under control in Hong Kong, without major signs of rebound,” the city’s chief executive, John Lee, said at a news briefing.
Starting Wednesday, people will no longer be required to wear masks indoors, outdoors or on public transportation, though facilities like hospitals and nursing homes can still require employees and visitors to wear them, Mr. Lee said. Previously, those who failed to wear masks in public were fined about $635.
Hong Kong’s strict Covid policies, which until last year included limits on group gatherings, flight bans and long hotel quarantines, had been increasingly criticized by business leaders and others, who said the controls were damaging the city’s attractiveness as a finance center and tourist destination. Macau, the nearby gambling hub, which like Hong Kong is a Chinese territory, ended its outdoor mask mandate on Monday.
“With the removal of the mask mandate, Hong Kong will return to normalcy all around, and in this year and the coming year will go all out for the economy and development at full speed,” Mr. Lee said.
This is a developing story.