Hong Kong’s mandatory mask wearing could end by March or April, as the city’s finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po said the government is working to lift the unpopular Covid rule “at the end of the season.”
His comments came when attending a phone-in radio program for callers to ask questions about his latest budget blueprint, but rather than the budget itself, callers were more concerned about the city’s “never-ending” mask mandate.
Many callers have raised concerns that the mask mandate impeded Hong Kong’s development and lowered its attractiveness for businesses and travelers.
In response, Chan said relevant government departments have indicated that the mask rule would stay for now, but the government is monitoring the situation closely and aimed to end the rule “probably towards the end of this season.”
“My colleagues in the Health Bureau have been given [a] very clear message as to the community aspiration to take off masks as quickly as possible. This is high on their agenda,” the finance chief added.
Hong Kong recently extended the mandate for another two weeks till March 8, while the city is one of the few cities in the world where wearing a mask outdoors is compulsory, three years into the Covid
pandemic. In mainland China, masks are only needed indoors.