Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, Jul 22, 2024

Exclusive: Hong Kong ‘to end mask mandate by Wednesday at earliest’

Exclusive: Hong Kong ‘to end mask mandate by Wednesday at earliest’

But mask-wearing will still be enforced in certain premises, such as healthcare facilities, sources say.

Hong Kong is expected to lift its controversial mask mandate as early as Wednesday, the Post has learned, in a much-sought after end to the last of the major Covid-19 restrictions imposed nearly three years ago.

Sources on Monday said the requirement for the facial coverings both indoors and outside would be scrapped at the same time. The announcement was likely to be made on Tuesday, they said, with one source expecting the move to take effect the following day.

Hong Kong’s mask mandate came into effect in July 2020 and had been renewed every two weeks, with the latest administrative period set to end on March 8.

Neighbouring Macau on Monday lifted its outdoor mask requirement, although many residents and tourists said they would still continue to wear them.

But even after Hong Kong followed suit, mask-wearing would still be enforced in certain premises, such as healthcare facilities, the insiders said. The public would also be recommended to put on masks in public transportation, they said.

Currently, only people visiting country parks or doing strenuous physical activity are exempt from wearing the coverings outdoors.

Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng visited Hong Kong on Saturday and met city leader John Lee Ka-chiu. While the government said the two leaders focused their talks on deepening cooperation and exchanges in the context of the Greater Bay Area, no mention was made about lifting remaining pandemic restrictions.

A shopper browsing masks at a store in Mong Kok.


Lee was scheduled to visit Macau on Thursday, with Beijing’s bay area vision integrating 11 southern Chinese cities again expected to be among the priorities of the discussions.

When pressed at a Post forum on Monday about lifting the mask mandate, finance chief Paul Chan Mo-po declined to give details, only offering assurances the move would come “soon”.

Over the past several months, Hong Kong has gradually eased what was once among the most aggressive pandemic control regimes in the world. From Wednesday, visitors to public hospitals only need to present a negative rapid antigen test conducted within 24 hours before their arrival.

Medical experts have long urged authorities to drop the mask policy, noting the population had already acquired a high level of hybrid immunity.

“Mask-wearing cannot fully prevent a Covid outbreak, as we can see from the fifth pandemic wave last year,” Dr Siddharth Sridhar, a clinical assistant professor in microbiology at the University of Hong Kong on Monday said.

“As to preventing influenza, we have never relied on a mask mandate either.”

Under Cap 599I Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation, the government legislation that covers the mandate, residents have been subject to on-the-spot fines of HK$5,000 (US$637) for flouting the rules. Authorities raked in HK$750 million for breaches of Covid-19 rules in the 2022-23 financial year, according to the city’s budget blueprint released earlier this month.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×