Hong Kong might scrap its mask mandate as soon as Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.
Indoor and outdoor mask requirements may be removed simultaneously, though face coverings will still need to be worn at high-risk places, including hospitals, according to sources.
Secretary for Health Lo Chung-mau said in a Commercial Radio program on Saturday that authorities are examining data and plan to relax the mask mandate at a suitable time.
Hong Kong last week extended mask regulations by two weeks to March 8, even as it kicked off its pricey “Hello Hong Kong” campaign aimed at luring back visitors.
The mask measures began almost three years ago as the city fought to keep the virus at bay, and have remained in place even as most of the world drops pandemic-era restrictions.
They’re Hong Kong’s last pandemic restrictions, after the city eased most virus curbs and reopened to the world in December following China’s pivot away from Covid
Neighboring casino hub Macau eased its own outdoor mask policy starting Monday, saying its Covid
situation was stable.
Hong Kong leader John Lee has repeatedly said he hopes to remove the rule after the winter surge ends, but hasn’t given further specifics.