Live news: Hong Kong to end its long-lasting Covid face mask mandate

Hong Kong, one of many final locations on the planet to impose tight Covid-19 restrictions on face coverings, will drop its masks mandate after greater than two and a half years.

John Lee, the Chinese language territory’s chief and former high cop, mentioned necessities to put on a masks indoors, open air and on public transport can be scrapped from Wednesday. The masks mandate has been in place since July 2020.

“With the lifting of the masks mandate, we now have now formally eliminated all anti-epidemic restrictions. Hong Kong has absolutely returned to normalcy,” mentioned well being minister Lo Chung-mau. “We will all put a smile on our faces.”

Japan didn’t have a masks mandate however eased pointers on masks sporting earlier in February.

Macau, one other Chinese language territory adjoining to Hong Kong, dropped its out of doors and indoor masks mandate on Monday, whereas Taiwan halted its indoor masks mandate in February, having earlier lifted an outside requirement on face coverings.

Hong Kong’s economic system was crippled after town was pressured to observe China in imposing tight pandemic restrictions together with at factors a weeks lengthy quarantine and a ban on vacationers.

Together with a troublesome safety crackdown which adopted 2019’s pro-democracy protests, the principles undermined town’s standing as a monetary hub.

Lee mentioned town would now try to rebuild. “We’ll give attention to our economic system and town’s improvement this yr and the following after resuming normalcy,” he mentioned on Tuesday.

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