After nearly 945 days, Hong Kong has lifted the mandatory mask mandate, which was the longest in the world. The decision comes as Hong Kong’s leader, John Lee, stated that the virus is now under control in the city and there are no major signs of it spreading again. The mandate was implemented in July 2020, and failure to comply with the mandate could result in a fine of up to Rs 52,000.
Hong Kong has been following China’s Zero Covid strategy to combat the pandemic. However, the stringent restrictions have caused significant damage to the city’s businesses. With the elimination of the mask mandate, Lee hopes that the situation will return to normal and that Hong Kong can focus on economic growth and development.
Meanwhile, in South Korea, wearing masks is still mandatory when using public transport and visiting hospitals. Japan, which has never had a mandatory mask mandate, has announced that it will recommend wearing masks on trains and buses during rush hour from March 13. Despite this, most people in Japan have been wearing masks throughout the pandemic.
Overall, Hong Kong’s decision to end the longest mask mandate in the world marks a significant step forward in the city’s battle against the pandemic.