As Hong Kong picks up the pace on the road to recovery, the SAR government is outlining a framework for easing the COVID guidelines and doing away with its mask mandate.
In short, very soon, you will not require to wear a mask at the outdoor mega-events, restaurants, stores, gyms and movie theatres. The new developments can come as early as March. This will be an essential step towards normalcy.
Hong Kong COVID guidelines: SAR government to lift the mask mandate
The mask mandate will be the last COVID rule the government hopes to lift between March and April. Currently, the mask mandate remains the only curb from the city’s COVID-zero days. The government is also looking at scrapping quarantine requirements for positive individuals.
The decision to remove restrictions came following China’s decision to relax guidelines. China announced the downgrading of Covid-19 to a Class B infectious disease. Under Class B, isolation for patients is no longer necessary.
The government is scrapping isolation requirements for COVID positive patients
The scrapping of isolation requirements comes following the city’s decision to downgrade COVID’s status to an endemic disease. The city’s leader John Lee said in an address to lawmakers that they would lift the isolation order from January 30, following the Lunar New Year. In addition, all quarantine facilities designated COVID clinics, and the Hospital Authority’s teleconsultation would suspend their operations. Lee also reassured the city residents that the move would significantly improve and revive the city’s battered economy.
Lee mentioned that Hong Kong had a “very sound barrier of immunity”, and the city could treat COVID like any other upper respiratory disease. More than 93% of Hong Kong’s population has already received two doses of the COVID vaccine, and 84 per cent of residents have taken a booster shot. Moreover, in just three weeks, the daily tally of infected cases dropped to fewer than 4,000 infections from a peak of almost 20,000 infections. That is quite a breakthrough.
Hero and feature image credits: Laurentiu Morariu on Unsplash and Wonderlane on Unsplash
This article first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong
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