Hong Kong ends mask mandate from March 1February 28 2023 by Andrew Tjaardstra
The Hong Kong government has decided to relax the mask mandate from March 1, according to a statement at a press conference hosted by John Lee, the Special Administrative Region’s chief executive.
The decision applies both indoors and outdoors, but excludes some settings such as hospitals and nursing homes.
Lee said on the morning of February 28: “From tomorrow we are completely returning to normalcy. This year and the next year, we will focus on the economy and development.”
Hong Kong is predicting between 3.5-5.5% of GDP growth in 2023, according to the budget announced by financial secretary Paul Chan last week. In 2022 the economy contracted 3.5%, compared with growth of 6.3% in 2021.
Hong Kong is set to host a number of major events over the next few weeks including music festival Clockenflap this weekend, Art Basel and the Hong Kong Sevens at the end of March. March will be the busiest month for events in the city since 2019 when protests disrupted much activity.
The news came one day after Macau dropped its mask mandate. Hong Kong’s mask mandate has been in force for 945 days.
Hong Kong is currently spending 10s of millions of dollars on a promotional drive called ‘Hello Hong Kong’ to attract tourists back and to entice businesses to return after Covid. This has included a giveaway of 500,000 airline tickets for people to travel to the SAR.
Hong Kong’s P&C market is already seeing some signs of progress after the border reopened with mainland China and Macau in early January.
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