Hong Kong is all set to return to normalcy with the authorities deciding to stop mandatory rules on wearing masks in public places from March 1. Speaking to reporters on February 28, Chief Executive of Hong Kong John Lee said that masks will no longer be required outdoors, indoors, or on public transport. With the economy being affected due to the Covid pandemic, the authorities will first look to work on improving Hong Kong’s economic condition and its development, a Bloomberg report said. The latest decision has been taken with the aim of attracting tourists from all across the world.
Favourable decision for businesses
According to Allan Zeman, chairman of Lan Kwai Fong Holdings Limited, the government’s latest step is a game changer for business since a lot of people were earlier not coming to Hong Kong due to the mandatory rule on wearing masks, which showed that it was still stuck in Covid days.
Also read: Rarest of rare childbirth! US-woman delivers ‘MoMo twins’ – Here’s all you need to know about this extraordinary 1% occurrence
People of Hong Kong were first asked to wear masks from July 29, 2020, after the Covid cases started increasing. The authorities had also imposed a fine of HK$10,000 ($1,275). The police were regularly handing over fines to those found guilty of breaking rules. Hong Kong is one of the last places which has continued to impose mandatory mask-wearing. There was a time when people were asked to wear masks even while performing their exercises.
Also read: Russia-Ukraine war: As the conflict enters second year, Ukraine commemorates ‘a year of successful resistance’ – Timeline and latest updates here
Boost to tourism
Authorities also face difficulties in encouraging travellers to visit Hong Kong on tourist and other visas. In line with its Hello Hong Kong campaign, the city is giving away more than half a million airline tickets from Wednesday. Earlier, Hong Kong’s economy dipped by 3.5% in 2022. The region has seen the economy dip for the third time in nearly four years.