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Hong Kong, one of many final locations on this 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 are able to all put a smile on our faces.”

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

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

Hong Kong’s economic system was crippled after town was pressured to comply with 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 foundations undermined town’s standing as a monetary hub.

Lee mentioned town would now try and rebuild. “We’ll deal with our economic system and town’s growth this 12 months and the subsequent after resuming normalcy,” he mentioned on Tuesday.

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