Hong Kong finally dropped its COVID-19 mask mandate on Wednesday, March 1, after more than three years of some of the most stringent health measures in the world. Even high-risk environments like hospitals now have the option to choose whether to impose the mandate on staff and visitors.
Nearby, the region of Macau confirmed on February 26 it would drop its mandate as well, except on public transportation and in hospitals.
The requirement for secondary school students throughout Hong Kong to take immediate antigen tests every day has also fallen away, and nurseries and primary schools will enjoy the same freedom from March 15.
According to local media reports, the number of tourists who visited Hong Kong in January was still down by 93%, compared with pre-pandemic levels. There were around 498 000 visitors who visited the country, a far cry from the 6,8 million in January 2019.
However, these figures were still three times higher than December of 2022, suggesting the tide has turned in Hong Kong’s recovery overall.