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Government lifts all mandatory mask-wearing requirements
     Having assessed the latest epidemic development, the Government announced today (February 28) that all mandatory mask-wearing requirements will be lifted with effect from tomorrow (March 1), thereby enabling the society to resume normalcy in full.

     Hong Kong has already built up a strong immunity barrier, coupled with the enhancement of prevention and treatment capacities of the healthcare system and the handling capacity of society as a whole. The risk posed by COVID-19 to local public health has apparently altered. Having gone through three years of COVID-19 epidemic, various monitoring indicators in epidemic activities are recently on a steady downward trend and the winter influenza season is also coming to an end. In addition, the community is in strong aspiration to resume full normalcy as early as possible. In the light of the aforementioned factors, the Government has decided to lift all mask-wearing requirements with effect from tomorrow.
     Starting from tomorrow, citizens will no longer be required to wear masks mandatorily onboard a public transport carrier, or within an MTR paid area, or in a specified public place (including both indoor and outdoor areas), as well as in premises regulated under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F).
     Mask-wearing is still an effective way to reduce the risk of virus transmission while protecting the wearer and others. In order to continue to protect the high-risk groups, citizens entering certain venues such as medical facilities or residential care homes for the elderly or residential care homes for persons with disabilities still need to follow the administrative mask-wearing requirement. The Government appealed to the public to wear a mask when having respiratory symptoms. Persons with weakened immunity or chronic disease(s) should also wear a mask when they are present in a poorly ventilated place.
     A Government spokesman said, "The Government will keep on monitoring closely the epidemic development and the overall operation of the public healthcare system, with a view to safeguarding public health."
     The Government will publish in the Gazette the notice to suspend the relevant specification and directions issued under Cap. 599F and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I) to implement the aforementioned relaxation measure. 
Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Issued at HKT 21:03
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