Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has announced that the general requirement for face masks indoors and outdoors will be lifted on Wednesday, March 1st.

The use of a face mask will still be mandatory at some premises with administrative functions, such as care homes for the elderly and hospitals.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee said that the move was based on the local coronavirus situation and the reduction in the cases of influenza and other respiratory viruses.

In Hong Kong, the mask mandate was rigidly implemented for over two-and-a-half years after the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

Macau announced the lifting of mask measures last weekend, with the measure being lifted on Monday. Macau casino operators were quick to follow the authorities in lifting their mask requirements for both patrons and employees.

Macau’s outdoor-mask protocol was not obligatory, but it was observed by most of the city’s population, and by visitors. Mandatory mask use was only in place for an aggregate of under one month, spanning part of July and part of August of last year.

The measure was implemented amid a local surge in COVID infections at a time when a ‘zero COVID’ policy was in place. During that period, Macau casinos were also required to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus.