Hong Kong To Scrap Covid Mask Mandate After Offering Free Flight Tickets To Boost Business

Hong Kong will drop its Covid mask mandate from March 1 after three years in a move to lure visitors and boost business, Chief executive John Lee said as reported by news agency Reuters. The stringent rules were imposed three years ago in the financial hub to control the Covid pandemic. This comes after Hong Kong offered 5,00,000 free air tickets to revive tourism.

Lee said that the mask mandate would be lifted from March 1 in Hong Kong — one of the last places in the world that was still imposing the policy. However, in high risk places such as hospitals, administrators can decide whether to require staff and visitors to wear masks, he added.

“We think this is the best timing to make this decision. It is a clear message to show Hong Kong is resuming normalcy,” Lee said, as quoted by the news agency.

Hong Kong and Macau were following China’s zero-Covid policy for the last three years and started easing from last year.

On Feb 26, neighbouring special administrative region Macau said it would drop Covid mask requirements for most locations, except for public transportation, hospitals and a handful of other areas.

In mainland China residents are not required to wear masks outdoors, although authorities encourage them to do so in public indoor areas such as airports and train stations, Reuters said.

The move to scrap the mask mandate in Hong Kong comes after its government this month launched a promotional campaign called “Hello Hong Kong” to bring back tourists and businesses which have taken a hit since 2020.

Hong Kong Offers 5 Lakh Free Flight Tickets To Revive Tourism

After a three-year-long hiatus, Hong Kong is all set to welcome tourists. With the global promotional campaign “Hello Hong Kong”, Hong Kong is sending its greatest welcome to the world with 500,000 free air tickets. Hong Kong was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic for the past three years with a mandatory quarantine of up to three weeks for arrivals and strict curbs.

Hong Kong leader John Lee on Thursday unveiled a promotion package that will include 5,00,000 free flights to lure visitors, businesses, and investors back, as reported by the news agency Reuters. The rebranding campaign of the government, “Hello, Hong Kong”, is an effort to tell “good stories” about the southern Chinese city. 

Along with free air tickets, Hong Kong is also providing city-wide offers covering “Hong Kong Goodies” visitor consumption vouchers, to attract travellers to come to experience Hong Kong’s diverse appeals. According to the officials, Airlines Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Express, and Hong Kong Airlines will be receiving free tickets which will be distributed to overseas visitors for six months starting March 1.


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