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Hong Kong Ends Face Mask Mandate

Despite the mandate being lifted, many Hong Kong residents are choosing to continue wearing masks.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, Hong Kong residents have been required to wear face masks at all times. While some countries have already ended such mandates due to declining COVID cases, Hong Kong had kept its mandate in place until now. After 945 days, the mandate has finally been lifted this week.

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On Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced the official end of the face mask mandate, no longer requiring masks indoors, outdoors, in schools, or on public transportation. This move signifies the conclusion of one of the strictest and longest-lasting mask mandates since the pandemic began.

Despite the mandate being lifted, the response from the population has been mixed. Many Hong Kong residents, although relieved that masks are no longer obligatory, continue to wear them out of habit, for personal safety, or by preference.

According to clinical psychologist Bertie Wai, "Not only some children but even adults will want to hold on to masks as a form of protection because in their mind the world is dangerous and unpredictable," as reported by NBC News.

Melanie Choi, co-founder of Hong Kong mask-maker SAVEWO, mentioned, "Apart from Covid, masks can prevent other diseases like the flu. I would want my children to wear masks for a period of time."

Nevertheless, there are also many residents who are happy to bid farewell to masks. "Today, I've noticed a lot of people still wearing a mask," commented 22-year-old student Ching Hou. "But those who are not are walking around lightly and seem in high spirits, which I am very happy to see because I am done with masks."

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