27th January 2023 – (Hong Kong) Although most of the anti-epidemic measures have been relaxed, the mask order has not been revoked. Yuen Kwok-yung, chair professor of the Department of Microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, who is also a government expert consultant, said that the mask order should be revoked between March and April, when the daily minimum temperature rises to at least 20 degrees Celsius.
Professor Lau Yu–lung, who chairs a scientific committee advising the government on its vaccination programme believes that the mask order can be gradually scrapped in mid-to-late February. He said during a radio program today (27th) that after the Lunar New Year holiday, the authorities can observe for two more weeks. If there is no large-scale outbreak, the public would not need to wear masks in outdoor places with good air circulation. Citizens should not be required to wear masks indoors in March. Mask order at places such as hospitals and residential care homes should be abolished last. Lau said that after the cancellation of the mask order, the number of COVID-19 infection and flu cases is expected to rebound. The number of COVID-19 cases may remain at around 2,000 or lower, and the “post-mask tsunami outbreak” will not appear. Other anti-epidemic measures that are still in place can also be gradually withdrawn at the same time, including daily rapid antigen tests (RATs) for teachers and students in schools, and RATs can be used to replace nucleic acid tests at border checkpoints.