Hong Kong to mandate face masks at indoor public places amid worsening epidemic
Hong Kong will mandate face masks at indoor public places in its latest effort to contain the rapid growth of new COVID-19 cases.
Starting Thursday, people will be required to wear face masks at indoor public areas for 14 days, including shopping malls, supermarkets, building lobbies and bus terminus, Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, said Wednesday at a press conference.
The measure was endorsed at a special meeting of the Executive Council, Chan said. People currently have to wear masks on public transport, according to an anti-disease regulation.
Hong Kong witnessed a resurgence of coronavirus infections over the past weeks with numerous transmission chains still unknown. With 61 additional cases, the total confirmed cases rose to 2,019 in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Chan said the next two weeks are crucial to Hong Kong's anti-disease efforts and there could be stricter measures if the tally continues to increase.
As many areas in the world still face a grave epidemic situation, Hong Kong will add the United States and Kazakhstan to the list of high-risk areas, effective next Wednesday. Inbound visitors who have been to those places within 14 days should provide health certificates, valid for 72 hours, before boarding.