Govt advisers predict mask-off next summer

The government epidemic advisers predicted that Hong Kong would see a full recovery next summer with all Covid rules for entry lifted then.

Professor Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, one of the government's advisory panel members on the epidemic, said on Sunday that the daily confirmed Covid cases would gradually decline as around 80 percent of citizens have received vaccines and about 60 percent have been infected, which led to stronger immunity developed.

"We can anticipate a full resumption of our society next summer, including scrapping all the curbs for inbound travels if no more new virus variants occur," he said.

However, he stressed that a sharp surge of confirmed cases can still possibly be seen in the winter under the strike of both influenza and Covid, reminding people who have not been triple-jabbed to receive the shots.

Another government adviser David Hui Shu-cheong said Hong Kong is prepared to hold more large-scale international events, citing no signs seen on the confirmed cases rebounding after the Hong Kong Sevens.

He added the government might be able to consider allowing mask-off after the winter and citizens received the second generation of vaccines.

"People may take off masks outdoors but still have to keep masks on when taking public transportation or entering premises like concerts," he said.