Starting March 1, Hong Kong will no longer require masks to be worn indoors or outdoors, including at Hong Kong Disneyland.
Hong Kong, as well as Hong Kong Disneyland, has been under a mask mandate for nearly three years. It was one of the “last places on Earth to enforce mask-wearing outside” according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Hong Kong Disneyland told media this week that “Hong Kong Disneyland Resort has missed seeing mask-free smiles at the park. It will truly be an emotional moment to see the happy faces of our guests and cast members after nearly three years and we hope they can create more magical memories at our park. We will continue to refer to the guidance and advice from the health authorities and relevant departments, and review and adjust park operations measures and procedures accordingly.”
With the removal of Hong Kong’s mandate, face coverings are now only required at Tokyo Disney Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort, both of which mandate wearing coverings while indoors, in queues, or viewing entertainment. The Japanese association guiding theme park safety, in the wake of COVID-19, recently announced that parks will have the option to allow maskless guests from March 13.
Last month, we reported that Hong Kong is looking to draw guests back with the “Hello, Hong Kong” tourism campaign, which is run in partnership with the operators of Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK). Fred Lam, chief executive of AAHK, said of the promotion, “We hope those who secure the air tickets can bring two or three more relatives and friends to the city. We believe this can help bring Hong Kong over 1.5 million visitors.”
Three Hong Kong-based airlines, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, and HK Express, will offer economy class tickets. Travelers will receive a complimentary welcome drink at over 100 participating hotels, bars, and restaurants, a HK$100 ($13) voucher, and a surprise gift when visiting select attractions and museums.
The giveaway of tickets will occur in phases, with Southeast Asian residents being the first to enter on March 1. Mainland China residents will be able to enter on April 1, and the rest of the world on May 1, through a lottery held on the AAHK website. While the cost of the ticket will be covered, travelers will need to pay any applicable taxes and fees.
Furthermore, Cathay Pacific will offer a limited number of “generously discounted tickets” to travelers from the USA and Canada from May onwards.
When asked about the lifting of the mandatory face mask rule, Tiffany, a finance industry employee in her 20s, told AFP. “”I’m ready to get rid of this. It costs money to buy masks, and I have had Covid myself.”
The government’s implementation of mask mandates is part of its effort to entice tourists and foreign skilled workers to return and revitalize the economy, which has been negatively affected by the recession.
“With the masking requirement removed, we are starting [to resume] normalcy comprehensively. And that will be very beneficial to economic development,” Chief Executive John Lee said at Tuesday morning press conference.
According to Lee, hospitals and nursing homes have the option to mandate the use of masks if they choose to do so.
Recently, Walt Disney Imagineering shared a video on how they are building Arendelle: World of “Frozen” at the resort. They also unveiled an impressive Elsa animatronic that will be in their version of Frozen Ever After. The land will have a second brand-new attraction: Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs and Playhouse in the Woods. The Arendelle castle is nearing completion and the land is scheduled to open later this year.
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Source: AFP, Disney Magical Kingdom Blog