Health authorities in China’s capital Beijing have relaxed the rules aimed at preventing the spread the novel coronavirus, removing the requirement for people to wear masks outdoors as the city witnessed 13 days without new cases. However, a large proportion of people were observed continuing to wear masks in Beijing on Friday (Aug 21).
Some said the mask made them feel safe, while others regarded social pressures a major factor. “I think I can take off my mask anytime, but I’ll need to see if others accept it. Because I’m afraid that people would be scared if they see me not wearing mask” one person said when being interrogated.
This is for the second time that guidelines on mask wearing have been relaxed in the capital by Beijing’s health authorities. This is primarily because, the situation has largely returned to normal after two rounds of lockdowns brought it to a standstill.
Experts refer the key to the country’s success in controlling the disease to the strict enforcement of local rules, including wearing masks, mandatory home quarantine and participating in mass testing.
Earlier, in late April, Beijing’s municipal Centers for Disease Control first said residents could go without masks in outdoor areas, despite the rules being swiftly reversed in June after a new outbreak in a large wholesale market in the city’s south. Recently, however, China has reported no new locally transmitted cases on the mainland for five days after successfully controlling flare ups in the capital, Xinjiang and elsewhere.