China scraps mandatory mask wearing for teachers, students

2023-03-15 09:09:02Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has scrapped mandatory mask wearing for school students and teachers, a fresh move linked to relaxed COVID-19 preventive measures since nearly 300 million teachers and students across the country returned to campus a month ago. 

“After the beginning of the semester, it is no longer compulsory for teachers and students to wear masks during the school day, but they can choose whether to wear masks or not according to their health conditions and wishes,” the newly released COVID-19 playbook designated for schools detailed. 

The playbook was co-released by Ministry of Education, National Health Commission, and National Administration of Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Hong Kong and Macao scrapped mask mandates in February after the three year fight against COVID-19.

The move received overwhelming support online on Tuesday. The hashtag “teachers and students no longer need to compulsory wear masks in schools” topped trending topics on Twitter-like social media Sina Weibo and has garnered over 27 million views as of press time. 

“No more mask is the last finale to say goodbye to COVID-19,” a netizen commented. 

“It’s definitely good news to hear. The lifting of the mask mandate in schools comes at the right time as the weather gets warmer and high season for respiratory disease has passed,” Yang Zhanqiu, a professor of pathogen biology at Wuhan University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

If it is possible, I would recommend all sections of society scrapped mask mandates, Yang noted. But given the fact that the general public has already become used to wear masks in past three years, the removal of mask mandates can be lifted gradually.

Health authorities held discussions about the end of wearing masks in Chinese cities but the final decision has yet to be made, a senior expert from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China's CDC) who prefer not to be named revealed to the Global Times.

However, teachers and students should still wear masks accordingly when they leave the campus. Whether to wear mask can be adjusted based on different scenarios, population and epidemic situation, according to the playbook. 

China's health authorities had warned that the prevalence of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus are posing threat to high-risk regions including nursing homes, schools and nurseries, so wearing masks is still a necessary measure as part of personal protection.

The playbook noted that nursery care institutions, primary and secondary schools and universities will no longer be required to carry out on-campus screening and access registration after the start of the new semester.

Over the past three years, the mask was considered to be a key social distancing measure to prevent and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2023 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]