The Health authorities in China's capital city Beijing have removed the order that makes it mandatory for people to wear masks outdoors. The relaxation in the restrictions comes after the city reported 13 consecutive days without any new coronvirus case.
Despite the relaxed guidelines, several people continued to wear masks in the city on Friday as they said it makes them feel safe, while others cited social pressures as one of the factors.
This is the second time that Beijing's health authorities have relaxed guidelines on wearing masks in the city, which has largely returned to normalcy after two phases of lockdowns brought it to a standstill.
Beijing's Municipal Centre for Disease Control had first said that residents could go without masks in outdoor areas in late April, though the rules were reversed in June after a fresh outbreak in a wholesale market in the city.
China has reported no new local transmission of cases on the mainland for five days after successfully controlling the spike in infections in the capital, Xinjiang and elsewhere.
Experts credit strict enforcement of local rules, including wearing masks, mandatory home quarantine and participating in mass testing for effectively containing the deadly virus.