Government health expert advisor Lau Yu-long recommended on Tuesday that people should continue to wear their masks for another month over health concerns before losing them for good.
His comments came after chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu announced this morning that Hong Kong would scrap the mask-wearing order from Wednesday for residents on most occasions except entering premises like hospitals.
"It is recommended that [people entering] enclosed areas on public transportation, including MTR or buses still need to wear masks," said Lau.
"Most people have already been infected with Covid
or got vaccinated, and the chance for infection is very low," he said, " but I personally think people need to wear masks for another one to two months to better protect themselves."
Meanwhile, Timothy Chui Ting-pong, the executive director of the Hong Kong Tourism Association, also a director of a mask-producing company, said the sales for masks have dropped by 30 percent since the Lunar New Year.
However, he expected there will still be demand for masks after the lifting of the mask mandate.
In addition, chief executive Lee said the government would not review the mask ban - or the Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation - introduced during the 2019 protests.
At the time, the law was introduced to ban protestors from wearing facial coverings to hide their identities.
When asked whether the government would drop the mask ban too, the Hong Kong leader said the mask ban and the mask mandate were “two different homes.”
“The mask mandate was for public health matters. As for the mask ban, we will review it at a suitable time. At this moment, we will not handle it,” he said.
As of June 2022, a total of 683 people have been arrested for breaching Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation, of which 74 have been prosecuted with 26 convicted.