Almost 80 percent of survey participants said they will continue wearing masks despite the government lifting the mask mandate on March 1.
The Hong Kong Research Association asked 1,080 people aged 18 or above through phone between February 28 to March 6, and nearly one third of respondents who will continue to wear masks, said they feel safer with the mask on.
According to the survey, 39 percent of the respondents will continue to wear masks all the way, and another 39 percent said they will wear masks on most occasions.
Among the 78 percent interviewees, 48 percent of them said the main reason for wearing a mask was to "reduce the spread of virus", followed by "feel safer," accounting for 31 percent, and 12 percent of them thought wearing masks "has become a habit."
The association expects a majority of citizens to continue to wear masks for a period of time and called on the public to understand and respect each other's personal choices.
It also urged the government to continue to encourage the public to receive Covid vaccines
regularly, to strengthen social recovery.
Additionally, 54 percent of the participants expected prices to rise in Hong Kong in the next three months; 70 percent of the respondents said that rising prices would have a negative impact on their daily life. Thirty percent interviewees hoped the "harsh measures" for the property market could remain unchanged, while 27 percent said they should be strengthened, which is a record low since the survey began.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers called for attention to children's physical and mental health as many children are anxious about not wearing a mask and continue to wear masks when they are out. Dominic Lee Tsz-king, lawmaker from the New People's Party, suggested that teachers should explain the current social situation to students in class, while paying attention to students' behavior.
He suggested schools provide more physical activities for students to participate, so that they ease into going mask free.
Another lawmaker Lam So-wai said, social workers at schools should provide timely emotional health counseling to children in need, while schools and local organizations should hold more parent-child activities, enabling parent and child to participate in outdoor activities together.
Lam believes that with the support of parents, children can more easily adapt to a mask-free life.
Community Development Pulsation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the community, suggested that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department offer more activities for children, enabling them to socialize with their peers.