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3 hikers are fined $2k each for not wearing face masks

18 August 2020

By The SUN

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, tree, child, shoes, outdoor and nature
Hikers like these ones in Mount Parker, must all wear masks, no matter the weather 
or the difficulty of the climb (file photo)

Everyone who goes outdoors, even hikers in some remote areas of the New Territories,  must observe the strict new measures put in place to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

This seems to be the message from the Hong Kong Police, who disclosed today, Aug 18, that three hikers in Sai Kung were issued with penalty tickets, each costing $2,000, for not wearing masks last Sunday, Aug 16.

The previous Sunday, two hikers in Tseung Kwan O were also penalized for the same offence, while five others were fined for violating the rule that provides that no more than two people can gather in public.

The moves were part of stricter police enforcement of social distancing and other measures imposed to contain the spread of the virus.

The gathering ban and the requirement to wear masks in all public areas are contained in Cap 599 of the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, which has just been extended for another week from tomorrow.

A police spokesman, however, said, that no similar operation was conducted in the popular gathering places of foreign domestic helpers, unlike the previous Sunday, when dozens of officers descended on Chater Road and Statue Square in Central.
A total of nine Filipinos were issued penalty tickets in Central that day for violating the gathering ban. A Pakistani was also penalized for not wearing a mask.

The sweeping operation on Aug 9 came under heavy criticism from migrant workers groups who called it discriminatory as it targeted only FDHs and not locals, who could also be seen violating the gathering ban.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

For his part, Labour Legislator Fernando Cheung said the police operation did not make sense, as it involved about 50 officers going together to the targeted areas to tell people not to gather in big groups.

Migrant support organizations also decried that officers told them to “go home” at 5pm, and tried to drive them away from their meeting places when they did not violate any law.

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