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1,255 fined over holiday for not wearing face mask, violating gathering rule

20 April 2022


Govt enforcers on education campaign among FDHs on their day off

The government reminder was simple but serious: do not gather in groups of more than two people and wear face masks when in public places during the Easter holidays to avoid catching Covid-19.

But hundreds of people paid no heed.

They were caught by teams of personnel from Hong Kong Police Force, the Labour Department, District Offices, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department who roamed various public places during the holidays.


This, amid accusations of discrimination when Labour addressed a reminder to foreign domestic helpers that these teams would be watching for violations in various public places they frequent in Central and Western, Wan Chai, Eastern, Yau Tsim, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Shatin, Sai Kung and Tsuen Wan districts.

Yesterday, the Police reported issuing fixed penalty tickets to 1,255 people from April 15 to 18; they were each fined $5,000. Of this total, 584 violated the law that prohibits gatherings of more than two people, and 671 were caught not wearing face masks.


In enforcing the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G), the Police also reported 442 inspections, 10 reminders and 15 prosecutions.

In enforcing the Prevention and Control of Disease (Wearing of Mask) Regulation (Cap. 599I), the Police also conducted 526 inspections and issued 10 reminders.

The Police figures had no separate FDH numbers.


But a report of the FEHD, which conducted joint operations the Police, clearly indicated that it concentrated on food businesses violating the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation provisions on business and premises, vaccine pass and more.

It said FEHD and police inspected 93 catering and seven other premises during the joint operations on April 17; and the FEHD on its own inspected 476 catering premises and 112 other premises.

The FEHD has initiated prosecution against operators of 13 catering premises suspected of breaching the regulations. 

Among these, seven cases were for failing to wear masks inside the premises, four for not putting  distance or partition between customers, one involved customer not scanning the "LeaveHomeSafe" app, and one of not ensuring compliance with a minimum of six air changes per hour or operating air purifiers that do not meet specifications.


Aside from penalizing the establishments, the FEHD also required them to take corresponding measures for reducing the risk of disease transmission.

One individual who failed to scan his "LeaveHomeSafe" and vaccine pass was also penalized with a fine of $5,000. Another 10 persons were fined $5,000 for public cleanliness offenses or obstruction in public places.

For its part, the LCSD reported that 34 persons were caught violating the grouping and face mask rules in the parks and areas under its supervision, and fined $5,000.


They were the only ones penalized by LCSD after giving verbal advice 2,610 times during about 5,120 patrols of venues by the LCSD staff since April 15.

Avoiding social gatherings is of utmost importance in preventing the ongoing spread of the pandemic. The LCSD spokesman asks members of the public to stay vigilant and comply with the relevant regulations on prevention and control of disease in a concerted and persistent manner. Enforcement actions will be taken by the LCSD when irregularities are found.

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