Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has used a colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks after months of angry protests. Protesters have often worn face masks to hide their identity. The measure was announced today, after the city saw widespread violence on 1 October, the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China.
Ms Lam said the violence was “destroying the city” and authorities could not “just leave the situation to get worse and worse.” The ban comes into effect on Saturday.
The legislation invoked by Ms Lam, called the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, dates to 1922 and has not been used since there were riots in Hong Kong in 1967.
Hong Kong’s protests started in June, sparked by proposals to extradite suspected criminals to mainland China.