2019.10.04 Ministry rolls out emergency mask law to crack down dissidents

Hong Kong embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her ministry announced the implementation of “Mask Ban”, under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, after an afternoon meeting with the Executive Council. Carrie Lam described the decision as “uneasy but necessary”. The Anti-mask law will be put into effect on 5 October.

Carrie Lam pointed accusing finger at the intensified demonstration towards the extradiction law, which allows fugitives to be sent to Mainland China, that has been affecting more places and parties of the city. The Chief Executive reiterated government’s full support to Hong Kong Police Force in tackling crime for the city. Therefore, she stated firmly that the government will face all sorts of behaviour endangering public safety with zero tolerance.

The city’s top job added that Hong Kong was yet in a state of emergency despite the enacting the law. However, the fourth CE suggested that the government will not rule out tougher measures to Hong Kong protesters.


QuickCheck: Power and penalties of the Anti-mask Law:

(1) Take effect from

5 October 2019.

(2) Any person who wearing mask may commits an offence when participating in any-

1. unlawful assembly (not exclusive to the definition of riot under the Public Order Ordinance);

2. unauthorized assembly;

3. public gathering or parade that the Commissioner of Police is notified in advance by the Public Order Ordinance, who also possess the authority to prohibit and object any aforementioned events.

(3) When participating in public events, the following are considered as “reasonable excuses”, namely-

1. job-related, personal safety or professional reasons;

2. religious reasons;

3. conventional medical or health reasons.

(4) Penalties

1. offenders may face 12 months in prison along with a maximum HK$25,000 fine;

2. who do not comply with police commands to remove their masks could face an additional six months in prison along with a maximum HK$10,000 fine.

(5) Prosecution deadline

one year within the day of violation

(6) Schedule of legislation

Gazetted on: 4 October 2019

Effective on: 5 October 2019

Submission date to the Legislative Council: 16 October 2019



Apple Daily – CE Quotes Emergency Ordinance to Ban Masks

The Stand News – Government Enacts Anti-Mask Law to Show Zero Tolerance to Protest

Hong Kong Economic Times – Mask Ban Checklist – All You Have to Know About the Law