Normally bustling arcades and parks are eerily empty and businesses take up selling face masks to make ends meet It was a Sunday unlike any other in recent years in Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands stayed at home, fearful of getting infected in the city's normally bustling shopping arcades and parks, and those who did venture out shielded themselves behind the masks that have become synonymous with the outbreak. From Chater Garden in Central to the busiest intersection in Causeway Bay, streets were eerily empty and the only sign of the usual Sunday hustle seemed to be around the Rugby Sevens tournament at the Hong Kong Stadium. For many, it was a unique sight. 'This is the first time that I've seen Statue Square this empty,' said Rosa Bangawan, a 49-year-old Filipino maid who has worked in Hong Kong for 18 years. 'When I first came here this morning, I was very upset because there was no one here at all.' Ms Bangawan is one of more than 10,000 Filipino domestic workers who go to Central's Statue Square and Charter Garden every Sunday. Yesterday, only about 30 per cent showed up, most of them wearing face masks. 'I think the first reason is their employers don't want them to go out,' Nancy Duldulao, a masked 34-year-old domestic worker, said of fellow maids. 'Others are really scared of the virus. They said they just want to avoid the crowds. Now of course there's no crowd to avoid.' Neither was there a crowd at Dragon Palace Seafood Restaurant, one of the more popular places for dim sum in North Point. Empty tables were everywhere during the usually busy brunch hours and the queue for tables had vanished. 'This is the worst Sunday we've had since the restaurant opened 10 months ago,' one worker said. 'The tables are always full during the weekends, even when there's a Saturday horse race.' The worker estimates that the restaurant lost about 40 per cent of business yesterday. Three birthday banquets were also cancelled. . 'There's nothing much we can do,' the employee added. 'The whole market is like this.' In Causeway Bay, pedestrians walked in acres of space through the usually jammed junctions in front of Sogo department store. The snack shop located on the island between the intersections saw business drop more than 50 per cent because of a smaller flow of foot traffic, a worker there said. Across the street at Island Beverley, an employee estimated 7,000 people had visited the shopping centre, a drop from the daily average of 12,000 on a weekend. 'Sunday is a family day and people go shopping after lunch, but fewer have been coming in the past few days after news of the outbreak hit its peak,' the worker said. For smaller shop owners, the effects were just as noticeable. The owner of On Lee Stationery Shop in North Point said business in the past week had been slower than the summer months - traditionally the worst time of year for stationers because schools are closed. 'I haven't had so little business for the past five years,' the owner, Stephen Lam Yiu-kwan, said. 'Parents simply won't let kids go out alone. Kids used to come out by themselves on Saturday and Sunday. If this continues, I'll go out of business.' Mr Lam has been making $1,200 in sales each day, compared with the usual $2,800, which is what he needs to break even. To compensate for the loss of business, Mr Lam has starting selling face masks with cartoon characters for $15 each. He has also placed an order for some 3M-manufactured face masks, which have been the most requested item since the pneumonia outbreak. 'Look at the store opposite us,' Mr Lam said, pointing to a home supplies store with people hovering over a selection of face masks. 'That's where the money is these days.'