Excitement grows as the number of new cases drops to four Hotels and tourism companies are planning an 'unmasking' day when a travel ban on Hong Kong is lifted, including ceremonial burnings of face masks. The plans are being drawn up as Hong Kong edges closer to having the World Health Organisation advisory lifted after only four new Sars cases were reported yesterday. If the number stays below five for three consecutive days, Hong Kong will have met one of three criteria for the lifting of the advisory, which was issued on April 2. Franz Donhauser, general manager of Island Shangri-La, has contacted hotel and tourism associations about the idea of an 'unmasking party'. Some preliminary ideas include burning one million surgical masks and for hotels to offer rooms for $90 in order to achieve a 90 per cent occupancy rate. 'Everyone is very excited about it,' Mr Donhauser said. 'We need this, otherwise it will take too long for people to know that Hong Kong has got rid of Sars. You need to get some good publicity and get the message out worldwide.' James Lu, executive director of the Hong Kong Hotels Association, supported the idea. 'You can't see our smile when we put the masks on. As soon as Sars is over, we'd like to have a burn-the-masks day.' As the number of Sars cases falls, so has the number of people wearing masks on the streets. Aviva Graeve, spokeswoman for Lan Kwai Fong Entertainments, said fewer than a third of pedestrians in the Central bar district now wore masks. 'Now that we've sort of settled in and accepted this, I think people have become more confident,' said Ms Graeve. 'More people are going out and fewer people are wearing masks.' Like the Shangri-La, she said Lan Kwai Fong Entertainments was planning a celebration when the travel advisory was lifted. 'What we have to do is put the idea out there that Hong Kong is clean and safe,' Ms Graeve said. 'The best way we can do that is by not wearing masks.' Most staff in restaurants and hotels began wearing masks in late March. The Department of Health advises workers handling food to wear masks but does not require them to do so. Most business owners are waiting for an official word from the WHO or the Hong Kong government. 'As soon as WHO lifts the travel advisory I think everyone will feel comfortable about [removing their masks], because many didn't believe in the masks in the first place,' Mr Donhauser said.