Hong Kong told to continue wearing masks as temperature rises, but plan day carefully

  • As soaring heat prompts Japan’s government to OK mask removal during coronavirus pandemic, we asked the Centre for Health Protection if such heatstroke warnings were needed here
  • General advice is to wear mask to prevent spread of Covid-19
Wong Tsui-kai |

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Despite the continuing pandemic – and the fact people there are accustomed to wearing them – Japanese government officials told citizens it was OK to remove their face masks outdoors, as temperatures soared on Tuesday.

Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, reported record temperatures of between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius in different parts of the country, leading medical experts to warn of the risk of heatstroke.

As the Hong Kong Observatory has predicted very hot weather this weekend, Young Post

asked the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) if Hongkongers should be taking similar precautions.

The CHP said that, while people should still wear masks to protect themselves and others from the risk of spreading Covid-19, they acknowledged the potential problems with the weather.

They said: “During hot humid weather, members of the public are advised to plan their daily routines, so that they only need to wear the face mask for a limited period of time.”

They also recommended anyone choosing to do strenuous exercise do so without a mask, as it’s more difficult to breathe wearing one, and it may result in dizziness or a headache.

7 ways to beat the heat

“We advise performing hand hygiene before and after exercising, and practising social distancing by doing solo or choosing less popular hours,” they said.

They further said that wearing a mask for an extended period in hot weather may irritate the skin, as moisture from your breath and the heat builds up under the mask.

The HKO’s nine-day forecast shows peaks of 30 degrees or above for all nine days.