(To watch the video with sign language interpretation, click here.)
The Government will ban people from covering up their faces in unlawful and unauthorised assemblies as well as riots from October 5.
The Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation will also apply to public meetings and processions regulated under the Public Order Ordinance.
Making the announcement at a press conference, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the current situation in Hong Kong has given rise to a state of serious public danger that the Government has to address.
“We are particularly concerned that many students are participating in these violent protests or even riots, jeopardising their safety and even their future.
“As a responsible Government, we have the duty to use all available means in order to stop the escalating violence and restore calmness in society.
“As the current situation has clearly given rise to a state of serious public danger, the Chief Executive in Council decided at a special meeting this morning to invoke the power under the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and make a new regulation in the name of Prohibition on Face Covering Regulation.”
Mrs Lam said the regulation is essentially an anti-mask law which has already been introduced in jurisdictions around the world.
“We believe that the new law will create a deterrent effect against masked violent protesters and rioters and will assist Police in their law enforcement.
“I would like to emphasise that the decision to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance is a difficult but also a necessary one for public interest.”
Mrs Lam added that she and her Principal Officials will continue the dialogue with the public as it is the best way to find solutions to some of the city’s deep-seated social problems and allow Hong Kong to move forward.