Many of Hong Kong’s shopping malls were closed on National Day, after police warned of a “very, very dangerous” situation and claimed hardcore protesters were planning deadly attacks.

The MTR’s Maritime Square in Tsing Yi, Elements above Kowloon Station and Telford Plaza in Kowloon Bay were shut for the day, with an announcement on social media saying this was a safety measure in light of calls for protesters to target malls.

To protect customers, shopkeepers and staff, shops will be closed, along with the entrances to the malls and the car parks, the notice said.

Several malls in Causeway Bay were also closed including Hysan Place, Lee Gardens, Lee Theatre and Leighton Centre.

While some residents said they understood why malls and MTR stations were being temporarily closed, others complained that it was unnecessary and had made the shopping district a “dead area”.

A number of tourists also told RTHK that the closures had caught them by surprise and they were likely to spend most of the day stuck in their hotels. Some said the shuttered shops had added to their concerns that Hong Kong is no longer a safe place to visit.

Meanwhile, the management of Mira Place in Tsim Sha Tsui said the mall would not open on Tuesday for safety reasons.

An announcement was also being broadcast in New Town Plaza in Sha Tin telling people the mall was closed. Escalators there had been sealed off with tape.

Yoho Mall in Yuen Long also failed to open.

Online posts were calling for protest rallies in a number of locations on Tuesday afternoon, including Wan Chai, Tsuen Wan, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, and Tuen Mun.

A planned march from Causeway Bay to Central was banned by the police, but activists were still urging people to turn up for the demonstration.