Police urge public to avoid Mong Kok Flower Market

The police have urged people not to go to the Mong Kok Flower Market in light of Hong Kong’s worsening Covid outbreak, adding that those who do go should avoid peak times.

The force made the appeal as it announced a series of crowd and traffic control measures to be adopted near the market from Thursday to February 1 – the first day of the Chinese New Year.

Several roads, including Flower Market Road and Yuen Ngai Street, will be closed to most traffic from 8am on Thursday.

Officers said when the area gets too packed, more roads will be closed to vehicles, and people will only be able to enter the market at the intersection of Fa Yuen Street and Playing Field Road.

Superintendent Ho Siu-kai said extra officers will also be stationed in the area to monitor the situation.

“We will take into account the prevailing crowd situation. We would not like to see or have a situation when it is becoming overcrowded within the flower market, which may lead to issues of public safety, traffic issues and the heightened risk of spread of the pandemic,” he said.

“We are having a serious Covid-19 pandemic situation. So for the sake of your own health and that of others, please avoid going to crowded places. If you really have to go to the flower market, please do avoid the peak times during the weekend and on January 31.”

The police said due to the cancellation of this year’s Chinese New Year fairs, the market has been seeing increased crowds.

Authorities have also taken action against road obstructions after some flower shops put goods out on the pavements.

“We are aware that [the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department] has taken a number of enforcement operations at the flower market in the past few weeks with the support of the police. Such operations will continue up to and during the Lunar New Year,” Ho said.

He added that authorities have also held meetings with flower shop owners and handed out notices at the market to advise shops to keep pavements clear.