Joggers struggle to comply with new mask rule - RTHK
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Joggers struggle to comply with new mask rule

2020-07-29 HKT 18:17
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  • Joggers struggle to comply with new mask rule
Joggers huffed and puffed to try to draw their breath through face masks as they ran through Victoria Park on Wednesday morning as a new requirement to wear masks outdoors – even while exercising – took effect.

While most people we saw jogging or doing Tai Chi at the park complied with the new regulations despite the heat, we spotted some people who didn’t have masks on.

A middle-aged man told RTHK said he had initially had one on, but was forced to take it off as he jogged because he couldn’t catch his breath.

“It’s not reasonable”, he complained. “It’s an aerobic exercise! If we wear a mask it stops us from taking in oxygen. It’s completely opposed to the goal of exercising.”

He said policymakers should try a dose of their own medicine.

“Who thought of this? Ask them to put a mask on, come out, and run. Let them see what it’s like!”

Other joggers who managed to keep their masks on said it wasn’t easy. One man told us he had to slow down from his usual pace to adapt.

Officials have insisted that mandatory mask-wearing is necessary even while people exercise, to minimise the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

People are only exempt from the new regulation if they are deemed to have a ‘reasonable excuse’ such as eating, drinking or taking medication.

However, the World Health Organisation does not advise the use of masks while exercising, saying this may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably, and sweat can make the mask wet more quickly, which promotes the growth of microorganisms.

The WHO instead suggests that people exercising outdoors should remain at least one metre away from others.