An air quality monitoring station in Central Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Ahleong

The Environmental Protection Department issued health warnings on Wednesday after pollution readings at air-monitoring stations reached ‘very high’ and ‘serious’ levels.

Yuen Long in the New Territories, plus Grass Island or Tap Mun in Sai Kung recorded a ‘very high’ health risk level at 5pm, while Tuen Mun in the New Territories and Tung Chung on Lantau Island reached ‘serious’ – the highest risk level, Headline Daily reported.

The weather in Hong Kong has been influenced by an “anti-cyclone” –very hot with light winds and the city affected by an airstream with higher background pollution. The light wind has hindered effective dispersal of air pollution, according to a statement by the department.

It expected the pollution level would remain higher than normal until the weather pattern – influence of the anti-cyclone – weakens.

The general public, especially children, elderly people, plus those with heart or respiratory illnesses were advised to reduce the amount of time they spend outdoors.