State Department Updates Hong Kong Advisory Due to Civil Unrest

Hong Kong protests
Photo by AP Photo/Vincent Yu via Newscred

With protests in Hong Kong continuing through its sixth month, the U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory for the destination. Hong Kong is at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution “due to civil unrest.”

The summary reads, “Since June 2019, large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International Airport. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons. On October 4, the government invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to ban face masks at public gatherings. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

“Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence.

“U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.”

If you travel to Hong Kong, the State Department offers, among others, the following tips:

  • Monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile and CitybusNWFB and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests
  • Review your flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website
  • Follow U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong on Facebook and Twitter
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency

Despite the updated travel advisory, Hong Kong had “rare” consecutive days of peaceful protests, according to the South China Morning Post.

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