State Department Updates Travel Advisory Due to Hong Kong Protests

Protesters occupy the roads near the Legislative Council building and the Central Government building during the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong.
Protesters occupy the roads near the Legislative Council building and the Central Government building during the anti-extradition bill protest in Hong Kong. // Photo by AP Photo/Vincent Thian via Newscred

The State Department has updated its travel advisory regarding Hong Kong due to an ongoing series of protests in the destination. Hong Kong is now listed at Level 2: Exercised Increased Caution on the department’s four-level rating scale.

“Since June 2019, several large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong,” the State Department said in its latest update. “Most have been peaceful, but some have turned confrontational or resulted in violent clashes. The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighborhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies. These demonstrations, which can take place with little or no notice, are likely to continue.”

The State Department is also advising travelers to keep an eye on local media, avoid the areas of the demonstrations and to exercise caution. Additionally, the department says that travelers should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and to make it easier to locate them in an emergency. U.S. citizens who travel abroad should also always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, the State Department says. 

On Monday airlines were forced to cancel a number of flights when a citywide series of protests and strikes disrupted travel to and from the airport. Travel on Hong Kong’s light rail network was likewise disrupted due to large crowds of demonstrators gathered near certain stops. 

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