In recent months, large-scale political demonstrations have taken place throughout Hong Kong. Protests have affected many areas, including those popular with tourists. While a number of peaceful activities have taken place, many other protests have led to clashes between police and protesters involving significant violence. Reports suggest protests may take place:
- on the afternoon of 21 September in Tuen Mun;
- on the evening of 21 September at Yuen Long MTR Station;
- on the afternoon of 22 September at Kong International Airport. Passengers should allow extra time for travel to and from the airport.
The situation around protests and public gatherings can change quickly, with the potential for violence, especially during unauthorised protests. Unauthorised protests have been met by a more rapid and severe police response, including heavy use of tear gas, bean bag rounds and “sponge grenades”. Police have also deployed water cannon and, occasionally, rubber bullets. Protests can deviate from planned routes or rally locations and spill over into nearby public spaces, such as shopping centres, housing estates and public transport hubs. If you’re in an area where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.
Demonstrations may lead to sections of the city being closed off and road blocks being set up. During recent protests, local buses, metro (MTR), Airport Express services and the Hong Kong Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning. Violent protests have also taken place inside or near MTR stations. You should remain vigilant at all times and check live service updates on the MTR website.
Protests and violent clashes at Hong Kong International Airport have previously resulted in mass cancellations of flights in and out of Hong Kong. Further disruption is possible if protests return to the airport or its transport links. If you’re due to travel, check your flight status regularly, keep up to date with the latest developments via local media and consider allowing extra time to travel to the airport and complete check-in procedures.
There are reports of greater scrutiny from mainland authorities at border crossings between the mainland and Hong Kong at this time, including checks on travellers’ electronic devices. You should be aware that the thresholds for detention and prosecution in China differ from those in Hong Kong.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Hong Kong, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
The typhoon season in Hong Kong normally runs from April to October. You should follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural disasters
You should take sensible precautions against pick pocketing and other street crime. See Crime
572,739 British nationals visited Hong Kong in 2018. Most visits are trouble free.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.