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Hong Kong Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. Department of State

Apr 16, 2003

This Travel Warning is being revised to recommend U.S. citizens consider deferring non-essential travel to Hong Kong because of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) concerns and to inform them of updated requirements of the government of Hong Kong for anyone exhibiting SARS-like symptoms. This supersedes the Travel Warning of April 1, 2003.

On April 1, 2003, the Department of State authorized the departure, on a voluntary basis, of non-emergency employees and all family members at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong as a precautionary measure due to the SARS situation. The Consulate General remains open to provide the full range of services to American citizens and the general public.

The Department of State also alerts Americans to Hong Kong's current practices with regard to SARS. These practices are subject to change. As of April 16, any individual in Hong Kong, foreign travelers or residents included, who displays SARS-related symptoms will be admitted to a designated hospital for treatment and observation. As long as the patient is deemed contagious, he/she will not be able to receive visitors, including personal physicians and family members. Health professionals do not know comprehensively when and how SARS is spread or how best to treat it, leading to concerns about obtaining suitable medical care. No vaccine or cure is currently available. Many countries in the region have indicated they will not admit SARS patients for treatment, and medical evacuation has not yet become an established practice. Given all of these factors, the U.S. Department of State decided to authorize, on a voluntary basis, the departure of official non-emergency employees and all family members from Hong Kong.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends U.S. citizens defer elective or non-essential travel to areas with a large number of SARS cases, including Mainland China and Hong Kong. U.S. citizens resident or traveling in these areas should closely monitor the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov and the website of the World Health Organization http://www.who.int for the latest information on SARS. For further information on travel to Hong Kong, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheets for China and Hong Kong and the SARS Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov.

The U.S. Consulate General is located at 26 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong. The mailing address is PSC 461, Box 5, FPO AP 96521-006, tel. (852) 2523-9011, fax (852) 2845-4845: Internet: http://hongkong.usconsulate.gov.

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