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Hong Kong Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Feb 20, 2020

Exercise Increased Caution due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China (COVID-19). Read the entire Travel Advisory.

A novel (new) coronavirus officially known as COVID-19 is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The Hong Kong government has reported cases of the novel coronavirus in its special administrative region, has upgraded its response level to emergency, its highest response level, and is taking other steps to manage the novel coronavirus outbreak. On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong’s borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. Please refer to the Hong Kong government’s press release for further details.

On January 30, the Hong Kong government closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China until further notice, and on February 3 suspended ferry services from Macau.

On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees and their family members due to the novel coronavirus and the effect to Mission personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.

On February 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Warning: Practice Usual Precautions in Hong Kong for COVID-19.

The Department of State has raised the Travel Advisory for mainland China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for China: Avoid all nonessential travel.

At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong. If you travel to Hong Kong, take the following steps:

If you spent time in Hong Kong during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:

Please monitor the Hong Kong government’s website for further updates on the coronavirus infection.

See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html for additional guidance.

Continue to exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.

Country Summary: 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, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity. 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.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:

Last Update: Reissued with updates on novel coronavirus.

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