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August 12, 2019

Hong Kong Anti-Government Protests Update


Anti-government protests in Hong Kong have taken a turn for the worse with protestors giving out travel warnings to new airport arrivals at the Hong Kong International Airport on Friday, August 9th. Hundreds of young protestors, dressed in black shirts and face covering to hide their identity from the police, handed out leaflets to warn travelers that they have “arrived into a broken, torn-apart city, not the one you have once pictured.” 

These demonstrations have led the U.S. State Department to issue a Level 2 Travel Advisory, cautioning travelers to “exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.” The U.S. State Department was not the only country to issue a travel alert following a recent general strike and widespread demonstrations. Several other countries such as Australia, Britain, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore have issued similar travel advisories as well.

Unrest during Sunday evening was focused around Causeway Bay and Kwai Chung, in addition to Mei Foo where protesters had attempted to block roads. Hundreds of residents also confronted police in Sai Wan Ho and during the subsequent standoff, law enforcement used pepper spray against demonstrators whilst tear gas was also deployed against protesting residents outside of Sha Tin police station. According to local media reports on Sunday, 11 August, at least 13 people have been injured, nine being later discharged from hospital, following clashes with police across parts of Hong Kong.

On August 12th, the U.S. Consulate issued a Demonstration Alert, stating that all flights from Hong Kong International Airport have been canceled and that passengers should leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible after pro-democracy protestors crowded into the main terminal during the afternoon hours. Only flights that had begun boarding or were cleared for landing were allowed to use runways at the airport, but all other flights were canceled for the rest of the day.

The last two months of demonstrations have left the city in turmoil and even though the extradition bill has been put off for the time being, protestors demand this change to be permanent. Advisories continue to predict that this issue will cause many more disruptions in the city before the controversy begins to settle down. 


Here are a few precautionary measures to take if you are planning a trip to Hong Kong: 

  • Monitor the local news about any demonstrations in the area and steer clear of any signs of disorder or public gatherings to lessen the chances of being affected by incidental violence and police operations.

  • Do not travel by yourself if you’re new to the area. Having others around will be helpful in case of an emergency.

  • Do not wear white or black clothes while traveling in Hong Kong as black is representative of the Chinese territory’s movement while men in white shirts have been blamed for mob attacks against the protestors.

  • Expect major flight delays at the Hong Kong International Airport due to recent protests within the airport and allot more time for travel.

  • If traveling by train, check the status of your train before you leave the hotel. 

  • If you are scheduled to travel to Hong Kong, contact your travel agency or the airline company to confirm your trip and flight status; inquire about possible cancellations and policies for rescheduling your trip or reimbursement.

Read our previous Assist Alert about the Hong Kong protests for more information. Download the Assist America Mobile App for 24/7 access to our Operations Team in case of an emergency. The app also offers features that are useful for travelers such as Pre-Trip Information with country specific immunization requirements and travel alerts. 

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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