The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) has issued a travel advisory on Hong Kong, increasing the alert level to Level 2 and urging increased caution due to the escalating civil unrest in Hong Kong.
Since June 2019, several large-scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong.
While most have been peaceful, the U.S. State Department said 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.
According to ABC News, Hong Kong’s busy airport was the latest setting for large-scale pro-democracy protests that have rocked the city for months, with authorities canceling dozens of flights on Monday and Tuesday, including United Airlines’ Guam to Hong Kong flight on Monday.
After two days of demonstrations, the airport reopened early Wednesday.
Caption: Riot police storm Hong Kong airport as protesters force second day of flight cancellations. Ian Pannell, ABC News.
The U.S. State Department warned that the Hong Kong demonstrations, which can take place with little or no notice, are likely to continue.
If you decide to travel to Hong Kong, the following tips are recommended by the U.S. State Department:
* Monitor local media for updates;
* Avoid the areas of the demonstrations;
* Exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests;
* Be aware of your surroundings;
* Keep a low profile;
* Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency;
* Follow the U.S. Department of State on Facebook and Twitter;
* Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hong Kong;
* U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations; and
* Review the Traveler’s Checklist.