Hong Kong Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Hong Kong
How Safe is Hong Kong
COVID-19 Situation in Hong Kong
Due to the new strain of coronavirus in both the UK and South Africa, entry to Hong Kong is restricted to travellers who have visited the UK and South Africa until further notice.
There are reported cases of the coronavirus in Hong Kong. As a result of this, a series of measures have been implemented, entry is banned to foreign travellers, Hong Kong International airport has suspended its flights and quarantine measures are also in place for returning Hong Kong national travellers. Further to this, borders with Mainland China have been closed except for the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Public gatherings of more than 2 people have been banned, the use of face masks is mandatory in public and operations of bars and pubs are limited.
See our healthcare section for more details about preventive measures.
Security Situation in Hong Kong
Large-scale demonstrations are taking place in Hong Kong that started over plans for a law to allow people to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial that has now been officially withdrawn. Many have resulted in violent clashes between the police and protesters, with the police using tear gas against protesters. Further to this, an emergency law was implemented banning face masks and full face coverage. The best travel advice for Hong Kong is for visitors to the city to not take part in demonstrations and avoid crowds.
If you are seeking a Personal Security service for Hong Kong, please visit our page: Bodyguard Services in Hong Kong.
In August 2019, there was a noted Social Media crackdown in Hong Kong, a Chinese influence operation.
The current travel advice for Hong Kong is to remain cautious due to the indication that ISIS may have interests within the country.
A former British colony, Hong Kong is now part of the Republic of China. The terror threat is relatively low and the level of crime is also reasonably low, but isolated incidents of pick pocketing and other street crimes can occur mostly in the night market, Kowloon city food district and on the metro (which can be very busy most times of the day).
Two officials in Hong Kong warned in late 2015 that there is a possible threat posed by international terrorism. This is due to communities expressing their concern over propaganda leaflets bearing the Islamic State logo, circulating the city. There have been no developments since then within Hong Kong, but there have been ISIS-related incidents in the region, including beheadings in the Philippines and Bangladesh.
Some tourist attractions in Hong Kong can be quite isolated and the city does have its rural areas. Places such as Tai Tam Reservoirs, present criminals the perfect opportunity to strike unsuspecting tourists, although this is unlikely. Whilst visiting these areas, be extra vigilant and keep your personal belongings close to you at all times. Most visits to Hong Kong for both business and pleasure purposes are relatively safe.
As with all popular tourist destinations, there have been cases in Hong Kong of individuals having their drinks spiked. This has led to rape, and in isolated incidents people having their organs harvested for sale on the Chinese black market. Make sure that your drink can’t be tampered with in anyway (this might even include someone you do not know trying to drop an ice cube into your drink). Be vigilant of accepting drinks from strangers on nights out and in bars in the daytime. Where possible always have someone you know to keep an eye on your drink, even if you need to leave it for a short period of time.
Demonstrations are known to occur in Hong Kong, usually conducted in peaceful and orderly manner, pre-planned with prior warning. Visitors are advised to stay well clear of public gatherings and not take any part in demonstrations.
Hong Kong's International Relations
Since its hand over from the British, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region means that it is exclusively in charge of its internal affairs and external relations by itself and not through China, however the Government of the People's Republic of China is still responsible for Hong Kong’s foreign affairs and defence. China still has an increasing presence on Hong-Kong’s foreign and domestic policy.
Travelling around Hong Kong
Only use legitimate Hong Kong taxis, each part of Hong Kong has a designated colour. If the taxi does not meet the right colour co-ordination do not use it. It is an easy system to follow as there are only three colours: green for new territories, blue for Lantau Island, red taxis for everywhere else.
You can drive in Hong Kong with a British driving licence for up to 12 months.
Extreme weather in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, the typhoon season runs from April to October, during this time please note that heavy rains, landslides and heavy flooding may occur in the region. Please take appropriate shelter and check before your travel for any weather warnings. Public offices close when the ‘Typhoon 8’ signal is designated.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency services in Hong Kong
Emergency services: 999
Hong Kong Overview
Religion: No official recognised religion
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar
Time zone: UTC +8
Time now in Hong Kong:
Consular information for Hong Kong
U.S. Embassy Hong Kong
26 Garden Rd,
Telephone: +852 2523 9011
British Consulate Hong Kong
1 Supreme Court Rd,
Telephone: +852 2901 3000
Visa requirements for Hong Kong
Despite it being part of People's Republic of China, Hong Kong remains a special administrative region and has its own immigration controls. Visitors can stay in Hong Kong for up to 6 months without a visa. Any longer than that you will require a visa. Please check with your local embassy for more information.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Hong Kong are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
The coronavirus is present in Hong Kong and there is no vaccination against it. Protection is through prevention, applying good hygiene practices, maintaining social distancing, avoiding unnecessary travel and gatherings.
Street vendors are common in Hong Kong and they often do not adhere to any health and safety standards. Eating and drinking from them could lead to illness.
Air pollution is increasingly causing issues in the city as increased traffic and vast number of factories make the air thick with chemicals. Be wary of this as pollution can cause subsequent health issues, particularly for those suffering with allergies, asthma or cardiac problems.
Medical facilities are generally high standard and excellent condition, however treatment can be costly. Hospitals may require proof of insurance or a deposit before treatment occurs. Ensure that you have adequate travel insurance.