The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have warned travellers about becoming caught up in the “unauthorised protests” in Hong Kong as they can be met with a “rapid” and “severe police response”.
A statement on the FCO website says: “In recent weeks, several large-scale political demonstrations have taken place on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and various suburbs in the New Territories. Clashes have taken place between police and protesters following otherwise peaceful protest activities. These have involved significant violence. Reports indicate the protests are likely to continue.
“A protest at Hong Kong Airport on 12 August has resulted in the cancellation of all flights out of Hong Kong for the remainder of 12 August. The airport authorities advise members of the public not to travel to the airport. Passengers should check their flight status on the Hong Kong International Airport website.
“You should be prepared that the situation around protests and public gatherings could change quickly, with the potential for significant violence. If you are in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.
“Some protests may not have received authorisation from the police. Unauthorised protests have become more frequent and widespread, affecting many areas across Hong Kong, including some areas popular with tourists on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon. Compared to authorised protests, unauthorised protests are met by a more rapid and more severe police response. Recent unauthorised protests have attracted heavy use of tear gas, including in built up and residential areas. You should therefore exercise vigilance in the vicinity of unauthorised protests.
“Activities related to protests have spilled over into large public spaces, including shopping centres, housing estates and metro (“MTR”) stations, on the margins of recent protest routes. Protests can deviate from planned routes and there is the possibility of injuries among those accidentally caught up in events. Demonstrations may lead to sections of the city being closed off and strikes by public transport workers will significantly disrupt services. In recent protests, bus routes, MTR stations, the Airport Express and the Hong Kong Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning.”