As the city is in turmoil, is it safe for people with planned trips to the city to visit?
Hong Kong is now officially in its ninth consecutive week of protests and widespread strikes are planned for the following period. The city is usually a popular tourist destination, but noe agencies have cancelled more than 200 flights in and out of Hong Kong as protests spread.
The government stated that protests will continue over the next week in Hong Kong, therefore the Foreign Office has issued a warning for people wanting to travel the city advising that visiting the gambling hotspot could be dangerous for now. The main affected areas are in the center and they include: Admiralty, Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po, Tuen Mun, Mong Kok, Shatin and Tsuen Wan. The Foreign Office stated:
“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. 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.”
They also added: “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 Macau Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning.”
Next, authorities are wondering if the Chinese military will get involved, the PLA does not have direct jurisdiction over Hong Kong, but the police can call in the army for assistance in maintaining public order. However, Beijing has announced that it is confident Hong Kong police can restore order in the territory without military aid, therefore it remains to be seen how things will evolve.