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Canada Issues Travel Advisory For Hong Kong

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Canada has issued a Travel Advisory for Hong Kong. The warning issued by the Government of Canada states that all travelers should exercise a “high degree of caution due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.” 

The advisory issued August 8th stated “Since June 9, 2019, several large-scale political demonstrations have taken place on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and in various suburbs in the New Territories.” The offical website warns of the risk of violence that can occur when demonstrations take place. 

"Acts of violence occur, especially at night. Some have resulted in serious injuries. Clashes between security forces and demonstrators have taken place. Local authorities have used tear gas and other crowd control measures. Police have often reacted more swiftly and severely to unauthorized protests. There have also been random attacks on demonstrators by their opponents.

Protests in Hong Kong

People have been filling the streets of Hong Kong, furious over the proposed extradition laws that could see suspects sent to mainland China, where protesters say they could face torture and unfair politicized trials.

The new legislation was suspended but protests have continued as Hong Kong residents push for broader democratic reforms in the former British colony. Protestors are also asking for the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and investigations into alleged police abuse of force.

More than 1 million marched in protest against controversial extradition bill (Photo: Joseph Chan - @lokklokkk Instagram)

The warning comes one day after the United States and Australia made similar updates to their travel alerts. Ireland, Britain and Japan having also issued Hong Kong travel advisories to their citizens.

Canada's advisory states that protests could have a direct impact on tourists in the area. “Although many protest sites are made public in advance, authorized and unauthorized demonstrations can take place with little or no notice. They can quickly spread to surrounding areas, including those frequented by tourists.

“Expect road closures and disruptions to traffic and transportation in affected areas.” warns the Canadian Government.

“During recent protests, bus routes, MTR stations, the Airport Express and the Hong Kong-Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning. Businesses may also close suddenly.” 

Hong Kong Protestors
(Photo: Joseph Chan - @lokklokkk Instagram)

The travel advisory recommends travelers to “Monitor local media for information and advice on upcoming demonstrations” and to “Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place”. For safety follow the instructions of local authorities. 

For the full Travel Advisory in place for Hong Kong, see the Government of Canada website. 

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