A novel (new) coronavirus officially known as COVID-19 is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness that began in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The Hong Kong government has reported cases of the novel coronavirus in its special administrative region, has upgraded its response level to emergency, its highest response level, and is taking other steps to manage the novel coronavirus outbreak. On February 8, the Hong Kong government began enforcing a compulsory 14-day quarantine for anyone, regardless of nationality, arriving in Hong Kong who has visited mainland China within a 14-day period. This quarantine does not apply to individuals transiting Hong Kong International Airport and certain exempted groups such as flight crews. However, health screening measures are in place at all of Hong Kong’s borders and the Hong Kong authorities will quarantine individual travelers, including passengers transiting the Hong Kong International Airport, if the Hong Kong authorities determine the traveler to be a health risk. Please refer to the Hong Kong government’s press release for further details.
On January 30, the Hong Kong government closed certain transportation links and border checkpoints connecting Hong Kong with mainland China until further notice, and on February 3 suspended ferry services from Macau.
On February 10, 2020 the Department of State allowed for the voluntary departure of non-emergency U.S. Government employees and their family members due to the novel coronavirus and the effect to Mission personnel as schools and some public facilities have been closed until further notice.
On February 19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Warning: Practice Usual Precautions in Hong Kong for COVID-19.
The Department of State has raised the Travel Advisory for mainland China to Level 4: Do Not Travel due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning for China: Avoid all nonessential travel.
At this time, CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to Hong Kong. If you travel to Hong Kong, take the following steps:
o It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
If you spent time in Hong Kong during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:
Please monitor the Hong Kong government’s website for further updates on the coronavirus infection.
See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html for additional guidance.
Exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest, risk of surveillance, and arbitrary enforcement of laws other than for maintaining law and order.
Country Summary: In May 2020, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong that could fundamentally alter its autonomy and freedoms. As a result of this action by the PRC, U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Hong Kong may be subject to increased levels of surveillance, as well as arbitrary enforcement of laws and detention for purposes other than maintaining law and order.
Since June 2019, large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International airport. Protests, can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations in which police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal and police may detain or use force against persons they believe have participated in protests. U.S. citizens are strongly cautioned to be aware of their surroundings and avoid demonstrations.
U.S. citizens have been subject to a PRC propaganda campaign that falsely accuses individuals of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong, in some cases publishing their personal information, resulting in threats of violence on social media. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:
Last Update: Reissued with updates on China’s introduction of a national security law.
See the full advisory at the U.S. Department of State Website.