Hong Kong is in its ninth consecutive week of protests now and demonstrations have ballooned to incorporate widespread strikes. Agencies have cancelled more than 200 flights in and out of Hong Kong as protests spread. The region is a popular tourist destination and hundreds of thousands of Brits visit every year. But now the Foreign Office has advised visiting the gambling hotspot could be dangerous.
Is it safe to travel to Hong Kong?
British nationals regularly visit Hong Kong on holiday.
According to the Foreign Office, 572,739 Brits visited the area in 2018 without issue.
However, the Foreign Office has issued a warning for people looking to travel into the territory any time soon.
READ MORE: Hong Kong STANDSTILL: ‘City of verge of a very dangerous situation’
The government has noted protests will continue over the next week in Hong Kong.
The main affected areas are in the centre of the region, including Admiralty, Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po, Tuen Mun, Mong Kok, Shatin and Tsuen Wan.
The Foreign Office advises: “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.”
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“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.”
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The main question surrounding the Hong Kong protests at the moment is whether the Chinese military will get involved.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is stationed in Hong Kong as the territory nears the “verge of a very dangerous situation”.
The PLA does not have direct jurisdiction over Hong Kong, but the police can call in the army for assistance in maintaining public order.
Beijing has announced it is confident Hong Kong police can restore order in the territory without military aid.