Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 11 October 2019, 18:14 NZDT
  • Still current at: 23 November 2019

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Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

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Civil unrest
Large-scale protests and demonstrations have been taking place on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and various suburbs in the New Territories. Acts of violence have occurred between police and demonstrators across Hong Kong, including at the International Airport. As crowd control measures, police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray. Injuries have occurred. Locations of gatherings may be unpredictable and change at short notice. Separately, attacks by reportedly criminally-linked individuals have affected commuters in the New Territories. Further demonstrations are expected.

New Zealanders in Hong Kong are advised to avoid all protests and demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little or no warning. If you find yourself in an area affected by demonstrations or violence you should move away to a safe place. New Zealanders are also advised to monitor local media for developments and comply with any instructions and restrictions issued by the local authorities.

Tourist areas have been affected and there have been disruptions to public transport as a result of demonstrations, including the cancellation of flights earlier last month. Access controls are being enforced at the airport. Check your flight status on the Hong Kong International Airport website or contact your airline for further information. Allow more time for travel to the airport and check-in. There are also media reports of increased screening of digital devices at mainland border crossings.

For more information on upcoming protests and civil unrest in Hong Kong, see our news feature.

Severe weather events
Hong Kong experiences severe weather events, such as typhoons. Businesses and transportation will close during typhoons that are level 8 and above. Flights and ferries into and out of Hong Kong may be delayed or suspended. Contact your travel operator or airline for the latest departure information, and monitor local weather forecasts.  If there is a severe weather event, or natural disaster, follow the advice of the local authorities and update your family and friends in New Zealand about your situation.

Terrorism
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Hong Kong, attacks can’t be ruled out. New Zealanders in Hong Kong are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources, as well as following instructions issued by local authorities and exercising vigilance in public places.

Crime
Petty crime such as bag snatching and pickpocketing occurs in Hong Kong. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings.

There have been incidents of drink spiking followed by theft and credit card fraud. Extra care should be taken to ensure your food and drink is never left unattended. We recommend against accepting drinks from strangers or recent acquaintances.

General travel advice
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe and can include lengthy imprisonment or fines.

Hong Kong has strict laws regarding the import and/or possession of any type of weapon or items that may resemble weapons, including antiques, replicas, toys and fashion accessories. Anyone found with these items (including in their luggage) without a permit faces arrest, fines and/or imprisonment.

Photography of military installations is strongly discouraged and could result in detention. If in doubt, don’t take a picture.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Hong Kong should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place which includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders travelling and living in Hong Kong are encouraged to register their details with SafeTravel. SafeTravel is the official registration facility for New Zealanders overseas. When New Zealanders register with us, we are able to relay important information about local developments and account for their safety and well-being as part of New Zealand's consular response to emergencies offshore.

You can find our travel advice for China here.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Consulate-General Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Street Address 6501 Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong Telephone +852 2525 5044 Fax +852 2845 2915 Email nzcghkg@biznetvigator.com Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/hong-kong Hours Mon - Fri 0830 - 1300, 1400 - 1700 hrs

See our regional advice for North Asia

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New Zealand Consulate-General Hong Kong

Street Address
6501 Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Telephone: +852 2525 5044

Fax: +852 2845 2915

Email: nzcghkg@biznetvigator.com

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/hong-kong

Hours: Mon - Fri 0830 - 1300, 1400 - 1700 hrs

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