What Hong Kong Travelers Need to Know About Airport Protests
Over the last two months, TPG has been closely following the developments in Hong Kong, as protests continue against legislation that would allow for accused criminals to be extradited to mainland China for prosecution.
On Friday, CNBC reported that "several hundreds of protesters" dressed in black handed out anti-government leaflets at Hong Kong International (HKG) while The New York Times added those involved in the sit-in "were careful to leave a path clear for travelers." The sit-in is expected to be a three-day event lasting the entire weekend.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the arrivals hall of the airport's main terminal for hours last month for the first airport sit-in, chanting and holding signs with messages like, "Free Hong Kong!"
Today's sit-in is expected to run through Sunday, with the goal being to bring the protestors’ message to international travelers, and follows on the heels of a city-wide strike that left hundreds of flights canceled and temporarily suspended Airport Express train service.
Hong Kong’s Airport Authority issued a statement saying they plan to increase security and have personnel available to assist staff and passengers entering the area. They’re also limiting access to the check-in area at Terminal 1 to only those with valid travel documents.
In response to the planned protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong — including some that have turned "confrontational" or "violent," the US State Department issued a travel warning this week, advising travelers to “exercise increased caution due to civil unrest.”
Anyone traveling to or from Hong Kong this weekend or in the near future should continue to monitor the situation and be prepared for delays. In general, it's still safe to travel through the area and the demonstrations shouldn’t cause issues aside from increased transit times throughout the area.