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March 22, 2020

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March 31, 2020

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April 7, 2020

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May 1, 2020

Information for U.S. Passport Customers

International Travel

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Country Information

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19

Global Health Advisory: Do Not Travel. Avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

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:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • 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:

  • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel to Hong Kong, an area with community spread of coronavirus, and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

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.

Continue to exercise increased caution in Hong Kong due to civil unrest.

Country Summary: 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. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence.

U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:

  • Monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Review your flight status with your airline or at the Hong Kong International Airport website.
  • Follow U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Hong Kong.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates on novel coronavirus.

... [READ MORE]

Consulate Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


One month beyond the date of your intended stay

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


None

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau

26 Garden Road, Central,
Hong Kong

Telephone: +(852) 2841-2211, +(852) 2841-2225, +(852) 2841-2323
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(852) 2523-9011
Fax: +(852) 2845-4845
Email: 

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hong Kong SAR for information on U.S. – Hong Kong SAR relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

To enter Hong Kong, you need:

  • a passport that is valid for at least one month beyond the date of your intended stay,
  • adequate funds to cover your stay without working locally, and
  • evidence of onward/return transportation.

You only need a visa if:

  • You plan to stay for more than 90 days – obtain an extension with the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department, if necessary.
  • You plan to work or study in Hong Kong – visas must be obtained prior to departing the United States.

You must possess a valid passport and Chinese visa to enter the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from Hong Kong. Further information on travel to and around the PRC is available in our China country information page.

Visit the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department or the Embassy of the People's Republic of China website for the most current visa information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hong Kong SAR.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

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. While many demonstrations have been peaceful, some have resulted in violent confrontations between protesters and police – or between protesters and people who oppose the demonstrations – leading to serious injuries. Police have used a variety of crowd control measures, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Some protesters have lit fires, built barricades, and thrown Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs). Police have identified and seized weapons and explosive materials linked to ongoing protest activity. On October 4, the government invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to ban face masks at public gatherings. Any protests that take place without a permit are considered illegal.

Protests, which can take place with little or no notice at any time of the week, are likely to continue and are often accompanied by vandalism and/or violence..

If you decide to travel to Hong Kong:

  • Monitor local media, local transportations sites and apps like MTR Mobile or CitybusNWFB, and the Hong Kong International Airport website for updates.
  • Avoid the areas of the demonstrations.
  • Exercise caution if you are in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests.
  • Avoid taking photographs of protesters or police without permission.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.

Hong Kong has a low crime rate. Even so, you should exercise caution when in congested areas and pay particular attention to personal belongings while in crowded areas and while traveling on public transportation. Violent crime, though rare, does occur. 

  • Take routine safety precautions.
  • Report any concerns to the local police.
  • Call “999,” the local equivalent to “911”

Please note that mace, pepper spray, stun guns, bullets, switch blades, knuckle-dusters and other self-protection weapons are banned in Hong Kong.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law. Be alert to criminal schemes, such as internet, phone scams and dating scams, as well as financial scams.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at “999” and contact the U.S. Consulate General at +(825) 2523-9011. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the U.S. Consulate General. 

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Hong Kong has a crime victim compensation program available to U.S. citizens who are legal residents or tourists in Hong Kong. For more detailed information on the program and its requirements, please see the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department webpage. More resources for victims of crime in Hong Kong are available in our Help for U.S. Victims of Crime in Hong Kong information sheet.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the U.S. Consulate General for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the Special Administrative Region. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

  • Drugs: Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Hong Kong are severe.
  • Identification: Police have the right to detain you for questioning if you are not carrying your passport.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate General immediately. Hong Kong authorities regularly notify the Consulate if they know that a U.S. citizen has been detained or arrested. See our webpage for further information.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES:

Controlled Items: Hong Kong customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning controlled items you might be carrying while transiting Hong Kong (temporary importation or exportation). Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) security routinely and thoroughly screens any luggage loaded onto an aircraft in Hong Kong, whether belonging to a departing or transiting passenger. Discovery of weapons or ammunition of any kind – including mace, pepper spray, stun guns, bullets, air gun pellets, switch blades, knuckle-dusters and other self-protection weapons - during this screening will be referred to the police for investigation, leading to arrest and detention.

If you bring controlled items into Hong Kong without the necessary Hong Kong documents, you may be prosecuted, and the goods may be seized. The penalty for trafficking in dangerous drugs can be life imprisonment and a heavy fine. Among the other items that you must declare to customs officials are liquors, tobacco, cigarettes and cigars, methyl alcohol, and merchandise imported for commercial purposes. There are no currency restrictions for travelers.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of controlled and/or prohibited items:

  • dangerous drugs
  • psychotropic substances
  • controlled chemicals
  • antibiotics
  • arms
  • ammunition
  • weapons
  • fireworks
  • strategic commodities
  • rough diamonds
  • animals
  • plants
  • endangered species
  • telecommunication equipment
  • game
  • meat
  • poultry
  • eggs
  • powdered formula.

Please visit the website of the Hong Kong Department of Customs and Excise for specific information regarding Hong Kong customs requirements.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection encourages the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. 

For additional information, please visit the U.S. Council for International Business website and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection web page on Traveling with Samples.

Please see our Customs Information sheet for general information.

Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is not recognized under People’s Republic of China (PRC) nationality law. Be mindful of the following special circumstances for dual nationals when traveling in the region. 

  • Enter Hong Kong on your U.S. passport to ensure the U.S. Consulate General can provide consular assistance in case of arrest or other emergency.
  • Your child will be considered a PRC citizen if one or both of the parents are Chinese nationals regardless of U.S. citizenship.
  • If you are a dual national with current or previous Hong Kong residency and wish to ensure U.S consular protection, you should present your U.S. passport to the Hong Kong Immigration Department and complete an application for declaration of change of nationality
  • If traveling onward to mainland China, enter China on your U.S. passport to ensure U.S. consular protection. See China Country Specific Information for more information.

For further information on consular protection and dual nationality, please refer to our website. Information on Hong Kong permanent residence may be obtained from the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s right of abode webpage.

West Kowloon Train Station: The West Kowloon Train Station is the terminus of the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). Once passengers pass through the Hong Kong immigration exit checkpoint on their way to mainland China inside the train station or on the train itself in that area, they are in the Mainland Port Area. Likewise, passengers arriving from mainland China are in the Mainland Port Area until they exit the Hong Kong immigration entry checkpoint. Chinese authorities have informed the United States they consider the Mainland Port Area to be in mainland China for all legal purposes, such that U.S. citizens who plan to enter the Mainland Port Area may wish to consult the country information page for China, which advises that U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws as well as special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Hong Kong. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Pets: You must have a permit to bring dogs and cats into Hong Kong. Dogs and cats imported from the United States may be exempted from quarantine when they have valid health and vaccination certificates and the animal has been in the United States for at least six months immediately preceding travel.

Additional information on importing pets is available on the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department website.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Despite efforts to improve accessibility, Hong Kong continues to be a challenge for those with physical disabilities. It has many stairs, inclines, and steep, uneven walkways not designed to accommodate the use of a walker, cane, crutches, or wheelchair.

Hong Kong law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, access to health care, or the provision of other state services, and the government generally enforces these provisions. The law mandates access to buildings, information, and communications for persons with disabilities. The Social Welfare Department is primarily responsible for coordinating and funding public assistance programs to persons with disabilities. The Hong Kong Tourism Board publishes “Accessible Hong Kong,” a guide for visitors with disabilities and the Transport Department publishes A Guide to Public Transport for People with Disabilities. In addition, the Hong Kong government created Cyberable to provide one-stop information for persons with various disabilities.

Typhoons: During the typhoon season (July through November), the Hong Kong Observatory issues typhoon warnings an average of six times a year and heavy rainstorm alerts more frequently. The Hong Kong Observatory has an excellent notification and monitoring system. You may find general information about natural disaster preparedness at the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Please be advised that if the Hong Kong Government announces a Typhoon Signal 8 or above or Black Rainstorm Warning, the Consulate General will be closed for services. You may find additional information on typhoon and storm preparedness on the Hurricane Preparedness and Natural Disasters pages of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Good medical facilities are available, and there are many Western-trained physicians in Hong Kong. Hong Kong emergency service response times for police, fire, and ambulances are good.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medication: Prescription drugs are widely available – names may vary. You need a prescription from a doctor in Hong Kong to purchase medications locally. Bring prescription medications to cover your stay in Hong Kong or plan to see a physician in Hong Kong to obtain a new prescription. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Hong Kong to ensure the medication is legal in Hong Kong. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

Air Quality: Air pollution is an increasing concern in Hong Kong. Congested vehicle traffic and mainland factories pump out ozone, sulfur, and nitrogen oxides, leading to a visible haze in the atmosphere on most days of the year. Average roadside pollution levels exceed WHO guidelines by 200% and continue to deteriorate, creating health risks for those with allergies, asthma, or cardiac problems.

Disease: The following diseases are prevalent: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Chikungunya (via mosquitoes), Avian Influenza, and Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease.

Hong Kong remains at "Alert" response status for Pandemic Influenza. Further current information about Pandemic Influenza and other health-related concerns in Hong Kong are available on the Centre for Health Protection website.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. Each year there are approximately 14,000 traffic accidents.

  • Traffic moves on the left. 
  • Speed limits vary depending on location. 
  • Use of seatbelts is mandatory.

You can drive using your U.S. driver’s license for up to a year. If you hold a valid U.S. driver’s license and have resided in the United States at least six months, you can apply for a Hong Kong driver’s license. Visit the Hong Kong Transport Department online for further details.

Traffic Laws: Many traffic violations are similar to those in the United States, including penalties for reckless driving, driving under the influence, and using a hand-held device while operating a vehicle. Hong Kong law requires that all registered vehicles carry valid third-party liability insurance.

Public Transportation: Approximately 90 percent of the population in Hong Kong depends on public transport. Taxis, buses, and the mass transit railway (MTR) are readily available, inexpensive, and generally safe. The MTR, an underground railway network, is the most popular mode of public transport, carrying an average of 3.5 million passengers a day.

See our Road Safety page for more information. 

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Hong Kong’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Hong Kong should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website portal select “broadcast warnings”.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Hong Kong. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report. 

Last Updated: January 21, 2020

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong & Macau
26 Garden Road, Central,
Hong Kong
Telephone
+(852) 2841-2211, +(852) 2841-2225, +(852) 2841-2323
Emergency
+(852) 2523-9011
Fax
+(852) 2845-4845

Hong Kong Map