Hong Kong SAR China

Hong Kong SAR China

Use Normal Level of Caution

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China that lies on the southern coast of China and on the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a very densely populated territory with a large population of about 7.2 million people condensed into 424 square miles (1,098 square kilometers).

Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China. The Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document, stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a “high degree of autonomy” in all matters except foreign relations and military defense. The chief of state is the president of China. The head of government is a chief executive of Hong Kong, selected by an 800-person election committee.

After the First Opium War (1839-1842), Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire. Boundaries were extended, and by 1898 there were three geographic areas – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. During World War II, Japan occupied Hong Kong, but after the war, Britain resumed control until 1997 when Britain’s 99-year lease of the New Territories expired.

In accordance with an agreement between China and Britain in 1984, Hong Kong became a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. China agreed that Hong Kong would maintain its economic and social systems for 50 years from the date of handover.

Hong Kong is known for its shopping, cuisine, culture, and as a global center of trade, finance and business.

Currency HKD: Hong Kong Dollar
Language Cantonese; English
Capital N/A
Recent Alerts 19
Latest Alert November 18, 2019 - Flights to Hong Kong Reduced Due to Decreased Demand

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Hong Kong SAR China. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Hong Kong through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Hong Kong.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Hong Kong, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis rarely occurs in this country. The transmission season is April to October. People at increased risk include travellers who are staying for a month or longer during the transmission season, especially if travel will include rural areas with rice fields and marshland.

Rabies

Bats may carry rabies-like viruses in this country.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever can occur in Hong Kong.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

There have been outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease in Hong Kong.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Hong Kong. Travellers to this country are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the healthcare field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Hong Kong SAR China.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through the consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Travellers, who are staying for a month or longer during the transmission season, should consider vaccination against this infection, especially if travel will include rural areas with rice fields and marshland. For trips less than a month duration and for those who restrict their visits to urban areas, the risk is very low, and vaccination is not usually recommended.

Rabies Vaccine

Travellers involved in outdoor and other activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats (i.e. adventure travellers and cavers), as well as travellers with occupational risks (i.e. veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers), should consider the rabies vaccination.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Hong Kong SAR China.

None required.

Safety and Security in Hong Kong SAR China

Emergency Numbers

999

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country, and most travellers have no safety or security trouble. However, petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or other theft can occur in any crowded area or tourist destination. With respect to your personal safety, be cautious and always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers, and never leave your drinks out of your sight.

In Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, be extremely vigilant as there have been reports of robberies in the shopping and entertainment districts. If possible, travel with a friend or group. Secure your identification and cash separate from your other belongings.

Hong Kong and China have separate immigration policies. Ensure you have the proper visas if planning to visit China, Hong Kong, or both.

Exercise caution when driving due to traffic congestion and narrow roads. Driving is on the left. When using a taxi, always ensure a taxi meter is being used to avoid having to negotiate fares.

You can be fined on the spot for littering or spitting.

Be sure you have a ticket for the Mass Transit Railway (MTR).

Avoid taking photographs of military installations.

The Hong Kong SAR Government has strict laws regarding the possession of weapons or anything that may resemble a weapon (i.e. weapon replicas, antiques, toys).

Typhoons can occur in Hong Kong, especially during the rainy (monsoon) season (May-October). Flooding, landslides, major damage to infrastructure and disruption to travel plans may result. Monitor weather reports closely. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

LGBTI travellers should note that although same-sex sexual activity is legal, same-sex marriage is not, and there are no laws protecting LGBTI travellers from discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Nevertheless, Hong Kong's society is generally friendly towards LGBTI travellers, and Hong Kong has developed a vibrant gay scene.

Political Unrest

There have been demonstrations in Hong Kong. Although most are peaceful and orderly, minimize safety risk by avoiding large public gatherings or rallies. Even peaceful situations can escalate quickly and unexpectedly and become violent.

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