Flights were cancelled & others were delayed when fresh protests caused gridlock in Hong Kong & blocked road access to the city’s international gateway.

Traffic in and out of Hong Kong International Airport is believed to have been heavily affected “for hours” on Sunday, as protesters barricaded roads and engaged in violent clashes with local police.

According to reports, traffic was so severe in the popular city that airport and airline staff were forced to abandon transportation and walk to the gateway, and travellers missed their flights.

Read on for more information:

 

FIRST, WHAT’S GOING ON IN HONG KONG?

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Image: Steven Wei/Unsplash

In short, Hong Kong’s population believes it’s slowly losing freedoms and rights.

Although Hong Kong has technically belonged to China since 1997, an arrangement with former owners – the Brits – ensured that the city remained semiautonomous with its own legal system and liberties. China agreed to uphold the mini-constitution aka ‘Basic Law’ until 2047.

However, the people of Hong Kong believe they’re slowly losing their autonomy, a feeling that was amplified in February this year, when the local government introduced a bill that would allow people accused of crimes to be sent to places where Hong Kong has no extradition treaty, including mainland China.

Although thousands of people opposed the bill on 9 June 2019, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam only agreed to “suspend” the new law, not formally withdraw it as locals had hoped.

Since, protests have continued during which the people of Hong Kong are requesting the formal removal of the bill, Mrs Lam’s resignation and an investigation into police brutality.

Click here for a more detailed look at the city’s current political climate.

 

SO, SHOULD I AVOID TRAVELLING TO HONG KONG RIGHT NOW?

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Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) continues to advise travellers to “Exercise a High Degree of Caution” in the city.

The government body warned of further protests in the coming weeks and stressed an ongoing risk of violent confrontation.

“If you are in Hong Kong, be alert. Avoid protests and demonstrations. If there are signs of disorder, move away quickly to a safe place.”

Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

DFAT continued, urging travellers to monitor local media for updates.

“The situation is very uncertain.”

The Asian city also recently slipped off the list of ‘World’s Safest Cities’, click here for more details.

 

WHAT ADVICE IS THERE FOR PEOPLE FLYING IN & OUT OF THE CITY THIS WEEK?

Head to the airport early.

In an online statement, the destination’s International Airport advised travellers to allow sufficient time for travel to the gateway.

The airport said the weekend’s public activities could continue through to Monday and all travellers should check with their respective airlines for any cancellations or delays.

“Or visit the airport’s website and “HKG My Flight” mobile app for updated flight information.”