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Hong Kong - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Hong Kong.
Safety and security
Demonstrations occasionally occur in Hong Kong, sometimes on short notice. Though they are usually conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner, some have turned violent.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs, particularly:
- at the airport
- on public transportation
- in main tourist shopping areas and hotel lobbies
- on crowded streets
Bags left unattended are likely to be stolen. Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Robberies, some targeting foreigners, have occurred in the shopping and entertainment districts in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, located across the border from Hong Kong in Guangdong, China.
Be extremely vigilant while in Shenzhen, and travel with a friend or in a group. Carry copies of passports and other identification and a small supply of cash separate from your other personal belongings.
Spiked food and drinks
Foreigners have been targeted in incidents of drink spiking, which is often combined with theft or credit card fraud.
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula
Tensions on the neighbouring Korean Peninsula could escalate with little notice and the security situation could deteriorate suddenly. Tensions may increase before, during and after North Korean nuclear and missile tests, military exercises or as the result of incidents or military activities at or near the inter-Korean border.
Monitor developments, remain vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Traffic is congested in urban areas. Roads are narrow and frequently unmarked.
Taxi drivers speak little or no English. Have your destination written in Chinese to present to the driver.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
General information about foreign domestic airlines
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Chinese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 1 month beyond the expiry date of your visa.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays of up to 90 days
Business visa: Not required for stays of up to 90 days
Student visa: Required
Canadians travelling to mainland China via Hong Kong must obtain a Chinese visa before arrival.
Canadian travellers who are not Hong Kong residents should seek information from the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate and apply for entry visas before leaving Canada.
Canadians who reside in Hong Kong are encouraged to seek detailed information from the Office of the Commissioner of China’s foreign ministry in Hong Kong.
If entering and leaving Hong Kong via mainland China, make sure you have a visa for re-entry into China.
More about entering/exiting China
All travellers are subject to body temperature screening upon entry into Hong Kong.
An airport departure tax of HKD120 and a ferry embarkation tax of HKD19 are normally included in the price of a plane ticket to or from Hong Kong. Confirm these taxes are included with your air carrier.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- There are no updates at this time.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in East Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Eastern Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, crimean congo haemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Lyme disease, malaria, and tick-borne encephalitis.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
- There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened, air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
- Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in Eastern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that mainly affects infants and children. Travellers are at increased risk if visiting or living in overcrowded conditions. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against this disease.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Good medical care is widely available. Private hospitals may require confirmation of insurance coverage, guarantee of payment or an up-front deposit before admitting patients.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
Illegal or restricted activities
Hong Kong has strict laws regarding weapons and items that may be used as weapons. You are liable for prosecution when transiting through Hong Kong International Airport with items such as knuckledusters, extendable batons, live ammunition or stunning devices in your carry-on or checked bags.
Taking photographs of military installations is strongly discouraged. Cameras may be confiscated.
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Hong Kong.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Hong Kong, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
General information for travellers with dual citizenship
While dual citizenship is not legally recognized in mainland China, Hong Kong authorities recognize dual citizenship under the “one country, two systems” framework. In accordance with the bilateral agreement between Canada and Hong Kong SAR, local authorities advise Canadian consular officials in Hong Kong when Canadian citizens are arrested or detained, and also provide them with consular access to these Canadian citizens. You are encouraged to advise local authorities of your Canadian citizenship if you are detained or arrested.
Canadians who were born in Hong Kong must declare their Canadian citizenship to the Hong Kong Immigration Department for their Canadian citizenship to be recognized by local authorities. If this declaration is not made, local authorities may consider such individuals to be Chinese. For further information, contact the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
Traffic drives on the left.
You should carry an international driving permit.
Drivers involved in an accident are tested for alcohol consumption and may face prosecution if they exceed the legal limit (0.05% blood alcohol level).
The use of a cellular phone while driving is strictly prohibited unless the phone is fitted with a hands-free device.
More about the International Driving Permit
The currency is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD).
Credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are widely available.
Natural disasters and climate
Typhoons and monsoon
The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from May to October. Typhoons usually occur between April and October. Local authorities are very effective at disseminating information about upcoming storms to the public, in order to reduce the risks to both citizens and tourists. Severe rainstorms have occasionally caused flooding and landslides, resulting in loss of life and damage to infrastructure. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and follow the advice of local authorities.
Dial 999 for emergency assistance.
Hong Kong - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.
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