Fire and rescue services
Exercise a high degree of caution in Hong Kong.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Hong Kong.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
The Hong Kong Government prohibits demonstrations that they haven't approved. Authorities may arrest protesters.
Avoid protests, demonstrations and large gatherings.
Don't photograph, film or participate in protests or other acts that authorities may consider provocative.
If there are signs of disorder, move away quickly and seek shelter in a safe place.
Increased screening, including of digital devices, is possible for travellers crossing between Hong Kong and mainland China.
To stay safe during civil unrest:
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
There's little violent crime in Hong Kong. You could encounter pickpocketing and street theft.
Thieves target tourist spots and crowded places such as markets and trains.
Take care of your belongings, especially in crowded places.
Foreigners have had drinks spiked in bars and nightclubs. Drink spiking may be combined with theft or credit card fraud.
To reduce your risk of drink spiking:
Scams against Australian travellers are increasing.
Criminals sometimes present themselves as people in need.
One scam starts via the internet. A person might offer you gift cards or money to help carry someone's luggage on an international flight. They may ask for your money, credit card or online bank account details.
Other reported scams involve:
Be wary of strangers asking for your help.
Never carry anything for anyone you don't know and trust, especially when crossing international borders. There's a risk that criminals have hidden drugs or other illegal items inside.
To avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Hong Kong experiences typhoons.
Local safety rules require businesses and transport services to close during typhoons or very heavy rain.
The Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong closes when the 'Typhoon 8' or 'Black Rain' signal is given.
Authorities may delay or suspend flights and ferries into and out of Hong Kong. Contact your travel operator or airline to find out about delays.
If there's a typhoon:
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Hong Kong. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
It's illegal to have sleeping tablets and certain other medications without a prescription. These include medications used to treat erectile dysfunction or anxiety.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Hong Kong experiences very high humidity during summer, from May to October.
Reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities on very humid days.
High levels of air pollution may trigger bronchial, sinus or asthma conditions.
If you have an existing heart or breathing difficulties, reduce physical and outdoor activities on days with high pollution.
You can monitor real-time air quality index reports for Hong Kong.
Outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue, sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from disease:
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is common. Serious outbreaks sometimes occur. Outbreaks usually start in March or April and peak in May. Sometimes they last until October.
HFMD mostly affects children aged younger than 10 years, but adult cases, particularly in young adults, occur.
HFMD is spread by direct contact with discharges of infected people.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases occur sometimes. These include:
To protect yourself from illness:
Seek medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
Human cases of avian influenza A (H7N9) have been reported in mainland China.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government is currently at 'Alert' response level for influenza, including avian influenza A (H7N9). This is the lowest level in the 3-tier alert system.
To reduce your risk:
The Hong Kong SAR Government is currently at 'Alert' response level for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This is the lowest level in the 3-tier alert system.
Hong Kong's Department of Health checks for MERS-CoV at border control points.
Travellers who arrive in, or transit through, Hong Kong and have flu-like symptoms may be sent to a public hospital. The hospital will isolate the person until they test negative for MERS-CoV.
Medical services and facilities are of a high standard.
Costs can be higher than in Australia.
Private hospitals may require you to confirm your insurance cover or pay a deposit up-front before they will admit you.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
National security legislation for Hong Kong came into effect on 1 July 2020. This law could be interpreted broadly. You could break the law without intending to. You may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds. The maximum penalty under this law in Hong Kong is life imprisonment. Under the law, you could be deported or face possible transfer to mainland China for prosecution under mainland law.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
The Australian Government can't intervene in the Hong Kong judicial process.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of China, they may refuse to grant you access to Australian consular services. This will prevent the Australian Government from providing you with those services.
Possessing illegal drugs of any kind, including marijuana, can result in penalties that include heavy fines and jail time.
Officials have arrested many foreigners for trafficking drugs.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been listed as a dangerous drug under the control of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Chapter 134, Laws of Hong Kong) (DDO) in Hong Kong. Possession and consumption carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. Trafficking and illicit manufacturing of CBD carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Strict rules control the import or possession of:
Hong Kong has prosecuted foreigners, including Australians, for possessing:
You can import, possess or purchase such items legally, including from local Hong Kong markets. To do this, you must get a permit from local authorities in advance.
These laws apply to people in Hong Kong and those transiting Hong Kong airport.
If authorities find you carrying such items (including in your luggage), they may arrest, fine or detain you.
Hong Kong has strict import rules. If you don't follow these rules, you could be fined and/or imprisoned.
It's illegal to:
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China applies in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Under this law, dual citizenship is not legally recognised in Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong's law allows dual nationals of Chinese descent to register their Australian nationality.
Register with the Hong Kong Immigration Department if you wish to be considered a national of Australia.
If you're an Australian-Hong Kong dual national, you can make a Declaration of Change of Nationality. Find out what the consequences of this are from the Hong Kong Immigration Department.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of China they may refuse you access to Australian consular services. This can happen even if you entered Hong Kong on an Australian or other foreign passport, and you:
Authorities may not allow certain categories of Chinese citizens, such as state officials, to renounce their Chinese nationality under Chinese law.
Get professional legal advice if you're not sure of your citizenship status under Chinese law.
If you plan to enter mainland China or Macau from Hong Kong, travel on your Australian passport.
Local authorities may not allow consular access if you enter Hong Kong on a travel document other than your Australian passport, or if local authorities identify you as a Hong Kong or Chinese national.
Same-sex relationships are legal.
Most locals accept or are indifferent to LGBTI travellers. However, community attitudes towards LGBTI people are generally more conservative than in Australia.
Avoid public displays of affection.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. This means it has separate immigration regulations from those of the People's Republic of China.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. For details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules, contact:
If you plan to travel between Hong Kong and mainland China, you'll need a visa.
If you plan to return to China after visiting Hong Kong, get a multiple-entry visa for China. If you don't get this visa, you'll need a new visa to re-enter China. Get your visa before leaving Australia.
If you've recently changed your passport, but your Chinese visa is still in the old passport, take both passports with you. Officials may ask you to present your previous passport and Chinese visa.
Your temperature may be checked on arrival in Hong Kong. For the latest requirements, see Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection or contact your airline or travel agent.
Refer to the Hong Kong International Airport website or contact your airline or travel agent for details on transiting Hong Kong.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).
Under Hong Kong law, travellers in and out of Hong Kong may need to declare cash. Make a written declaration if you're carrying more than HKD120,000 or equivalent in cash.
You can change Australian dollars for HKD at local currency exchanges and banks.
Credit cards are widely accepted.
Take care when using ATMs, as petty crime occurs. See Safety
Unlicensed guesthouses providing low-cost accommodation operate in Hong Kong. They may not follow the safety standards set for licensed guesthouses. Don't risk your safety or security.
If you choose to stay in a guesthouse, confirm it's licensed. Tell your family and friends where you are staying.
You can drive in Hong Kong for up to 12 months if you have a valid Australian driver's licence or International Driving Permit (IDP).
Make sure your insurance covers you if you drive without a Hong Kong driver's licence.
If you're residing in Hong Kong, then you should only drive using a Hong Kong driver's licence.
Hong Kong has a well-developed road network of similar standards to a large Australian city.
Check you have adequate insurance before driving.
Find out about local road rules and practices.
Check your insurance covers you for riding motorbikes.
Most travel insurance policies won't cover you if you don't follow local laws or wear a helmet.
Always wear a helmet.
Use only licensed taxis or reputable limousine services. Arrange them through your hotel if you can. Always insist that the meter is used.
A small, but growing number of foreigners have gotten into disputes with taxi drivers over the fare. Be prepared to pay cash for your Hong Kong taxi.
If you have an issue with a taxi driver, ask for a receipt. Then record the taxi driver's licence number and contact the police.
Hong Kong has an extensive public transport system. It includes the MTR, buses, ferries and trams.
Ferries are a common mode of transport between Hong Kong, Macau and the Chinese mainland.
Some cruise lines stop over in Hong Kong.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Hong Kong's air safety profile on the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong.
23/F Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Phone: (+852) 2827 8881
Fax: (+852) 2585 4457
Facebook: Australia in Hong Kong and Macau
X (formerly Twitter): @AusCGHK
Check the Consulate-General website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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