Activists plan protest over COVID-19 response in Hong Kong, China, Feb. 19. Additional, unannounced rallies highly likely.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 17 Feb 2020 18:26 GMT and is scheduled to expire 21 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Protests
  • Location(s): Hong Kong (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least Feb. 19
  • Impact: Heightened security measures, business and transport disruptions; likely clashes

Summary
Protests over quarantine facilities and other government responses to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are planned in Hong Kong through at least Feb. 19, though rallies will probably continue for at least several days beyond that date. Activists have recently held demonstrations against quarantine facilities in Fo Tan, Kwai Chung, Fanling, Mei Foo, and Wong Tai Sin. Further protests are highly likely in these neighborhoods, as well as new demonstrations in any residential areas where authorities may establish quarantine centers in the future. Public workers critical of the official response to COVID-19 plan to hold a rally outside the East Wing of the Central Government Complex in Tamar on Feb. 19. Additionally, protests calling for the complete closure of border crossings with mainland China may occur at locations throughout Hong Kong.

Traffic and commercial disruptions are highly likely near all protest venues. Activists could implement roadblocks and hold marches along roadways during demonstrations. Groups of demonstrators may attempt to damage government property. Clashes between police and protesters are likely.

Advice
Avoid protest sites as a precaution due to the threat of localized clashes. Allow extra time to reach destinations near demonstrations. Monitor local media for protest updates, as organizers may not announce specific venues in advance. Immediately leave the area and shelter in a secure, non-governmental building if violence erupts.

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