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Government raises Outbound Travel Alert for Israel to Red
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     In view of the latest developments in Israel, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government today (October 8) raised the Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) for Israel to red.

     A government spokesman said, "Residents who intend to visit Israel should adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel, including leisure travel. Those already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people. Residents should avoid all travels to Gaza and nearby areas as well as areas along the border with Syria and Lebanon due to the volatile security situation."

     The Security Bureau will continue to closely monitor the situation there. Any update will be issued through the media, the Bureau's Mobile App and the OTA webpage (www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota).

     In response to the latest situation in Israel and Palestine, the Hong Kong Immigration Department (ImmD) has immediately contacted the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (OCMFA), the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the State of Israel (The Embassy), the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine (The Office) and the Travel Industry Authority to understand the situation. As at 6pm of October 8, ImmD has received enquiries from 17 Hong Kong residents thereat. Five of them have left safely and are currently taking flight to return to Hong Kong. ImmD will continue to maintain close liaison with the remaining 12 Hong Kong residents and provide information and assistance regarding their itinerary and flight arrangements as appropriate. On the other hand, ImmD understands that a tour group of 30 Hong Kong residents is currently in Israel and some members of the group will return to Hong Kong early. ImmD will also maintain close liaison with the tour group, and render assistance according to their wishes.

     After learning their itineraries, ImmD has also proactively provided information of earlier direct or transit flights for Hong Kong to the above-mentioned Hong Kong residents who originally planned for a later return flight. On the other hand, ImmD has maintained close liaison with the Embassy and the Office to share the information on sea, land and air transportation arrangements to leave the area, and rendered assistance according to the wishes of the Hong Kong residents. ImmD will continue to maintain close liaison with the above-mentioned Hong Kong residents, OCMFA, the Embassy, the Office and the Travel Industry Authority, monitor the latest development and actively follow up the cases.

     Hong Kong residents in Israel and Palestine should attend to personal safety and pay attention to announcements made by local authorities, the Embassy and the Office. Hong Kong residents thereat who need assistance may call the 24-hour hotline of the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the ImmD at (852) 1868, call the 1868 hotline using network data via the Immigration Department Mobile Application, send message to 1868 WhatsApp assistance hotline or submit the Online Assistance Request Form, or contact the consular protection hotline of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the State of Israel at (972) 3-5459520, or the consular protection hotline of the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine at (970) 595776516.
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     Hong Kong residents are encouraged to use the online Registration of Outbound Travel Information service (www.gov.hk/roti) of the ImmD to register their contact details and itinerary when outside Hong Kong. The information provided allows the ImmD to disseminate practical information to them through appropriate means, including SMS on mobile phones, on a timely basis when necessary.
 
Ends/Sunday, October 8, 2023
Issued at HKT 22:20
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