The Outbound Travel Alert (OTA) System aims to help people better understand the risk or threat to personal safety in travelling to 88 countries/territories that are the more popular travel destinations for Hong Kong residents (HKRs). When there are signs of threat in a place that may affect the personal safety of HKRs, the Security Bureau will assess and consider the need to issue an OTA taking into account factors such as the nature (e.g. whether it is targeted at travellers), level and duration of the threat. Should there be public health reasons, based on the alert level as advised by the Food and Health Bureau, the Security Bureau will issue an OTA on countries/territories seriously affected by infectious diseases to help the public better understand the possible health risks.
OTA Currently in Force
For travel advice or related information on foreign countries, you may:
download the mobile app of "Ministry of Foreign Affairs 12308" (Chinese only) ;
connect to WeChat of Consular Services of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Chinese only); or
connect to Weibo of Consular Services of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Chinese only)
You may also visit the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, or the databases compiled by the Australian, Canadian and the UK governments:
For information on travel to other parts of China, you may visit:
Travel Health Advice from the Department of Health
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Updated: 15/03/2020)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) refers to the cluster of viral pneumonia cases occurring in Wuhan, Hubei Province, since December 2019. According to investigation by the Mainland health authorities, a novel coronavirus 'COVID-19 virus' is found to be the causative agent. Symptoms of COVID-19 are mainly fever and cough, while some patients presented with shortness of breath and were in serious condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and declared on March 11 that the COVID-19 outbreak can be described as a pandemic. As of early March 2020, more than 80,000 cases have been reported in all provinces/cities of Mainland China and the epidemic in Hubei Province was especially serious during January and February 2020. Do not travel to Hubei Province of Mainland China where there is widespread community transmission of COVID-19 virus.
For details, please see:
Moreover, transmission of COVID-19 virus has been increasing in other parts of the world since late February. As of 14 March, at least 60 000 confirmed cases were reported in more than 120 countries/areas outside Mainland China. Large scale outbreaks with active community transmissions are occurring in Korea (especially Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do), Italy (especially Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions) and Iran. The global situation in particular in Europe is rapidly evolving with a continuous surge in the number of affected countries and confirmed cases. Locally transmitted cases are reported in many countries. The number of cases in United States and United Kingdom is also increasing rapidly since early March.
In Japan, which is one of the most popular travel destinations for Hong Kong people, more than 700 cases were reported as of 14 March (excluding the near 700 confirmed cases related to the cruise ship 'Diamond Princess' identified in February). Hokkaido is the most severely affected area. For India and Egypt, a number of imported cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Hong Kong recently related to tour groups to India and Egypt, indicating community transmission there, the Department of Health is also closely monitoring the situation.
The Department of Health strongly urges members of the public to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong. If it is unavoidable to travel outside Hong Kong, put on a surgical mask and continue to do so until 14 days after returning to Hong Kong. Besides, the public should observe personal and environmental hygiene and take preventive measures, in particular, avoid touching animals (including game) poultry/birds or their droppings; avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms; and do not consume game meat or patronise food premises where game meat is served.The public should consider delaying all non-essential travel to places outside Hong Kong. If it is unavoidable, the public should avoid close contact with persons with fever or respiratory symptoms during travel and wear a surgical mask when taking public transport or staying in crowded places. Besides, the public should observe personal and environmental hygiene and take preventive measures, in particular, avoid touching animals (including game) poultry/birds or their droppings; avoid visiting wet markets, live poultry markets or farms; and do not consume game meat or patronise food premises where game meat is served.
Meanwhile, the Government draws up corresponding port health and quarantine measures in response to the health risk of individual countries/areas. Before travelling outside Hong Kong, members of the public should beware of the potential health risk and applicable quarantine arrangements upon returning to Hong Kong.
Starting from February 8, 2020, the Department of Health has been issuing quarantine orders to all people entering Hong Kong from the Mainland, including Hong Kong residents, Mainland residents and visitors from other places. People concerned must stay at home or other accommodation for a 14-day compulsory quarantine.
Webpage of the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health
Countries/areas with reported cases of COVID-19
World Health Organization COVID-19 situation reports
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) (Updated: 19/07/2019)
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on July 17, 2019. The public should avoid unnecessary travel to affected areas. During travel, they should observe good personal and environmental hygiene, and avoid contact with feverish or sick patients, blood or body fluids of patients and contaminated items, as well as animals.
For details, please see:
EVD page of the Department of Health
Travel Health News on EVD
Latest announcements by WHO
The Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health reminds the public to observe good personal and environmental hygiene when travelling to places with high incidence or outbreak of measles.
For details, please see:
Immunisation against measles is the most effective way to prevent the disease. People who intend to travel to places with high incidence or outbreak of measles are advised to review their vaccination history and past medical history. For those with incomplete vaccination, unknown vaccination history or unknown immunity against measles, they are advised to consult their doctor for advice on measles vaccination.
Measles page of the Department of Health
Travel Health News on Measles
Other Useful Links
1. Before travelling abroad, Individuals should understand clearly the arrangements of the outbound tour and the coverage of the insurance policy before entering into any contracts with or purchasing any products or services from the service providers or suppliers.
2. Employers and employees are encouraged to come up with prior work arrangements or understanding on the need for the latter to undertake business visits to a place where an OTA is in force. For details, please see Guide to Good People Management Practices of the Labour Department.
3. HKRs who are abroad should pay attention to their personal safety. Those who need assistance may call the 24-hour hotline of the Immigration Department. For HKRs who are Chinese nationals, they may also call the 24-hour consular protection hotline (8610) 12308 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China or contact the Chinese Embassy/Chinese Consulate-General in their destination. The telephone numbers and addresses of the Chinese Embassies/Chinese Consulates-General overseas can be obtained from the Immigration Department (Tel: (852) 2824 6111) or Website:
4. For health-related risks during outbound travel, please visit the relevant websites of the Department of Health (http://www.travelhealth.gov.hk/eindex.html).
HKRs are encouraged to make reference to the OTA (if any) before travelling abroad or firming up their travel plans. It is however a personal decision whether a HKR chooses to continue the journey and travel abroad. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region accepts no liability for any loss, damage or injury arising from any cause or related to the supply or use of the OTA or other information in this website.