MTR service partially resumed in Hong Kong on the morning (local time) of Tuesday, October 8, following violent protests around rail stations on Sunday, October 6. As of 10:00, some stations remained closed due to serious vandalism, including Mong Kok, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Hang Hau, Po Lam, Tai Po Market, Siu Hong, Che Kung Temple, Sha Tin Wai, City One, Shek Mun, and Ma On Shan stations. Officials have warned that crowd control measures may be in place at some stations and short-notice service disruptions are possible. Train service will also end at 20:00 on Tuesday to allow for repairs. Up-to-date information on service information and station closures can be found on the MTR website. Significant rail disruptions are anticipated in the coming days.
Metro rail service has been disrupted since Friday, October 4, after violent protests broke out in opposition to a ban on face masks implemented by Hong Kong’s Executive Council on the same day. Shops, banks, and ATMs were also reportedly vandalized as the situation escalated on Sunday night. Local officials also warned on Monday, October 7, that they would not rule out internet restrictions in an effort to curb further demonstrations.
A heightened security presence is likely across Hong Kong until the situation fully stabilizes. Severe transportation and business disruptions are to be expected during all periods of protest activity. Further demonstrations are expected in the coming days.
On September 4, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, which would have allowed authorities in Hong Kong to extradite fugitives wanted in mainland China and other territories. The bill sparked mass protests of up to 2 million people throughout Hong Kong since June 9. However, protest actions have continued since the government's announcement, as protesters' demands evolved into a wider pro-democracy movement, calling for government reforms and police accountability over violence.
Demonstrations have spread from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories in recent weeks and have also become increasingly violent. Activists have also accused the police of using unnecessary force in their attempts to disperse protesters.
Individuals in Hong Kong are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests and demonstrations, prepare for associated disruptions to transportation and business, budget additional time to reach Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
Individuals are also advised to avoid wearing black and white colors around protest zones or rallies as they are associated with protesters.
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