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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022

Road closures and no-fly zones ahead of Xi’s handover anniversary visit

Road closures and no-fly zones ahead of Xi’s handover anniversary visit

Police announced the special arrangements in respect of the attendance of Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting this week for the handover anniversary.
Xi “will attend a meeting celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the inaugural ceremony of the sixth-term government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” according to the press release provided by the Police Public Relations Branch on Tuesday. "Police are getting prepared for President Xi’s possible visit to Hong Kong.”

A series of security measures will be put in place to protect Xi. The areas where Xi is staying or passing through will be listed as “core security zone,” and the streets and pedestrian bridges passing by the convoy will be temporarily closed.

There will be closures on various roads at Wan Chai North 2am on Wednesday to 2pm on Friday. That included part of the Central–Wan Chai Bypass Tunnel; part of the Fleming Road; Northbound Fleming Road flyover; Expo Drive; Expo Drive Central; Expo Drive East; etc. Traffic diversions will be implemented during the road closure or until the closure is lifted.

In connection with the road closures to be implemented in the vicinity of Wan Chai North, a total of 23 bus routes terminating at Wan Chai North and 30 passing bus routes will be diverted or truncated as appropriate.

The Exhibition Centre Station of MTR East Rail Line will be temporarily closed from 1am on Thursday to 2pm on Friday. East Rail Line train will not stop at Exhibition Centre Station from the first departure on June 30 until the reopening of the station. People entering and leaving the Exhibition Centre station will be subject to security control.

Other ad-hoc traffic and public transport measures, including adjusting the extent of road closure, traffic diversion and alteration and suspension of public transport services may be implemented by the Police at short notice depending on the actual traffic conditions.

Since the implementation of special traffic arrangements will have a great impact on the traffic of Wan Chai North, motorists are advised to drive with care and patience. Police also appeal to the public and motorists not to go to the relevant areas unless necessary.

In addition, the Civil Aviation Department will set up temporarily restricted flight zones on both sides of Victoria Harbour to restrict the flying of general airplanes and other flying devices. As for the drones, the whole territory is listed as a restricted flying zone.

Assistant Police Commissioner Lui Kam-ho said at a news conference that Police Force were “highly concerned about the possibility of local terrorism” at this week’s anniversary celebrations, adding that the city was operating at a mid-risk level.

Xi would arrive Thursday via high-speed rail and be escorted from the West Kowloon station via a bulletproof limousine, according to a local report citing an unidentified source.

Xi’s visit will be his first trip outside mainland China since the coronavirus pandemic took hold about two and a half years ago. It comes as Hong Kong is facing a new spike in infections following what was by far its worst and deadliest Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.

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