Exit warning for Canadians

Finance | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 6 Aug 2021

Canada has warned its citizens that Hong Kong authorities can prevent people leaving the city under a new law that has raised fears of mainland-style exit bans.

The law, granting the immigration chief powers to bar people from boarding planes to and from the city, came into effect on Sunday.

"Under this amendment, individuals, including foreigners, might be unable to leave the territory," Canada's travel advisory account said. The tweet linked to an advisory Ottawa published that mentioned the new rules.

"You may not be aware that you are the subject of movement restrictions until you try to leave Hong Kong," the advisory stated.

"These new powers may relate to investigations into an individual, their family or an employer, and criminal and civil matters."

Some Western nations, including the United States and Britain, have criticized the law but Canada is the first to explicitly mention the exit-ban risk in a travel advisory.

Hong Kong's government says the law will not be applied to people leaving the city and is aimed at stopping illegal immigrants arriving.

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