The security in Hong Kong is at unprecedented levels on Friday, with a heavy police presence, roadblocks and a ban on drones.
Taking no chances for protests or disruption as Chinese leader Xi Jinping visits the city, police have shut down areas close to key venues. Pedestrian footbridges, highways and a train station in some of the busiest areas of the city were temporarily closed on Thursday and Friday.
A no-fly zone has been established across the city’s harbor, with drone use restricted throughout Xi’s visit.
Authorities have also heavily restricted media access to the handover celebrations, a far cry from the open reporting environment and freewheeling local press of years past.
According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), at least 10 journalists working for local and international organizations had their applications to cover the events rejected for “security reasons.”
On the ground: In Hong Kong's Wan Chai district, police presence was heavily visible Friday morning despite the quietness surrounding closed-off areas near the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Centre, where high-profile events are taking place today.
Officers in groups of four patrolled footbridges, sidewalks and subway stations and exits at the commercial districts of Admiralty and Wan Chai.
Meanwhile, a public service announcement reminded passengers that trains will not stop at the Exhibition Centre station “to ensure the public safety” of handover anniversary celebration events.