Hong Kong courts have granted an injunction to clear protesters in the airport except for those in designated areas, according to the Airport Authority (AA) on Wednesday.
The airport operator said in a press release that it has obtained an interim injunction to “restrain persons from unlawfully and wilfully obstructing or interfering with the proper use of Hong Kong International Airport.”
Demonstrators who do not obstruct the airport’s operations will be allowed to stay, but only in the area designated by the Airport Authority, it added.
While the ongoing protests were not banned outright, the airport operator said that the court document did not authorise any protest that goes against the Public Order Ordinance.
Meanwhile, some flights resumed on Wednesday morning as others were rescheduled.
The move came after chaotic scenes at the airport on Tuesday night as police and protesters clashed at Terminal 1.
Police used pepper spray and one officer drew his gun, as officers tried to escort a man accused of being an undercover mainland agent away from the crowds.
A large group of protesters previously surrounded the man and attacked him, claiming that he had mainland identification documents and that he was from the Public Security Bureau.
Later in the night, another man was similarly accosted before being found out to be a reporter from the state-run tabloid Global Times.
Both men appeared to lose consciousness, and were eventually escorted out of the airport by paramedics and taken away in ambulances.
Protesters have turned out at the Hong Kong International Airport – one of the world’s busiest transport hubs – since last week, with some trying to spread their message to tourists.
The numbers of protesters skyrocketed on Monday after incidents of alleged police brutality took place the day before, leading the airport to cancel all flights out of Hong Kong in the evening. Protesters returned en masse on Tuesday, and brought check-in services to a halt for the second day in a row.
The government condemned the unrest and the actions of protesters in a press release early Wednesday: “They detained, harassed and assaulted a visitor and a journalist, inflicting physical and mental harm on them. Police severely condemn such radical and violent acts of the protestors.”
In its Wednesday announcement, the AA did not specify where the protesters will be allowed to stay, though for the past few days they have been allowed to gather at the arrivals hall.
Fewer than 100 demonstrators remained as of Wednesday morning, as most left the airport after the clashes with police.
The injunction will become effective once it is posted in a public area in the airport, and the AA said on Wednesday morning that it was in the process of getting official copies from the court.