“Instagram Pier” in Hong Kong’s Kennedy Town district, which was highly popular with walkers, joggers and dog owners, has been closed to the public, the Marine Department has confirmed.
Despite its widespread popularity, the Western District Public Cargo Working Area (PCWA) was already officially a closed area but gates remained open. The department issued a warning last May of HK$10,000 fines and six months in prison for members of the public caught entering the area.
The entry gates to the pier and the rest of the cargo working area were locked on Sunday. The pier area has become particularly popular since it links a newly opened recreation area at Belcher Bay with the harbourfront promenade which extends to Central and Wanchai.
The pier itself, with its spectacular harbour views, is a favourite spot for photos, especially at sunset.
“For the sake of public safety, people who are not engaged in cargo working activities are prohibited from entering PCWA,” the Marine Department said in a statement to HKFP on Monday. “PCWA, where large and heavy goods vehicles and mobile cranes are often used during cargo operations, are not public open spaces. To avoid affecting cargo operations and ensure public safety, people who are not engaged in cargo working activities should not enter PCWA.”
Instead, the department said members of the public could visit other waterfront areas flanking the pier, including the Belcher Bay harbourfront and the Central & Western District Promenade.
The department also announced that cargo workers must use the government’s Covid-19 tracing app from Monday onwards. “With effect from March 1, anyone entering a PCWA is required to scan the ‘LeaveHomeSafe’ QR code or register their names, contact numbers and the date and time of their visits for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found.”
The department added that it had already notified the Central and Western District Office about the arrangements.
Southern District Councillor Paul Zimmerman, however, told HKFP that the closure was made without any prior consultation or announcement and was regrettable.
“The presence of the public has been tolerated and condoned for many years. Instagram pier was voted the most favourite public space in 2016. It is very regrettable that the Marine Department has decided to suddenly close the gates without prior consultation with the District Council or the Harbourfront Commission,” the councillor said.