Business Travel Advisory – 2/13/19

THE AMERICAS

Brazil 
Today through February 16, travelers in Rio de Janeiro state should plan journeys accounting for severe weather and potential flooding. The National Institute of Meteorology has warned of heavy rain and strong winds in parts of the state, including the city of Rio de Janeiro. As a precaution, the US Consulate has announced reduced staffing and limited emergency service provision for today.

Canada 
Today, passengers transiting Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and Ottawa-Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) should reconfirm flights due to inclement weather in the area. Flights at both facilities are experiencing delays and cancellations.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Kenya 
Travelers should continue to monitor developments and avoid all protests linked to an ongoing indefinite nationwide nurses’ strike, after President Uhuru Kenyatta called for participants to resume work by Friday, February 15 or face dismissal. On February 11, striking nurses rallied in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, though some of their colleagues in Nairobi county have agreed to return to work after reaching an agreement with local authorities. The walkout was called by the KNUN union over authorities’ perceived failure to implement a November 2017 agreement on allowances.

Nigeria 
Today, travelers in Abuja should expect significant disruption and minimize nonessential movement during an election rally to be staged by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party. Supporters will gather at 8:00 AM local time at Eagle Square for the event, which will be attended by President Muhammadu Buhari. Travelers should avoid all election-related gatherings as a precaution.

Sudan 
Non-essential travel to Sudan should be deferred amid ongoing anti-government protests. Travelers in country should continue to exercise caution, especially in urban centers, and avoid all demonstrations as a precaution. Protests continued today, prompting a harsh response from security forces. Further demonstrations are likely in the coming days, including in Khartoum, as the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has urged protesters to keep up the momentum. All related gatherings should be avoided due to the credible risk of unrest.

Tanzania 
On February 16, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption during protests by miners. Several mining unions plan to gather outside Regional Commissioner offices in support of President John Magufuli following his introduction of tax reliefs for the mining industry. While the gatherings are expected to pass off peacefully, travelers should avoid them as a precaution.

Uganda 
Today, travelers in Kampala should avoid the vicinity of Zai Plaza and Luwum Street in the city center, where disruptive protests are currently taking place. Reports indicate that disgruntled traders have blocked roads, while several buildings in the vicinity have closed.

Zambia 
Today, travelers in Zambia should continue to anticipate heightened tensions and closely monitor developments as results of yesterday’s the Local Government and Parliamentary by-elections are announced. Yesterday, clashes erupted in Sesheke between the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF); reports indicate police violently dispersed crowds, leading to injuries and arrests. Travelers should continue to avoid all gatherings and the vicinity of political party offices as a precaution.

Zimbabwe 
Tomorrow, travelers in Harare should avoid a commemorative gathering by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Activists will gather at the Harare Show Grounds at 10:00 AM local time to commemorate the death of the party’s founder, Morgan Tsvangirai. The gathering has been authorized by police, though they have refused the organizer’s request to also hold a march. The event is likely to be peaceful, but should be avoided, as party leaders have warned that some attendees want to turn the event into an anti-government protest. Heightened security should therefore be expected around the venue.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Afghanistan 
Today, travelers in Kabul should continue to avoid the vicinity of ceremonial funeral services for former President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi following two attempted attacks. Two projectiles were fired at around 12:00 PM local time, south of the main ceremony at Ghazi National Stadium, but caused no casualties or damage. The burial ceremony will take place at the Ashqan-o-Arefan Cemetery. Reports indicate that movement restrictions have now been lifted but that there is still a heavy security presence and associated congestion in Kabul.

India 
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Jammu and the Kashmir Valley should expect disruption during an ongoing bandh (shutdown strike); all related demonstrations should be avoided as a precaution. The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) alliance has organized the strike in protest of legal challenges to the validity of Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution. The articles pertain to the special status of the region and the rights and privileges of permanent residents, respectively. The strike will coincide with a Supreme Court hearing on the case in Delhi.

Japan 
A surge in influenza activity has been recorded across Japan. Flu is a viral illness, causing a sudden fever, cough, headache, weakness, and muscular pains. Most cases are mild although some can be severe or even fatal. Pregnant women, adults over 65, and young children are at higher risk of severe illness. Travelers should consider vaccination and pay close attention to hygiene.

Pakistan 
Today, passengers transiting Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE), which serves Lahore, should anticipate residual disruption and reconfirm the status of their flights after the facility was briefly closed for runway repairs. While the airport has now reopened, some flights have been delayed or canceled.

On February 16-17, travelers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi should expect heightened security and associated disruption during a scheduled visit by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. Authorities will implement traffic restrictions and increase the security force presence in Islamabad for the event. Accommodation shortages are also likely, as at least six hotels in Islamabad have reportedly been reserved for the visit.

Turkey 
Today, travelers intending to undertake ferry travel should anticipate disruption and reconfirm bookings due to adverse weather conditions. Istanbul’s Fast Ferry and Sea Bus Company (IDO) and Bursa Sea Buses (BUDO) have temporarily suspended a number of domestic ferry services between Istanbul and Bursa, Bandirma and Istanbul, Bursa and Armutlu, and Armutlu and Istanbul.

EUROPE

Albania 
On February 16, travelers in Tirana should avoid a planned protest outside the Prime Minister’s office. The demonstration has been called by the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) to denounce alleged government corruption and a perceived lack of economic development. DP leader Lulzim Basha has called on party supporters from across the country to attend. Police will implement intensive vehicle controls on main roads in Tirana on the day, having alleged that unidentified criminal elements will seek to hijack the protest.

Belgium 
Airspace over Belgium has been closed for a 24-hour period due to a nationwide strike by public transportation workers. All flights into and out of Belgium are canceled through 10:00 PM local time today.

Bulgaria 
On February 16, travelers in Sofia should avoid a far-right demonstration and a counter-protest to minimize inconvenience. The “No to Nazis on Our Streets” demonstration is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM local time at the Central Mineral Baths. The protest has been called by the Antifa Bulgaria organization in response to the annual far-right “Lukov March,” which will begin at 5:30 PM local time at the National Palace of Culture.

France 
High seasonal flu activity has been recorded across France. Flu is a viral illness, causing a sudden fever, cough, headache, weakness, and muscular pains. Most cases are mild although some can be severe or even fatal. Pregnant women, adults over 65, and young children are at higher risk of severe illness. Travelers should consider vaccination and pay strict attention to hygiene.

Russia 
Today, passengers transiting airports in Moscow should reconfirm flights due to inclement weather. More than 100 flights have been delayed or canceled.