Business Travel Advisory
Today, normal movement can resume in the vicinity of the Town Center shopping mall in Boca Raton, Florida following unsubstantiated reports of a shooting incident. The facility was placed on lockdown yesterday afternoon following reports of gunfire. Police have since said that they found no evidence of gunfire and allowed the mall to reopen at 9:30 PM local time; the cause of the loud noise that sparked the false alarm remains under investigation. One person was injured during the evacuation of the mall.
Travelers in Dallas, Texas should anticipate local disruption on October 17 during rival political gatherings. A rally hosted by President Donald Trump is scheduled for 7:00 PM local time at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas. A counterrally by Presidential Candidate Beto O’Rourke will take place at 6:00 PM at the nearby Theatre at Grand Prairie. A heightened security presence, large crowds, and associated disruption can be expected around both events. A similar October 10 rally by Trump at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota resulted in clashes between participants and counter-protesters. Police used pepper spray to disperse crowds.
Beginning October 29, travelers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) using rideshare services, including Uber or Lyft, will be picked up at a designated parking lot near Terminal 1. Shuttle service from the main terminal will be provided. Travelers are advised that shuttles will run every 3-5 minutes. Alternately, passengers can walk from the main terminal to the designated ride-share pick up area, which would take approximately 18 minutes.
Travelers should continue to defer non-essential travel to Ecuador until at least tomorrow amid recent violent and disruptive protests over fuel subsidies. Those incountry should minimize movement, pending the lifting of protest roadblocks and suspension of security operations after indigenous activists reached a deal with the government late yesterday. A State of Emergency and partial curfew, restricting movement from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM local time near government buildings, remain in effect nationwide. In Quito, a citywide curfew remains in place until “order is restored.”
Today and tomorrow, travelers on essential travel in Port-au-Prince should avoid planned anti-government demonstrations in the vicinity of the US Embassy due to a credible risk of unrest. Although specific times or locations have not been announced, Avenue Mais Gate, Avenue Toussaint Louverture, and Boulevard du 15 Octobre are likely to be affected. Opposition groups have called for continued protests until at least October 17 to demand President Jovenel Moise’s resignation.
An outbreak of dengue is ongoing. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers are advised to prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
In the coming days, travelers in Algiers and other urban centers should expect and avoid further protests over a pro-foreign investment energy bill being reviewed by the Algerian government. More than 1,000 protesters gathered outside the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Algiers on yesterday amid heavy security presence; several protesters were arrested. Related protests have also been reported in Constantine, Oran, and Bejaia. Further protests are expected across urban centers nationwide.
Travelers in Luanda should avoid planned anti-government protests due to the risk of unrest. Local musician and activist Nelson Adelino Dembo posted a video on social media calling on Angolans to stay at home or to stage protests over the current economic situation today. Various activist groups have also called for further protests tomorrow and October 19.
In the coming hours, travelers in Conakry should exercise caution and avoid ongoing anti-government protests organized by the Front for the Defense of the Constitution. Protesters have reportedly erected several roadblocks, including in Bambeto, Sondonia Gare2, Wanidara and Bonfi districts as well as along Route du Prince and Route du Niger. The protests are unauthorized, and police have been deployed across Conakry to disperse participants. Clashes have been reported, with officers using forcible measures such as tear gas and live ammunition. At least two people were injured, and several arrested in the Wanidara district.
Today, travelers in Mombasa should plan journeys avoiding a planned protest by transport workers over government plans to transport all bulk cargo by railway. Participants will gather at Buxton Market at 8:30 AM local time. Further demonstrations are expected to be held on Mondays until October 28. The protest is intended to be peaceful; however, similar previous demonstrations have caused significant disruption and have occasionally descended into unrest. Travelers should avoid the protests as a precaution and minimize delays.
An ongoing State of Emergency in Diffa, Tahoua, and Tillaberi regions was extended again for a further three months due to the persistent risks posed by militancy. The latest significant incident occurred on October 12, when at least five members of the gendarmerie were killed in an attack by an unidentified armed group near Abala village. Travelers are reminded to avoid all non-essential travel to the regions and comply with all restrictions under the State of Emergency. In Diffa, no vehicular movement is allowed from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM local time, while a total curfew is in place between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM.
Travelers on business-critical travel in Mogadishu are reminded to adopt stringent security precautions, including choosing assessed secure accommodation, following a mortar attack on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)’s Halane compound yesterday. At least six mortars were fired towards the facility at around 2:15 PM local time, injuring at least six people and causing movement within the compound to be restricted for around six hours. The attack was later claimed by the extremist al-Shabab group.
Travelers in Mogadishu today are advised to liaise with their security provider to plan journeys due to the closure of key roads. Authorities closed the KM4 and Zoobee (K5) junctions as well as Makkah al-Mukarramah Avenue yesterday. Road closures and movement restrictions are expected to remain in place throughout today during events to commemorate a mass casualty bomb attack that occurred on October 14, 2017 in the city. A heightened security force presence and additional checkpoints should be anticipated, especially in light of a mortar attack on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)’s Halane compound yesterday.
Today, travelers in Pretoria should anticipate disruption in the central business district during a march against genderbased violence by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS). Participants will gather on Paul Kruger Street at 10:00 AM local time before marching to the Sunnyside SAPS office and then to Jubilee Park, where the march will conclude. Although the event is likely to pass off peacefully, local travel disruption is expected.
An outbreak of cholera has been reported in Blue Nile and Sennar states. The disease spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers staying in quality accommodations with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Travelers are advised to ensure food and water for consumption are safe and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.
Travelers in urban centers should anticipate further gatherings and associated disruption related to yesterday’s Presidential Run-Off Election. While official results are expected today, preliminary results suggest that independent candidate and retired law professor Kais Saied is in the lead with more than 70% of votes. His opponent, media mogul Nabil Karoui of the Qalb Tounes (Heart of Tunisia) party, is projected to be lagging behind with 23.1% of votes. The first and second round of polls passed off peacefully amid a heightened security presence, which should continue to be expected until the end of the electoral cycle.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
In the coming weeks, travelers in countries with large Shia Muslim communities should anticipate heightened security and related travel disruption ahead of and during the Arbaeen religious festival on October 19-20. Arbaeen marks the end of the 40-day mourning period following Ashura, which commemorates the death of Imam Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. While the nature of commemoration differs between countries, non-worshipping members are advised to avoid all related events and Shia religious sites to minimize inconvenience and, in some contexts, due to the heightened risk of militancy.
In the coming hours, travelers in Kabul should liaise with their security provider regarding the feasibility of essential movement following local reports of three rockets landing near the National Assembly (Parliament) in Police District (PD) 6. Casualties have yet to be reported. Heightened security can be anticipated, including in more central PDs, including deployment of additional security forces, potential road closures, and extra checkpoints.
Travelers in Dhaka on October 15-17 should anticipate and avoid possible protests during a strike by auto-rickshaw-pullers as a precaution. The action has been called to demand new regulations in the rickshaw industry, such as the banning of illegal auto-rickshaws across the country. Related demonstrations are expected, particularly outside the National Press Club. The rickshaw-pullers have threatened further actions if the authorities do not accede to their demands by tomorrow. Previous protests organized by rickshaw-pullers passed off peacefully but caused significant travel disruption.
Dengue activity has been reported from several areas in Taiwan. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers are advised to prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Since early October, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital Region (NCR) has intermittently recorded “Poor” to “Severe” levels in certain areas. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart and lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To minimize the risk of potential health problems, travelers are advised to reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Travelers in Jakarta and other urban centers should anticipate possible fresh protests over proposed amendments to the penal code and avoid all such gatherings as a precaution. Student activists had given the government a deadline of October 14 to respond to their demands over the penal code and other policies. More than 5,000 security personnel were deployed around the Parliament building in Jakarta in anticipation of demonstrations. Student leaders subsequently said they would not protest today, though renewed protests remain possible in the coming days. Related protests may also occur in other major urban centers.
Travelers in or traveling to Japan should anticipate residual disruption in areas impacted by former typhoon Hagibis. While the storm has exited the country, disruption and flooding continue to be reported in several prefectures. Rail services have largely resumed across the country, including in Tokyo. Tokyo’s Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND) international airports have also resumed operations, though flight delays and cancellations can be expected today given flight backlogs. Travelers should continue to maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm logistical arrangements.
Until October 17, travelers in Jordan should plan journeys accounting for potential travel disruption due to forecast heavy rainfall. Associated floods are possible near mountain slopes and low-lying areas. Streets may become inundated during heavy rain, and visibility may be hindered resulting in a higher potential for road traffic accidents. The Jordan Meteorological Department has advised motorists to exercise caution and minimize movement during heavy rainfall.
An outbreak of dengue fever is underway in Yap. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers are advised to prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
In the coming days, travelers in major urban centers across Europe should plan journeys bypassing further environmental protests to minimize inconvenience. The Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmentalist group has called for a “shut down” of major cities for at least two weeks until governments respond to the climate and ecological emergency. Related gatherings in major cities are likely to be well-attended, disrupting traffic in key locations, often around government buildings and on major routes.
Travelers in the United Kingdom and European Union should continue to monitor developments and follow all government guidelines related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” Brexit is currently due to occur on October 31. Presently, the UK must agree to a deal with the EU by October 19 or request an extension. Local gatherings relating to Brexit remain possible, with most such events likely to be focused on Parliament Square in London.
Beginning today, passengers of Norwegian Air transiting Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights due to a planned strike by the airline’s cabin crew. The walkout, which is supposed to last through January 5, 2020, has been called by the UNAC and SNPNC-FO unions in connection with a dispute over wages and working conditions. A related strike at the airport in late April resulted in the cancellation of dozens of Norwegian Air flights.
On October 16, travelers in The Hague should plan journeys bypassing a farmer’s protest convoy due to likely disruption. Participants will meet at 9:00 AM local time in the outskirts of the city before driving towards the Binnenhof area, home to government buildings, at 12:00 PM local time. A related demonstration on October 1 attracted around 10,000 people and caused significant traffic disruption in the city. The farmers are demonstrating over their perceived negative portrayal by politicians, activists and the media.
Travelers in Belgrade should anticipate significant travel disruption during ongoing protests by taxi drivers demanding stronger action to regulate certain app-based ride-share services. Since September 30, around 3,000 taxi drivers have been gathering daily and traveling in convoys into the city center to block roads for several hours in the afternoon. Today, drivers will gather in six locations and converge in the city center from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time. Although drivers have expressed willingness to talk with authorities, protests are likely to continue daily until an agreement is reached.
Beginning today, travelers in Catalonia autonomous community should expect demonstrations and extensive disruption, after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced Catalan pro-independence leaders to prison. The sentencing has sparked protests in Barcelona and other urban centers, with supporters of the civilian group Tsunami Democratic gathering in Placa Catalunya. The group has also called on protesters to “occupy” Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN). Travelers should expect a significant increase in security across Catalonia. Ongoing protests have disrupted road traffic and public transport. Major protests are planned for October 16-18.
Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate significant traffic and business disruption linked to Defender of Ukraine Day. Nationalist and far-right groups plan to hold celebratory gatherings and protests over the recent signing of the controversial “Steinmeier formula” by President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Ministry of Interior has announced heightened security measures in urban centers, including the deployment of additional security forces, as well as road closures and traffic diversions. In Kyiv, an event will be held near the city council building on Khreschatyk Street.