Business Travel Advisory – 1/21/19

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THE AMERICAS

United States
Travelers in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions should expect residual disruption and maintain flexible itineraries following the passage of Winter Storm Harper. The storm has brought freezing rain, snow, and ice to the Midwest, MidAtlantic, and New England. Air, road, and rail travel have been significantly disrupted, with thousands of flights being canceled. Widespread power outages have also been reported.

Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 3 hours and 28 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.

Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to LaGuardia Airport (LGA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 52 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.

Today, travelers in Atlanta, GA should plan routes bypassing a rally being held to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the birth of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Participants will gather at 1:00 PM local time on Peachtree and Baker streets and begin marching at 1:45 PM local time along Auburn Avenue.

Bolivia 
On Saturday, January 19, at least 22 people were killed when two buses collided on a road leading to Challapata, around 155 miles south of La Paz. The road connects Oruro City with Potosi, both of which are situated above 12,000 feet; police said that at least one of the bus drivers was speeding. Travelers in Bolivia are reminded to avoid bus and coach travel due to poor safety and security standards. Air travel or hiring a private car and driver are preferable.

Ecuador 
Today, travelers in Quito and Guayaquil should avoid the vicinities of planned rallies in protest of a recent gang rape of a local woman in Quito. The gatherings will be held at 5:00 PM local time at Plaza San Francisco in Guayaquil and at Tribuna de los Shyris in Quito. Although the events are expected to pass off peacefully, the rallies may cause local travel disruption.

Venezuela 
On Wednesday, January 23, travelers should monitor developments and strictly avoid planned demonstrations by pro- and anti-government activists. Anti-government demonstrations have been called by Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, to denounce President Nicolas Maduro. Few details are available. While the largest protests are expected to take place in Caracas, gatherings are also likely in cities throughout the country. In response, government supporters have announced plans to march from various parts of Caracas to the El Silencio district on the same day.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional 
Today, travelers using the Namanga-Nairoi Road, a major overland route between Tanzania and Kenya, are advised to reconfirm itineraries due to an ongoing protest. Activists are blocking access to the border post at Namanga to demand compensation for a local resident who was involved in recent traffic accident.

Algeria 
Today, travelers in urban centers should expect and avoid rallies linked to a planned nationwide strike by several labor unions representing education sector workers. The industrial action will be followed by sit-ins outside all the Directorates of Education nationwide, as well as at several educational institutions at 2:00 PM local time tomorrow. The events follow a failed negotiation between unions and the government over education-related issues. Further associated demonstrations are likely in the coming weeks if the issues remain unresolved.

Burkina Faso 
A Canadian geologist was abducted by unidentified gunmen at around 7:45 PM local time on January 15 in Tiabongou, around 17 miles from the border with Niger. According to authorities, the victim’s body was subsequently found near Petoy-Beiga. The incident, for which no group has yet claimed responsibility, highlights the risks associated with travel to eastern and northern border areas.

Cameroon 
Confirmed cholera cases have been reported from four regions (North, Far North, Central, and Littoral) with several other regions reporting suspected cases. Authorities are concerned about further spread and have begun outbreak containment measures. Cholera 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 pay strict attention to hygiene and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.

Congo (DRC) 
Travelers in Kinshasa should expect heightened security and resultant disruption around the Inauguration ceremony of President-elect Felix Tshisekedi. Initially planned for tomorrow, the ceremony was postponed and is now expected to take place on Thursday, January 24 at the Palais de la Nation. The Inauguration follows the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of a legal challenge filed by losing opposition Lamuka coalition candidate Martin Fayulu and the confirmation of Tshisekedi as the winner on Saturday, January 19. A separate Inauguration ceremony for Fayulu is planned by Lamuka supporters at the Stade Afya in Goma in the coming days.

Nigeria 
Non-essential travel to Yobe state should be deferred following a fresh spate of incidents involving the extremist Boko Haram group. Yesterday, militants attacked a military base in the town of Buni-Yadi in the Gujba local government area, injuring at least four people. The attack was repelled by local armed forces, who claimed several militants were killed.

Senegal 
Travelers in Dakar should anticipate and avoid protests over the final Presidential candidate list, which was released yesterday. Five candidates will be competing in the February 24 Presidential Election, including incumbent Macky Sall. Despite appeals by opposition leaders Khalifa Sall and Karim Wade, the Constitutional upheld its January 14 decision to bar them from running in the election.

South Africa 
Tomorrow, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) will stage a strike in Rustenberg, and a march and rally at the Minerals Council South Africa’s offices in Johannesburg at 9:00 AM local time. The action is to support AMCU-affiliated gold miners who’ve been on strike since early November 2018 in a dispute over wages. Previously, union members rallied at the company’s main site in Rustenberg on January 14. The AMCU claims that thousands will attend tomorrow’s event.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

India 
Cases of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 have been reported in parts of the country. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, known previously as “swine flu” now circulates as a seasonal strain. The current northern hemisphere influenza vaccine protects against this strain. Influenza 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 prevent infection through vaccination and attention to hygiene.

Indonesia 
Travelers in Central Java province and the Special Region of Yogyakarta should anticipate possible travel disruption following increased volcanic activity at Mount Merapi in recent days. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) maintains a Level 2 (“Caution”) Alert (the second-lowest level on a four-tier scale) for Merapi. A two-mile exclusion zone is in place around the volcano. Travelers should monitor developments in the coming days and follow official directives.

Myanmar 
Non-essential travel to Buthidaung, Maungdaw, and Rathedaung townships should be deferred due to high communal tensions and ongoing security operations against local insurgent groups. According to authorities, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militants ambushed a police vehicle in Maungdaw, injuring six police officers on January 16. The incident followed intense security operations against the ethnic-Rakhine Buddhist Arakan Army (AA) in Buthidaung, where AA members reportedly clashed with troops on at least eight occasions between January 5-16.

Philippines 
Travelers in the Luzon and Visayas regions should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Tropical Depression Amang. The storm made landfall on Siargao Island yesterday and is moving north away from Northern Samar province today. Amang is expected to bring rainfall to the eastern Visayas region and parts of south and central Luzon before weakening to a low-pressure system tomorrow.

EUROPE

Austria 
On Friday, January 25, travelers in Vienna should anticipate disruption and avoid all protests against the “Academics’ Ball,” an annual event organized by the far-right Freedom Party of Austria. A demonstration will begin at Schottentor, outside the University of Vienna campus, at 5:00 PM local time while the ball itself will take place at 5:00 PM local time at the Hofburg. Local scuffles between participants and police have occurred during previous such protests, while precedent suggests that traffic diversions and road closures will be instituted in the city center.

Italy 
Today, travelers in urban centers should reconfirm travel arrangements during a four-hour nationwide public transportation strike. The industrial action will affect metro, bus, and coaches for hire services. The timings of the metro and bus strike will vary in different cities, while coaches for hire services will be affected from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM local time. A coalition of six trade unions has called for the work stoppage in protest of proposed reforms to driving times and resting regulations.

Portugal 
Travelers should avoid a series of planned protests by the “Vamos Parar Portugal” movement over fuel prices and other socio-economic grievances. Demonstrations have been taking place every Saturday since January 5, and a fresh gathering is planned for Saturday, January 26 at 10:00 AM local time. Although further details are not currently available, previous protests have taken place in Lisbon at Marques de Pombal, on Avenue dos Aliados in Porto, and on Avenida 5 de Outubro in Faro. Related events are also likely in other urban centers.

Spain 
Travelers in Barcelona should plan itineraries accounting for disruption caused by an indefinite taxi strike that began on January 18. The strike is being held in response to proposed regulations for ride-hailing services. In Madrid, a similar industrial action began at 6:00 AM local time today. Related gatherings will take place daily at the Puerta del Sol Roundabout and in front of the Madrid Autonomous Community Government headquarters at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM local time.

United Kingdom 
Workers of Northern Rail affiliated with the RMT transportation union will continue to hold 24-hour strikes every Saturday through February 16. The industrial action is linked to ongoing staffing and safety issues. Travelers should expect disruption and plan journeys accordingly.

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