Business Travel Advisory
Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Imported cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been confirmed in several countries, including Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, USA, and Vietnam. This new coronavirus, which is causing an outbreak in China, can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe disease is possible. Although transmission from human to human has occurred, there is no suggestion at this stage of any further spread in these locations. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, should seek medical attention.
Authorities have imposed comprehensive health screening measures at airports in multiple regional countries following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases. The measures apply particularly to passengers arriving at these airports from China, where authorities recently confirmed the virus can spread via human transmission. Infections have been confirmed in other nations, including countries such as Japan, Macao, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Travelers should anticipate disruption at affected airports.
Yesterday, the US Department of State issued a Level 4 (Do Not Travel) warning for mainland China. The State Department advises US citizens not to travel to China due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization has determined the rapidly spreading outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. US citizens currently in China should consider departing using commercial means. The Department of State has requested that all non-essential US government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus. To help contain the novel coronavirus, Chinese authorities have suspended air, road, and rail travel in the area around Wuhan and placed restrictions on travel and other activities throughout the country. On January 23, 2020, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency US personnel and their family members from Wuhan. The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Hubei Province.
Cases of the novel strain of coronavirus, currently causing an outbreak of pneumonia in mainland China, have been confirmed in the United States. Isolated cases have been detected in Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington. All individuals had visited China recently. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, who is or has been in an affected location should seek medical attention.
Travelers arriving to the US after from or through China should expect heightened screening measures and related disruption following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. On January 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced screenings at major international airports including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL), Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston’s George Bush (IAH), Miami (MIA), New York City’s John F Kennedy (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), and SeattleTacoma (SEA).
Cases of the novel coronavirus, currently causing an outbreak in mainland China have been confirmed. All individuals had a recent travel history to Wuhan. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, who is or has been in an affected location should seek medical attention.
Travelers should expect additional screening measures at airports following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases in China. The Canadian Border Services Agency has announced that passengers arriving from international flights at Montreal-Trudeau (YUL), Toronto Pearson (YYZ), and Vancouver (YVR) international airports will be asked a screening question as part of the regular arrival process. Passengers identified to be at an increased risk may be required to undergo further screening. Travelers should anticipate related disruption and follow all official directives.
Today, travelers in La Paz should anticipate disruption during a rally by pro-democracy campaigners. Participants will gather at 4:00 PM local time in the Universidad Mayo de San Andres atrium before marching to an as-yet-undisclosed location. This is one of a series of demonstrations being organized across Bolivia by the National Committee for the Defense of Democracy (CONADE). The group is calling for transitional President Jeanine Anez to not run for the office in the May election.
Employees of state-owned oil giant Petrobras are planning to begin an indefinite nationwide strike tomorrow over recent redundancies. Precedent indicates that disruptive strike-related demonstrations are likely, though none have been announced. Demonstrations are particularly likely in the southern state of Parana, where the majority of redundancies were made in a plant just outside Curitiba. Oil tanker drivers are not intending to join the industrial action, and fuel shortages are unlikely; however, travelers should monitor developments and plan journeys bypassing all related gatherings as a precaution.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to anticipate and avoid sporadic anti-government protests. These are likely to persist, despite Congress giving its approval for a Constitutional Referendum in April intended to address issues that led to mass demonstrations and major unrest in October 2019. Protests have occurred against perceived police impunity. Security forces routinely use tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets to break up gatherings, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Today, travelers in Santiago should avoid a planned demonstration at Plaza Baquedano due to the credible risk of unrest. Participants will gather at 6:00 PM local time in protest of perceived police impunity and to demand justice for the recent death of a soccer fan. The event is expected to be held amid tight security and to attract large crowds.
On February 3-4, travelers in Colon should plan journeys accounting for disruption linked to a planned strike announced by the Just Cause Alliance Movement. Protesters are scheduled to demonstrate over several issues, including property titles and unemployment, and to demand access to drinking water. The civic group has also called for the closure of several key routes and highways in Colon on both days. Related gatherings on January 7 resulted in the temporary closure of key thoroughfares. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Authorities in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia have introduced health screening measures at several airports after an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus (‘2019-nCoV’) cases. The measures apply primarily to travelers arriving via air either directly or indirectly from China. Travelers should anticipate disruption if on direct or indirect flights from China to airports in any of the aforementioned countries. Other countries and airports in the region may also introduce pre-emptive checks.
Travelers in Israel and the Palestinian Territories should anticipate protests following the announcement of the Middle East peace plan by US President Donald Trump’s administration on January 28. Travelers should avoid all related gatherings as a precaution; flashpoints in the West Bank include checkpoints and main squares, notably al-Manara Square in Ramallah, East Jerusalem, the Damascus Gate, and the Lion’s Gate in the Old City. Unrest during such protests is likely to pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in several locations. The cVDPV strains can emerge in under-vaccinated populations. Travelers are recommended to be fully immunized against polio prior to travel. Polio is a contagious viral illness that causes paralysis and death. The infection is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person.
All travel to rural part of North Kivu Province should be deferred due to attacks by Uganda-based Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels. On January 28-30, at least 58 people were killed in rebel attacks on several villages around Beni. There have also been regular protests in the province’s urban centers since November 2019 against perceived inaction by the UN Peacekeeping Mission (MONUSCO) over attacks on civilians. Participants have clashed with security forces, who used live ammunition to contain crowds.
Today, travelers in Amman should plan routes bypassing a demonstration outside the Grand Husseini Mosque, scheduled to begin following afternoon prayers. The event has been called for by the opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political wing of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, to denounce the recently announced US-led peace plan. Related wellattended gatherings organized by the IAF across the country on January 28-29 passed off without major incident, though they occurred amid a heightened security force presence. Travelers should avoid all gatherings as a precaution and to minimize delays.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to anticipate and avoid further protests over a recent hike in electricity tariffs due to the risk of local disruption and unrest. Today, the Noo Lank group has called for a march in Dakar from the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) campus to the roundabout of the Medina Post Office. No further details have been confirmed. While previous nationwide rallies passed off peacefully, at least 25 protesters were arrested on December 20, 2019 following clashes with police.
Travelers in Lome and other urban centers should anticipate gatherings related to the February 22 Presidential Election. Today and tomorrow, a series of protests organized by the Forces of Democratic Consensus coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups was canceled by the group. Further demonstrations are likely, but no details have been released yet.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by protests over the Hong Kong government’s response to the outbreak of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus and related travel restrictions. On January 29, objects were found on the tracks of the East Rail Mass Transit Railway (MTR), which connects Hong Kong with mainland China, disrupting services during the morning rush hour. Demonstrators are calling for the closure of Hong Kong’s borders with the mainland, claiming that travel restrictions announced on January 28 are inadequate. Similar protests aimed at disrupting transportation between Hong Kong and mainland China are likely.
Several flight operators have announced temporary suspension or the reduction of flights on routes serving China amid travel restrictions imposed in the country to contain the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak. All travel to Hubei Province should be deferred due to official travel restrictions in place in some cities, the potential for further sudden restrictions on departure, and the risk of quarantine at their next destination. Travel to other areas of China should also be deferred as advised by travelers’ local national authorities.
Authorities have declared a bushfire fire-related State of Emergency through Monday, February 3 in Canberra and surrounding regions. The move comes amid forecast extreme heat and strong winds, which could exacerbate a large raging fire in Tuggeranong district, the worst in the region in nearly two decades. A Severe Fire Danger Warning has been issued for tomorrow. Travelers should follow all official directives and plan journeys accounting for evacuation and emergency warnings.
Travelers should defer all travel to Chibi, Dangyang, Ezhou, Huanggang, Huangshi, Jingmen, Jingzhou, Qianjiang, Suizhou, Wuhan, Xianning, Xiantao, Xiaogan, Yichang, and Zhijiang cities and Enshi prefecture, including Lichuan City due to stringent travel restrictions. Travelers should defer non-essential travel to the rest of Hubei due to the potential for short-notice travel restrictions amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
Travelers in India should continue to expect and avoid further demonstrations over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) due to the risk of incidental unrest. Yesterday, a gunman opened fire on a related student march near the Jamia Millia Islamia University campus in New Delhi, injuring a protester and highlighting the potential incidental risks such events can pose to bystanders. Further well-attended rallies are likely, particularly in flashpoint locations.
Today, travelers in urban centers should plan routes bypassing protests by owners of foreign-registered vehicles. Protesters are set to gather at 3:00 PM local time in front of their local government building in Nur-Sultan, Aktau, Zhanaozen, Aktobe, Almaty, Atyrau, Karaganda, Kostanay, Oral, Pavlodar, Shymkent, and Ust-Kamenogorsk.
Cases of dengue fever have been reported, and a Health Emergency has been declared. The disease is spread mainly by mosquito bites. It can cause a range of symptoms including fever, headache, and a rash. Some people, especially infants, pregnant women and those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Both wild polio and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been detected in several locations. Polio is a contagious viral illness that causes paralysis and death. The infection is spread through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. The cVDPV strains can emerge in under-vaccinated populations. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccinations are up to date and selecting safe food and water.
Several cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been confirmed. Other poliovirus strains have also been detected in some locations. These are the first cases reported in the country in 19 years. Poliovirus has also been detected in several environmental samples, including samples from Manila. Polio is a contagious viral illness that can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccinations are up to date and selecting safe food and water.
Authorities in several regional countries have introduced health screening measures at certain airports and, where applicable, land border crossings with China. This follows an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases. The measures apply primarily to travelers arriving via air or land from China. Travelers should anticipate flight cancellations as well as disruption at airports and land crossings with China.
Travelers in the UK and EU should continue to monitor developments and follow all government guidelines related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” A withdrawal agreement was signed into law on January 23 after being ratified by the UK Parliament. Under the agreement, the UK is due to leave the EU at 11:00 PM local time today. There will then be a transition period, during which most laws will remain unchanged. Local gatherings relating to Brexit may take place in the UK, with most such events likely to be focused on Parliament Square in London.
Tomorrow, travelers in Paris should anticipate disruption and avoid protests by the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the credible risk of unrest. Participants will gather at Palais-Royal at 1:00 PM local time before marching towards the Senat and Assemblée National. Yellow Vests protesters have also joined demonstrations against pension reforms over the past weeks. Travelers should avoid all related gatherings due to the risk of local unrest and anticipate related gatherings in other main urban centers.
On Sunday, February 2, travelers in Venice should expect disruption and follow all official directives during the disposal of a WWII bomb discovered in the Marghera neighborhood. Evacuations in the areas of Viale San Marco, Via Amerigo Vespucci, and Via Forte Marghera are scheduled from 6:00 AM to 7:30 AM local time. Authorities will cordon off a 1.1-mile radius area around Via Galileo Ferraris. The disposal operation will last for four hours. Flights, rail, and bus services will be temporarily suspended during the operation. Travelers are advised to reconfirm schedules at the Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) and the status of overland routes before setting out.
Imported cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy. This new coronavirus, which is causing an outbreak in China, can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe disease is possible. Although transmission from human to human has occurred, there is no suggestion at this stage of any further spread in Italy. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, should seek medical attention.
Travelers should plan journeys bypassing protests over a controversial labor bill due to the risk of local disturbances. Several demonstrations organized by labor and trade unions took place yesterday in urban centers, including in the vicinity of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada in Kiev. Among the organizers of the protests was The Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU). President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party, Servant of the People, introduced the bill in Parliament which strongly favors employers and if passed into law, could limit the powers of unions. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Kiev should anticipate heightened security measures and associated disruption during a planned visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Authorities announced that security force personnel will be deployed to ensure public safety during the visit and that minor traffic restrictions may be implemented. While details of planned road closures are currently unavailable, authorities noted that traffic restrictions are possible on the M03 Motorway, which connects Kiev to Boryspil International Airport (KBP).
Today, travelers in London should plan journeys bypassing gatherings related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” Supporters of the EU are expected to gather at 3:00 PM local time on Whitehall near Downing Street. A pro-Brexit celebration at Parliament Square will be held from 9:00 PM to 11:30 PM local time and is likely to be well attended. Other related large gatherings are expected throughout the city, including at the London Eye. Travelers should expect road and public transportation disruption around any related gatherings.
Two cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed. This new coronavirus, which is causing an outbreak in China, can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe disease is possible. Although transmission from human to human has occurred, there is no suggestion at this stage of any further spread in the United Kingdom. Travelers to affected locations are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid direct contact with people who are obviously sick. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, should seek medical attention.