Business Travel Advisory

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Business Travel Advisory

WORLDWIDE
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 in several countries have introduced travel restrictions, along with health screening measures at various airports, after an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. The measures apply primarily to travelers arriving via air either directly or indirectly from China. Some airlines have suspended flights to and from mainland China, while Iran said that no such flights would serve its airports until further notice. Travelers should anticipate related disruption at airports and reconfirm their itineraries, as well as the overall feasibility of their journeys, given the increased restrictions affecting certain countries.

AMERICAS

United States
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. Nearly all individuals had visited China recently. Limited local human-to-human transmission has occurred. Travelers in 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 arriving to the US after traveling from or transiting through China should expect heightened screening measures and related disruption following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. As of yesterday, all flights from China are being re-routed through seven airports: Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL), Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD), New York City’s John F Kennedy (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Honolulu’s Daniel K Inouye (HNL), and Seattle-Tacoma (SEA). Additional entry restrictions for travelers from China will also be implemented.

On January 30, 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.

Today and tomorrow, travelers in Colorado should anticipate disruption during the passage of a winter storm, plan journeys accordingly, and follow all official directives. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for several areas of the state, including the Denver metropolitan area. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes, as snow accumulation of up to seven inches is expected and blowing snow can create dangerous conditions.

Bolivia
Today, travelers should anticipate disruption in La Paz during a march led by the main political opposition party. Participants will gather at 12:00 PM local time at Plaza San Francisco before marching to the Supreme Electoral Court building. The demonstration has been organized by the Movement to Socialism party and the Pact of Unity organization to show their level of support as they register candidates for the Legislative Assembly and present their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates. Travelers are advised to avoid all protest-related gatherings and exercise caution to minimize exposure to disturbances and violence.

Brazil
Today, travelers in Sao Paulo should anticipate local disruption around a rally organized by the CUT labor union over various socio-economic issues. Participants will gather at 9:00 AM local time in front of the Museum of Art and march towards the Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo building at 12:00 PM local time. The demonstration is expected to be well attended and pass off peacefully.

Canada
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.

Panama
Today and tomorrow, 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

Regional
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.

Burkina Faso
Last night, at least 20 civilians were killed by unknown gunmen in an attack in Bani municipality. The incident follows a daytime attack in a central market in the Tongomayel commune of Silgadji, which killed 39 people on January 25. The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks in Soum.

Congo (DRC)
An outbreak of Ebola continues in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Key response activities continue to be challenged by security issues. Ebola is spread by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected or dead people. Healthcare workers, household members, and people participating in traditional funeral practices are at high risk. Non-essential travel to affected areas should be deferred. Travelers should prevent infection by paying strict attention to hygiene and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids. Travelers should not participate in traditional funerals or go to health facilities where Ebola patients are being treated.

Iraq
All travel to Baghdad should be deferred through Sunday, February 9. US Nationals should defer all travel to southern provinces due to the heightened risk of harassment and detention by security force elements. For non-US Nationals, travel to southern provinces may be possible with precautions, due to the distinct security environment and concentration of oil and gas infrastructure. Although the immediate threat of an escalation between the US and Iran has reduced, further low-level attacks by pro-Iran groups in Iraq remain possible and will fuel broader US-Iran tensions. In addition, following recent political developments, an enhanced crackdown on anti-government protests remains possible, posing significant incidental concerns.

Malawi
Travelers in Malawi should plan journeys bypassing demonstrations related to a forthcoming court ruling on alleged irregularities in the May 2019 Presidential Election. The verdict of the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe is due to be delivered at 9:00 AM local time today. Police officers and troops will be deployed in urban centers to prevent unrest. Related opposition protests have taken place across the country in recent months. Travelers should avoid all protests due to the risk of local disruption and the potential for disturbances.

Nigeria
Yesterday, four people were injured when gunmen dressed in Army uniforms opened fire on a passenger coach traveling on the Abuja-Lokoja Road near the village of Gada-Biyu.

Tunisia
On Wednesday, February 5, travelers in Tunis should plan routes bypassing a demonstration on Rue Mohamed Ali at 12:00 PM local time. The rally has been organized by the Tunisia General Labor Union (UGTT) to denounce the US-led peace plan for the Middle East.

South Africa
Today, travelers in Cape Town should anticipate disruption around the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) during a planned demonstration by the Botswana Labor Migrants Association. The demonstration has been organized to advocate for the rights of miners and will coincide with the Alternative Mining Indaba Conference being held at the CTICC. A heightened police presence can be expected at the CTICC during the gathering.

Zimbabwe
Today, travelers in Harare and other urban centers should avoid planned gatherings by members of the youth division of the ruling Zanu-PF party. The movement’s leaders are expected to announce the names of suspected corrupt officials and proceed with marches denouncing their activities. While there are no details on specific protest locations, likely flashpoints include Unity Square and the Parliament building.
 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Regional
Several countries have completed the evacuation of their citizens from Wuhan, China amid travel restrictions imposed 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. Travelers should also defer travel to other areas of China as advised by their local national authorities; many countries have issued travel advisories of various levels for mainland China. Even in the absence of such advisories, serious consideration should be given to deferring travel to the rest of mainland China.

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.

Travelers should anticipate and avoid further gatherings linked to the ongoing protest movement. Criticism over the government’s handling of the recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has triggered unrest, which could further fuel the momentum of the protest movement. Recent incidents included bombings targeted at police stations on January 29-30, and clashes between protesters and police during protests over the Lunar New Year on January 25-26. These incidents demonstrate that hardline protesters are reverting to violent and disruptive tactics, particularly in response to controversial developments.

Australia
On February 1, the Australian government introduced increased travel restrictions amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which Chinese authorities have confirmed can spread via human transmission. Such measures specifically apply to passengers who are arriving from mainland China or have traveled to or transited through China. Travelers coming from mainland China or those who have transited through mainland China should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to Australia prior to departure.

Bangladesh
Tomorrow, travelers in Dhaka should anticipate disruption and avoid all citywide demonstrations by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The protests are being organized against the results of the February 1 City Council Elections, which showed that candidates of the ruling Awami League secured both contested mayoral posts. Yesterday, a related 12-hour shutdown strike by the BNP passed off without incidents of violence or major disruption; however, clashes may occur between rival activists during the upcoming demonstrations, posing incidental risks to bystanders.

China
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.

India
Travelers in New Delhi should anticipate heightened security and avoid gatherings linked to upcoming Legislative Assembly Elections to avoid isolated cases of unrest and violence. The election is scheduled for Saturday, February 8 with the results being announced on February 11. Normal travel to Delhi can continue; however, travelers should allow extra time to conduct journeys as heightened security and political activism may cause delays.

New Zealand
Travelers on South Island, particularly in the Southland and West Coast regions, should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out amid heavy rain and flooding. The MetService has issued a Red Warning (highest on a two-tier system) for extreme weather in Westland south of Hokitika and Fiordland north of George Sound. Torrential rainfall has damaged State Highway 94, the only route to and from the popular tourist destination of Milford Sound, leaving 382 people, including tourists, stranded; rescue operations are ongoing. A State of Emergency has been declared in Fiordland.

Yesterday, the New Zealand government introduced increased travel restrictions amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which Chinese authorities have confirmed can spread via human transmission. Such measures specifically apply to passengers who are arriving from mainland China or have traveled to or transited through China. Travelers coming from mainland China, or those who have transited through China prior to arrival in New Zealand, should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to New Zealand prior to departure.

Pakistan
Today, travelers in Rawalpindi should avoid a rally by the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) in front of the Rawalpindi Press Club. PPLA is protesting the provincial government’s decision to privatize all public colleges. The group has also announced a sit-in protest on Monday, February 10 in front of Punjab Assembly in Lahore if its demands are not met. Travelers should plan journeys bypassing the vicinity of the gatherings as a precaution and to minimize disruption.

Philippines
Yesterday, the Philippines government introduced increased travel restrictions amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which Chinese authorities have confirmed can spread via human transmission. These measures apply to passengers who are arriving from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, or have traveled to China in the past 14 days. Travelers coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau or those who have been to China 14 days prior to arrival in the Philippines should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to the Philippines prior to departure.

Turkey
On Sunday, February 9, travelers in Istanbul should plan journeys bypassing a protest against the US-led Middle East plan to minimize disruption. Participants are scheduled to gather at Yenikapi Square at 2:00 PM local time. The event could potentially draw a large crowd, which may cause disruption in the vicinity of Yenikapi Square.

Vietnam
On February 1, authorities announced the suspension of all flight operations to mainland China amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which Chinese authorities have confirmed can spread via human transmission. Travelers from mainland China to Vietnam should reconfirm itineraries and travel options. If planning to transit through another country, cross-check for any travel restrictions, as well as quarantine and isolation procedures being implemented at your destination. Travelers who have been to China within 14 days prior to arrival in Vietnam should also reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to Vietnam prior to departure.
 

EUROPE

Regional
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 left the EU at 11:00 PM local time on January 31. There will now 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.

Georgia
Travelers in Tbilisi should anticipate fresh anti-government demonstrations outside the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue and avoid all such gatherings. Opposition parties and civil society groups plan to resume regular demonstrations, beginning tomorrow, calling for electoral reforms. Organizers have vowed to continue to protest until the ruling Georgia Dream-Democratic Georgia (GD-DG) party fulfills its original promises of reforms. Travelers should plan routes bypassing all related events as a precaution and to minimize delays.

Ireland
An increase in mumps cases has been reported nationwide. Mumps is caused by a virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. It is highly contagious and nearly all cases occur among unvaccinated people. Symptoms include fever, painful and swollen glands, pain on swallowing, and inflammation of the testes in men. Serious complications can occur. All travelers should ensure they are fully vaccinated against mumps.

Italy
Today, travelers in Rome should anticipate disruption and reconfirm arrangements due to a 24-hour strike by transportation workers over contractual issues and working conditions. The work stoppage will be held from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM local time and from 8:00 PM local time through the end of services. The strike will affect bus, tram and metro operations, as well as the Rome-Lido, Termini-Centocelle, and Rome-Civitacastellana-Viterbo rail services.

Russia
Today, passengers transiting Tomsk Bogashevo Airport (TOF) should reconfirm flights after a RusLine passenger plane experienced landing gear failure following touchdown at the airport’s runway. The aircraft, carrying 36 passengers, had flown from the Koltsovo International Airport in Yekaterinburg (SVX) and landed at Tomsk Airport at 5:46 AM local time. No injuries were reported in the incident; however, significant flight delays have been reported at the airport. Some inbound flights have also been diverted to the Novosibirsk Tolmachevo International Airport (OVB).

Spain
Today, passengers transiting Madrid–Barajas International Airport (MAD) should reconfirm flights after operations were halted due to suspicious drone activity near the facility.

Ukraine
Today, travelers in Lviv should plan journeys bypassing a planned far-right march on Freedom Avenue. Supporters of the far-right National Corps party will march from the Taras Shevchenko Monument at 4:00 PM local time to commemorate the 91st anniversary of the founding of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. The rally is expected to be well-attended and should be avoided due to the risk of unrest.

Sincerely,

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