Business Travel Advisory

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Business Travel Advisory

WORLDWIDE

Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Limited human-to-human transmission, as well as imported cases of the 2019 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. 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. Travel to all of Hubei Province, China should be deferred. Serious consideration should be given to deferring non-essential travel to the rest of mainland China and to departing mainland China if feasible.

Authorities in multiple 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 temporarily suspended flights to and from mainland China. 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

Regional
Authorities in several countries have introduced travel restrictions following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. To curtail the spread of the virus, health screening measures have also been implemented at various ports of entry across the region. Such measures apply particularly to passengers arriving from or transiting through China, especially those traveling from Hubei Province. Several airlines have suspended or reduced flights to and from China. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries accounting for disruption at airports. Those traveling or transiting from China should anticipate more stringent scrutiny and reconfirm the feasibility of travel to countries with entry restrictions prior to departure.

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, travelers in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming should anticipate disruption during the passage of a winter storm, plan journeys accordingly, and follow all official directives. The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for parts of each of the six states. Some major motorways, businesses, and educational institutions have already been closed in certain areas. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes, as significant snow accumulation is expected and can create dangerous conditions.

Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should anticipate local disruption and plan journeys bypassing planned demonstrations to minimize inconvenience. Activists have called for nationwide protests against the Senate’s widely expected acquittal verdict in President Donald Trump’s ongoing impeachment trial. The rallies are likely to be well attended and take place amid a heightened police presence, which may disrupt local travel.

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.

Mexico
Today, travelers in Cuernavaca should anticipate disruption during a march at 10:00 AM local time from El Calvario to the Palacio de Gobierno. Members of a local civic organization are demanding the resignation of Morelos Governor Cuauhtemoc Blanco Bravo amid high crime rates and insecurity in the state.
 

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 should continue to monitor developments around a desert locust infestation across Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. Tens of thousands of hectares of land have been affected, resulting in the destruction of crops. The Federal Government of Somalia declared a State of National Emergency on February 2, citing concerns over food security. Further increases in desert locust swarms are anticipated through June due to favorable breeding conditions. The impact on agriculture and food supplies is likely to displace thousands of people and aggravate existing communal fault lines, resulting in a potential increase in communal unrest.

Egypt
On February 2, at least six militants attacked a natural gas pipeline in the town of Bir al-Abd, around 50 miles west of alArish. The assailants reportedly planted explosive devices under the pipeline, which caused a fire upon detonation but did not result in any casualties. The incident underscores the risks associated with travel to North Sinai, where both Islamist militant and criminal groups retain the intent and capability to carry out attacks.

Ghana
Today, travelers in Accra should plan journeys bypassing a protest against plans by the country’s Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the December 7 General Election. Participants are scheduled to gather at Kawukudi Park at 6:00 AM local time before marching towards the Flagstaff House and the EC headquarters. Six political parties have formed the Inter-Party Resistance Against a New Voters’ Register (IPRNA) coalition to oppose the proposed measure. Travelers in urban centers, including Accra, are advised to avoid all related gatherings due to the risk of local disturbances.

Guinea
Travelers in main cities should monitor developments after the opposition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) called for a temporary halt on demonstrations to allow time for a potential dialogue with the government. The announcement follows an intervention by Catholic Church leaders and follows repeated bouts of fatal unrest in recent weeks. Legislative Elections initially scheduled for February 16 have been officially postponed to March 1 following a request from the Independent Electoral Commission. Travelers should continue to avoid all gatherings due to the high risk of unrest.

Jordan
Today, travelers in Amman should plan journeys bypassing a protest outside the Jordanian Journalists Association near Waha Circle, scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM local time. The protest has been called to denounce the US-led Middle East peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Related gatherings in recent days have been well-attended and have occurred amid a heightened security force presence. Travelers should avoid all related gatherings to minimize inconveniences.

Lebanon
Travel to Lebanon should be deferred amid sustained anti-government protests and worsening socio-economic conditions. On February 1, hundreds of protesters gathered in Beirut and Tripoli to denounce Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab’s new government as lacking a popular mandate and representing a continuation of the status quo. In addition to the widespread dissatisfaction with the new administration, worsening socio-economic conditions, including probable austerity measures and increasingly tight informal capital controls, will continue to provide a platform for unrest.

Malawi
Today, travelers should closely monitor local developments and minimize non-essential movement following the Constitutional Court’s unanimous decision to overturn the outcome of the contentious May 2019 General Election, citing widespread and systematic irregularities. The opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) will hold a press conference at 9:00 AM local time at their headquarters. Celebratory gatherings by MCP supporters are planned during and after the conference; these could be forcibly dispersed by security forces. Clashes between rival demonstrators are also a credible possibility in urban centers. Travelers should reconfirm that routes are clear prior to departure.

Nigeria
Travelers in Oyo should exercise caution following reported clashes between rival political party supporters over the control of local government areas (LGAs). Yesterday, one person was shot dead and eight others were injured in Surulere LGA during clashes between supporters of the state’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the rival All Progressives Congress (APC). Vehicles were vandalized in the Ogbomoso North and Ogmoboso South LGAs. Tensions are high since APC Local Council members were dismissed and replaced by PDP members.

South Africa
Today, travelers in Johannesburg should plan routes bypassing a demonstration to minimize delays. Protesters will gather outside the Consulate General of Nigeria at approximately 12:00 PM local time before marching towards the US Consulate General. As a result, the entrance to the US Consulate General will be closed between 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM local time. While the demonstration is expected to pass off peacefully, disruption to vehicular and pedestrian traffic is likely in the vicinity of the march route.

Travelers should anticipate disruption and exercise increased caution during planned power outages. According to Eskom (the country’s primary power supplier), scheduled power cuts will continue for at least 18 months, as it implements a maintenance plan aimed at improving the utility’s ability to supply electricity. Travelers should anticipate traffic disruption as power outages affect traffic lights and exercise heightened caution due to a risk of crime and unrest.
 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Regional
Many regional countries have introduced travel restrictions and health screening measures at airports to contain the spread of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Further restrictions may be implemented at short notice. While stringent restrictions apply particularly to passengers arriving from China, many countries have implemented measures applicable to a wider range of travelers. Travelers should reconfirm itineraries according to the restrictions in place at their destination. Travelers holding People’s Republic of China (PRC) passports, coming from mainland China or those who have been to mainland China 14 days prior to arrival at their destination should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to the country prior to departure.

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 in Hong Kong should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by protests over the government’s response to the outbreak of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus, and related travel restrictions. Yesterday, following a strike by medical personnel, authorities announced the temporary closure of ten out of 13 routes to mainland China to stem the spread of 2019-nCoV. The routes left open are Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the Shenzhen Bay Joint Checkpoint, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Protesters have called for further action to pressure the government to close all routes to mainland China, including another strike by medical personnel today through Friday, February 7.

Afghanistan
Travelers in Kabul should anticipate increased security near Airport Road in Police District 9 following reports of a credible threat against international diplomatic and military interests. According to local sources, there is a heightened threat of a Taliban attack involving the use of a vehicle, thought to be a green truck. Security forces have erected additional checkpoints in the area. Travelers should reconfirm the feasibility of movement.

Bangladesh
Today, 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. A related 12-hour shutdown strike on February 2 by the BNP passed off without incidents of violence or major disruption. 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.

Indonesia
On February 2, authorities announced increased travel restrictions amid the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak in China. Such measures specifically apply to passengers and flights arriving from mainland China. Authorities have not announced when the restrictions will be lifted. Travelers coming from or who have transited through mainland China should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to Indonesia prior to departure.

Maldives
Yesterday, authorities introduced an entry ban for all travelers arriving from or transiting through mainland China due to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Authorities stated that exceptions will be made for Maldivian citizens, likely on a case-by-case basis. Travelers coming from China or those who have transited through China in the past 14 days should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to Maldives prior to departure.

New Zealand
Travelers on South Island, particularly Southland, Otago and West Coast regions, should continue to reconfirm the status of routes before setting out amid heavy rain and flooding. A State of Emergency was declared in Southland region, where attempts to rescue more than 380 stranded people are ongoing. This follows damage to State Highway 94, the only route to and from the popular tourist destination of Milford Sound. Rising water levels mean that several other state highways remain closed. Orange Warnings (second-highest in a three-tier system) are in place for several areas.

Sri Lanka
Today, travelers in Colombo should anticipate disruption and a heightened security presence during Independence Day celebrations. The main event will be held in Independence Square. Restrictions and closures were imposed on roads in the area on January 26 and will be enforced from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM local time today. The exact times of events have not been confirmed; typically, there is a military parade in the morning followed by a cultural pageant in the evening.

Thailand
High levels of air pollution are being reported in Bangkok and northern Thailand. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes or nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
 

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.

Belgium
A case of the novel strain of coronavirus, currently causing an outbreak of pneumonia in mainland China, has been reported. The infected individual is currently in isolation. 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.

France
Travelers should continue to factor transportation disruption into their journeys and avoid protests while strikes over planned pension reforms persist. A fresh demonstration is planned for Thursday, February 6 in Paris, with protesters marching from Gare de l’Est to Place de la Nation at 1:30 PM local time. The USAC-CGT labor union has called for an air traffic controllers’ (ATC) strike from 6:00 PM local time tomorrow through 5:30 AM local time on Friday, February 7.

Georgia
Travelers in Tbilisi should monitor developments following the postponement of fresh anti-government demonstrations outside the Parliament building on Rustaveli Avenue. Opposition parties and civil society groups had planned to resume regular demonstrations today to call for electoral reforms; however, the gatherings have been postponed following a fire in Baghdati that killed six people. A protest planned for tomorrow was also postponed.

Germany
Today, travelers in Stuttgart should expect disruption to train services following a fire at the city’s central railway station at around 8:30 AM local time. The station has been evacuated, and operations have been suspended.

Serbia
Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should anticipate local disruption during “The Fight for Clean Air” demonstrations by environmental groups. Supporters of the “Let’s Not Give In” initiative called for demonstrations across Serbia, including Belgrade, to demand stronger government action to curb air pollution. The gathering is likely to be well attended and peaceful.

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