Business Travel Advisory
Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Imported cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus have been confirmed in several countries. All of them have a history of recent travel from China, mainly from Wuhan. 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 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.
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.
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 intending to travel 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.
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 from or transiting through China should expect heightened screening measures and related disruption following an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. All flights from China are being re-routed through ten airports (JFK, ORD, SFO, SEA, HNL, LAX, ATL, IAD, EWR, DFW & DTW), while 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 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.
Travelers in southern Brazil, particularly Espirito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, should plan journeys accounting for disruption due to ongoing adverse weather. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are forecast to persist in the coming days. Recent severe weather has resulted in flooding and landslides in several parts of the country, killing more than 60 people and displacing thousands. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries, ensure routes are clear prior to departure, and allow additional time for journeys.
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.
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 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.
All travel to rural parts of North Kivu and Ituri provinces should be deferred due to attacks by Uganda-based Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in recent months. On February 1-2, 42 civilians were killed in suspected ADF attacks in Mambasa, Ndalya, and Eringeti. The attack follows the killing of 58 people on January 28-30 in several villages around Beni. Periodic protests against the perceived inadequacy of authorities’ response have taken place in the region’s urban centers since November. All such gatherings should be avoided due to the risk of unrest.
Travelers in Cote d’Ivoire should avoid possible demonstrations linked to International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings involving former President Laurent Gbagbo and his political ally, Charles Ble Goude. On February 6-7, the ICC will hear Gbagbo’s appeal against conditions attached to the release of both men following their acquittal, in January 2019, of crimes against humanity. Should he be granted unconditional release, Gbagbo will be able to return to Cote d’Ivoire, where he intends to contest the October Presidential Election.
Today, travelers in Addis Ababa should avoid the Kebele 22 to Kebele 24 neighborhoods in the Bole area and anticipate protests around reports of the planned demotion of a church under construction. Last night, at least two people were killed in clashes between police and local residents when officers used live ammunition and tear gas against crowds protecting the religious site. Travelers should expect a heightened security presence and avoid all related gatherings.
Today, travelers in Libreville and other urban centers should anticipate disruption if protests by the Confederation Syndicale Dynamique Unitaire labor union go ahead. The union had organized rallies from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM local time in Libreville, Owendo, and Akanda to denounce government austerity measures. These were prohibited by authorities, but the union said it did not recognize the ban.
Today, travelers in Nairobi should plan routes bypassing the Uhuru Highway, where health workers are marching towards City Hall in protest of a perceived lack of opportunities for professional advancement. While the rally has so far been peaceful, there is potential for local unrest if security forces move to break up the demonstration.
Today, the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the 2019 Presidential Election. Regardless of the decision, spontaneous gatherings amid heightened security can be expected in major urban centers. In Windhoek, roadblocks around the Supreme Court and additional security presence in the Central Business District have been reported. While previous related rallies have mostly been peaceful, disruption can be expected in affected areas. Travelers should allow additional time for journeys.
Travelers in Saint-Louis should exercise caution and avoid further protests by local fishermen due to the risk of local unrest. Yesterday, protesters broke into local administration buildings, blocked bridges with burning tires, and threw stones at security forces, who responded with tear gas, to denounce perceived fraud during the allocation of fishing licenses.
Today, travelers in Tunis should plan routes bypassing protests to denounce the US-led peace plan for the Middle East due to the risk of local disturbances. A rally organized by the Tunisia General Labor Union (UGTT) will take place at Rue Mohamed Ali while another organized by the Tunisian Bar Association is scheduled to take place at the Palais de Justice. Both gatherings are planned for 12:00 PM local time.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
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.
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 stringent official restrictions on travel, including restrictions on departure in many areas, and the risk of quarantine at your next destination. Travel to other areas of China should be deferred as advised by travelers’ 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 non-essential travel to the rest of mainland China.
Today through February 7, travelers should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption due to protests over the Hong Kong government’s response to the 2019-Novel Coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions. Following a strike by medical personnel, authorities announced the temporary closure of ten out of 13 routes into mainland China. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the Shenzhen Bay Joint Checkpoint, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge remain open. Medical personnel will hold further protests today to demand that the government close all routes to mainland China; they have also called for solidarity strikes in other sectors.
Travelers should follow all official directives amid travel restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of measles and the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the region. Authorities have suspended all entry permits and permit waivers for all nonUS passport holders until further notice. US passport holders applying for an entry permit will be subjected to a 30-day review. All travelers, including US passport holders and American Samoa permanent residents, who were initially required to spend 14 days in Hawaii prior to entering the territory must now spend 14 days in Samoa.
Travelers should continue to closely monitor ongoing bushfires through the end of February and plan journeys accounting for disruption. As of today, bushfires have killed more than 30 people and burned more than 38,000 square miles of land. There are active fires in New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia. Travelers should follow all official directives, maintain flexible itineraries, and be prepared to defer or change plans at short notice.
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.
Tomorrow, travelers in Papeete should plan journeys bypassing a rally organized by the National Autonomous Trade Unions (UNSA) to minimize delays. The rally will coincide with a strike over planned pension reforms in France. Participants of the rally are scheduled to gather at Place Vaiete at 8:00 AM local time before marching to the French High Commission building at 9:00 AM local time. Previous protests linked to pension reforms have been very well attended and passed off peacefully.
Travelers on South Island, particularly the Southland, Otago and West Coast regions, should continue to reconfirm the status of routes before setting out due to residual disruption from heavy rain and flooding. Severe Weather Warnings have been lifted in all affected areas. A State of Emergency was declared in the Southland region yesterday, following serious damage to State Highway 94, the only route to and from the popular tourist destination of Milford Sound. At least 500 tourists in the Milford Sound region were airlifted by rescue teams after road access had been cut off due to the torrential rainfall.
Today, travelers in urban centers should expect large crowds, heightened security, and associated disruption around Kashmir Solidarity Day events. The opposition Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party has organized rallies in major cities, including Karachi and Lahore. In Islamabad, lawmakers will visit UN offices to submit a related memorandum. Associated traffic disruption is possible along Constitution Avenue and Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat Road. Travelers should avoid related gatherings as a precaution and to minimize delays.
On February 10, travelers in Lahore should avoid a planned rally by the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) in front of the Directorate of Public Instruction. The group said the protest, initially scheduled for February 3, will go ahead if authorities fail to give promotions for teachers and cancel plans to privatize public colleges. Travelers should plan journeys bypassing the vicinity of the gathering as a precaution.
The Singapore 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, hold a People’s Republic of China (PRC) passport or have traveled to China in the past 14 days. Travelers matching one or more of these criteria should reconfirm their itineraries, visa status, and the overall feasibility of travel to Singapore prior to departure.
Today through February 8, travelers in Istanbul should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption caused by forecast adverse weather conditions. The Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology (MGM) has warned of heavy rainfall, strong winds, and snowfall during this period. Wind speeds are forecast to reach 45-60 miles per hour, and heavy rain will gradually be supplanted by snowfall as the week progresses. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm the status of roads and transportation, including flights and ferry services, before setting out.
Today, travelers in Istanbul should avoid a planned demonstration outside the Indian Consulate at 9:30 PM local time. The event is being organized by the Anatolian Youth Association to denounce India’s policies in Kashmir. While the event is likely to pass off peacefully, travelers should plan routes bypassing the area as a precaution and to minimize delays.
Authorities in several regional countries have introduced health screening measures at certain airports and, in some cases, land border crossings with China. This follows an increase in reported 2019-Novel Coronavirus cases. The measures apply primarily to travelers arriving via air or land from China. Some countries have also suspended flight connections with mainland China. Travelers should continue to 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.
Today, passengers transiting Copenhagen Airport (CPH) should reconfirm the status of their flights and allow additional time due to an ongoing strike by security staff. The action is over grievances about the termination of 12 employees’ contracts.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to anticipate disruption and avoid protests by the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the credible risk of unrest. On February 1, police in Paris arrested several protesters after they attempted to break through cordons at Palais Royal to participate in a banned Yellow Vests demonstration. The next round of protests is scheduled for February 8, though details are not yet available. Protesters have also joined demonstrations against pension reforms over the past weeks.
Travelers should continue to factor transportation disruption into their journeys and avoid protests while strikes over planned pension reforms persist. A major demonstration is planned for today in Paris, with civil servants scheduled to protest at 1:00 PM local time at the Paris Opera. Another demonstration is also planned for tomorrow, with protesters scheduled to march from Gare de l’Est at 1:30 PM local time. The USAC-CGT labor union has called for an air traffic controllers’ strike from 6:00 PM local time today through 5:30 AM local time on February 7.
Today, travelers in Stuttgart should continue to anticipate disruption to train services following a fire at the city’s central railway station yesterday. National and international long-distance trains (ICE, IC, EC, and TGV lines) originating or terminating in Stuttgart are running on schedule; however, trains simply stopping at the station are being diverted to Esslingen. Local trains are running with delays.
On February 8, travelers in Budapest should plan journeys bypassing a far-right rally in Varosmajor Park, near the Szell Kalman ter Metro Station. Nationalist groups will gather to commemorate the attempted breakout of German and Hungarian troops during the siege of Budapest during WWII. Anti-fascist groups have announced counter-protests in the vicinity of the rally at 1:00 PM local time.
On February 7, Alitalia and Air Italy passengers should reconfirm flights and anticipate disruption during planned industrial action. Employees of both carriers will observe a strike from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM local time. Some flights will operate in guaranteed time slots from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM local time.
Today, passengers transiting Malaga Airport (AGP) should reconfirm flights and expect delays due to low visibility in the region.
Today, passengers transiting London Heathrow Airport (LHR) should reconfirm flights and expect delays due to fog in the area.