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.
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. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.
Normal movement can resume along the Interstate 95, which was temporarily closed in both directions, following a shooting near Palm City, FL yesterday. A police officer was killed in the incident, which occurred at around 10:15 AM local time.
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that travelers who are residents of New York state will no longer be able to enroll in Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs due to aspects of the state’s “Green Light Law” which protect undocumented immigrants. Existing members of Global Entry and other Trusted Traveler Programs will still be able use these services. Only new enrollments or re-enrollments will be curtailed for New York residents. Other programs that will no longer accept applications from New York residents include the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI); NEXUS, which allows for expedited border crossing between the US and Canada; and the Free And Secure Trade (FAST) program, which allows faster clearance for commercial shipments between the US border, Canada, and Mexico. The TSA PreCheck program is not part of this new restriction.
On Saturday, February 8, travelers in San Nicolas de los Arroyos should plan routes bypassing a farmers’ protest. Farmers are planning to drive tractors across Buenos Aires Province to denounce recent tax reforms. The tractor protest will begin at 9:00 AM local time at the intersection junction of Highway 9 and Avenida Ponce de Leon. Travelers should bypass the demonstration as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience.
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.
Today through Saturday, February 8, travelers in Jerusalem’s Old City should exercise increased caution at flashpoints for militancy following several security incidents. Today, an Israeli soldier was stabbed and injured near Lions’ Gate; the attacker was shot dead. This followed a car-ramming attack last night near the city’s First Station in which 12 Israel Defense Force troops were injured. In the West Bank, at least three Palestinians have been killed in clashes in Hebron and Jenin. Tensions have sharply increased after the recent announcement of a new US-led Middle East peace plan.
On Sunday, February 9, travelers in Bejaia should avoid a protest outside Provincial Headquarters due to the risk of local unrest. The Socialist Forces Front (FFS) party has called the event to denounce recent restrictive measures taken by the head of Bejaia Province against local mayors. The protest may also cause travel disruption, particularly on Rue de la Liberte.
Travelers should avoid possible demonstrations linked to International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings involving former President Laurent Gbagbo and his political ally, Charles Ble Goude. Today and tomorrow, 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.
Tomorrow, travelers in Amman should avoid a planned sit-in outside the US Embassy in Abdoun after Friday afternoon prayers. The event is the latest in a series of demonstrations organized by the “National Alliance to Confront the Deal of the Century” against US President Donald Trump’s plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The event is likely to be well-attended and occur amid a heightened security force presence. Travelers should plan routes bypassing the area as a precaution and to minimize delays.
Travelers should expect and avoid further demonstrations by the Shia Muslim Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) due to the risk of unrest. The IMN is demanding the release of its leader, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, and his wife. Their trial, expected to begin today in Kaduna, is likely to trigger additional demonstrations. The use of live ammunition by police during protests in recent weeks resulted in three deaths and several injuries. Protests are regularly organized in Abuja, Lagos, Zaria, and other urban centers in the north, usually peaking after Friday prayers.
Today, an unruly protest is ongoing in the vicinity of Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar. Participants have blocked roads with burning tires. Travelers should avoid the area to minimize delays and inconvenience.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Further limitations on flights and other modes of transportation continue to be implemented by local authorities. Some locations are barring entry of travelers from China or imposing 14-day quarantine periods after arrival from China. Several countries have completed the evacuation of their citizens from Wuhan. Travel to Hubei Province should be deferred, and serious consideration should be given to deferring non-essential travel to the rest of mainland China. A novel coronavirus has caused an outbreak of pneumonia in China where human-to-human transmission is ongoing. Cases have been confirmed in people who traveled from Wuhan and other areas of China, into other locations within China, and abroad.
All travelers arriving in Hong Kong from mainland China will be required to undergo a two-week quarantine, effective at 11:59 PM local time tomorrow as part of measures to contain the outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Most routes to and from mainland China are closed, leaving only Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge open. The Kai Tak and Ocean cruise terminals are also closed. Medical personnel are expected to continue striking through tomorrow to demand a complete sealing off of all routes to mainland China; more related protests are possible.
A US National working as a contractor was kidnapped on January 31 in Khost province. Details surrounding the abduction are sparse, though search and rescue efforts are reportedly under way. No group has claimed responsibility. The incident highlights the persistent and credible risks posed by kidnapping throughout Afghanistan. All travel to Khost province should be deferred.
A measles outbreak is ongoing in the Central Division. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.
Today, 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.
There have been no immediate reports of casualties or major damage following a magnitude 6.2 offshore earthquake that struck at 1:12 AM local time today, 85 miles north of Surabaya. The tremblor occurred at depth of 367 miles; no Tsunami Warning was issued. Tremors were felt as far away as Kuta and the Special Region of Yogyakarta. The Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) has warned of potential aftershocks. Travelers should continue to exercise caution in affected areas.
An outbreak of dengue is ongoing in Malaysia. 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. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission.
Today through February 11, travelers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi should anticipate heightened security and disruption during a cricket match between Pakistan and Bangladesh. The five-day Test cricket match will take place at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium at 10:00 AM local time tomorrow. Heightened security and extensive traffic restrictions will be implemented to secure the game and its players. Vehicle access will be restricted on Stadium Road. Murree Road will also be partially closed during the match. Parking will only be possible in designated spaces across Rawalpindi, which may exacerbate road travel disruption.
Today, passengers transiting Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) in Istanbul should expect residual disruption and reconfirm flights following the resumption of operations today. The facility’s runway was closed and flights were halted yesterday after a Pegasus Airlines plane from Izmir skidded off the runway during adverse weather conditions. Three people were killed, and 179 others injured in the incident.
Authorities in several 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 and 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.
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 today 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’ strike through 5:30 AM local time tomorrow.
Tomorrow, travelers in Munster should avoid all protests and expect heightened security during a reception by the rightwing Alternative for Germany party at the Historic City Hall. A number of political parties and activist groups have called for protests outside the event venue, scheduled to start at 4:00 PM local time. The protests are likely to be well attended and will disrupt transportation in the city center. Local unrest is possible between rival activists and between protesters and police.
Tomorrow, travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to thunderstorms, heavy snowfall, and high winds. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) has issued Orange Warnings (the second highest on a fourtier scale) for several areas across the country. These locations include Attica, Central Greece, Central Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, Ionian Islands, North Aegean, South Aegean, Thessaly and West Macedonia regions, as well as East Peloponnese and Thrace. Related disruption to ferry services was reported yesterday and are expected to continue.
Yesterday, at least two people were killed following the derailment of a high-speed train which was headed to Salerno from Milano Centrale Railway Station. The incident occurred at Ospedaletto Lodigiano; around 31 people were injured. All travel along the Milan-Bologna Line has been suspended in both directions, and rail traffic has been diverted to the Milan-Piacenza route. Several trains scheduled to travel between Milan and Rome have been canceled. Investigations are ongoing, though reports suggest there was an issue with the train engine. Travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm schedules before setting out.
Today, travelers in Rostov Province should reconfirm the status of flights and routes due to ongoing heavy snowstorm. Multiple flight delays and cancellations have been reported at Rostov-on-Don Platov International Airport (ROV). Multiple roads in the province remain impassable, while the M-4 Don Highway was closed to traffic at 8:30 AM local time. Travelers should expect further road closures and flight disruption as adverse weather conditions are expected to persist.
On January 15, President Vladimir Putin announced plans for constitutional changes. While many aspects of the reform remain unclear, some members of the public are concerned that the change would allow President Putin to retain political power after his fourth term in office ends in 2024. An anti-reform rally in Moscow will be held on Saturday, February 8 at 2:00 PM local time near the Bratislavskaya Metro Station. Security forces may authorize mass arrests of participants in all associated rallies, while bystanders may also be detained.
Travelers should anticipate and avoid further protests linked to Parliamentary discussions of a controversial land reform bill. The bill’s second reading will resume today. In response, the far-right National Corps party has called for a protest against the bill outside Parliament in Kiev at 9:00 AM local time. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out and avoid all related gatherings due to the risk of local unrest and low-level vandalism