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.
Winter Storm Kade dumped heavy snow in the West and parts of the Southern Plains. Snow is now starting to pick up in intensity in parts of the interior Northeast and is wrapping southward around the intensifying area of low pressure. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service for parts of the South, Ohio Valley, and Northeast. Winter Storm Warning areas are expected to have the heaviest snowfall, possibly mixed with ice, and the greatest travel impacts from this storm system, while lighter snow or ice amounts still capable of causing some travel impacts are expected in the winter weather advisory areas. Travelers should reconfirm flights at the following airports: Albany, NY (ALB), Bangor, ME (BGR), Buffalo, NY (BUF), Burlington, VT (BTV), Erie, PA (ERI), Ithaca, NY (ITH), Manchester, NH (MHT), Montréal, QC, CA (YUL), Ogdensburg, NY (OGS), Ottawa, ON, CA (YOW), Plattsburgh, NY (PBG), Portland, ME (PWM), Presque Isle, ME (PQI), Quebec City, QB, CA (YQB), Rochester, NY (ROS), Savannah, Georgia (SAV), Syracuse, NY (SYR), Toronto, ON, CA (YYZ).
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.
On February 5, 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.
Tomorrow, travelers in Portland, Oregon should plan journeys bypassing all rallies due to the risk of local disturbances. The white supremacist Ku Klux Klan (KKK) movement and the neo-Nazi National Socialist movement have organized a rally which is scheduled to take place around the Multnomah County Courthouse at 11:00 AM local time tomorrow. Counter protests on the day have also been organized by, among other groups, the Portland Democratic Socialists of America, at the Keller Fountain Park from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM local time and at Lownsdale Square from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM. A heightened security presence around the rallies is expected.
Tomorrow, 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.
Travelers in Kingston are reminded of the risks from violent crime after a fatal shooting on February 4 left three people dead and five injured in serious condition. The shooting took place in Ackee Walk, near Queensbury in the northern part of the city. Assailants in two vehicles drove through the neighborhood and fired indiscriminately at different locations in the area. This incident highlights the persistent risks posed by violent crime and the need to adopt stringent precautions. A State of Emergency is in operation in the parish.
On January 28, Parliament further extended an ongoing State of Emergency (SoE) until May 19 in Clarendon and St Catherine parishes, and until 28 May in St James, Hanover and Westmoreland parishes. In addition, a SoE will remain in place until May 5 in St Andrew parish, which includes Kingston. St James includes the popular destination of Montego Bay. Travelers in the aforementioned areas should exercise caution and follow all directives issued by the security forces.
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.
Through tomorrow, 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.
Burkina Faso’s first case of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been reported in Centre-Est. The cVDPV strains can emerge in under-vaccinated populations. 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 are advised to prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccination is up to date (including a booster if available) and selecting safe food and water.
An unruly protest is ongoing in the vicinity of Boulevard Lumumbe in the Limete area of Kinshasa. The protest was organized by the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP). Participants have blocked the road, which connects the Kinshasa International Airport (FIH) to the business district of Gombe, with burning tires. Travelers are advised to avoid the vicinity of Boulevard Lumumbe in the coming hours.
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, 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.
Over the coming days, travelers in Kenya should anticipate disruption following the death of former President Daniel arap Moi (in office 1978-2002) early on February 4. There will be a public viewing held at the Parliament buildings in Nairobi from February 8-11. A national memorial service will take place at Nyayo National Stadium on February 11, which has been declared a public holiday. The body will then be transferred to Kabarak on February 12 for burial. Significant travel disruption should be expected in Nairobi in the coming days. Officials have also announced public screenings of the memorial will take place in Nakuru and other locations. Travelers should liaise with local contacts and monitor reliable local media sources for further information on commemorative gatherings.
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. Both are facing several criminal charges, which the Shia group claims are politically motivated. The next trial hearing, scheduled for February 24, is likely to trigger further demonstrations. The use of live ammunition by police during protests in recent weeks resulted in three deaths and several injuries.
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 on February 6 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.
Travelers should defer non-essential travel to areas of Pilbara under Warning and Watch zones until at least the morning of February 10 due to the passage of Tropical Cyclone Damien. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the weather system is forecast to intensify into a Category 4 system (second-highest level on a five-tier scale) as it approaches the Pilbara coast and makes landfall near Karratha City by tomorrow evening as a Category 2 (second-lowest) system. Damien is expected to weaken to a Tropical Low by February 10.
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.
Hundreds of cases of dengue fever have been reported. 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 are advised to avoid mosquito bites.
Travelers in South Island, particularly Southland, Otago and West Coast regions, should plan journeys in the coming days accounting for residual disruption from heavy rain and flooding. Severe weather warnings have been lifted in all areas; however, a State of Emergency declared on February 4 in Southland region remains in place, following serious damage to State Highway 94 (also known as Milford Road), the only route to and from the popular tourist destination of Milford Sound.
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.
Today, travelers in Munster should avoid all protests and expect heightened security during a reception by the right-wing 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.
Today, 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.
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.
Tomorrow, travelers in St. Petersburg should plan routes bypassing a planned rally which will be held at Lenin Square at 12:30 local time. The rally, organized by the St. Petersburg branch of the Communist Party, is scheduled to protest about various issues, including pension reforms, rising public transport costs, raising the retirement age, and sanitation problems. Protest organizers have secured official permission to carry out the demonstration and though it is likely to pass off peacefully, the potential for local unrest remains. vicinity of the rally at 1:00 PM local time.
Today, 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.
Travelers planning to undertake road travel on the AP-8 Motorway between Bilbao and Irun in the coming days should continue to seek alternative routes, following a landslide near Zaldibar at around 4:00 PM local time on February 6. The road is currently closed in both directions and efforts to clear the thoroughfare are likely to continue until at least February 8. Local media sources have reported that two people are missing.