Business Travel Advisory
Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Limited human-to-human transmission, as well as imported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19,” formerly “2019-nCoV”) 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.
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 travelers arriving from or having transited through China should anticipate more stringent scrutiny and ascertain the overall feasibility of travel to countries with entry restrictions prior to departure.
Cases of the novel strain of coronavirus, currently causing an outbreak of Arizona, California, Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin. 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.
The US Department of State has 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.
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 15, travelers in Phoenix, AZ should anticipate local disruption around a pro-gun rally at 10:00 AM local time at the State Capitol building. A heightened police presence can be expected in the vicinity of the gathering. While some demonstrators will be armed, this is permitted under state law, and the event should pass off peacefully.
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.
Non-essential travel to Venezuela, including Caracas, should be deferred after protesters clashed outside Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS) during the return of Juan Guaido, President of the opposition-led National Assembly, yesterday. Although Guaido returned without incident following an international tour, travelers in Caracas should continue to minimize non-essential movement amid an ongoing political crisis and avoid all related gatherings.
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 closely monitor developments around a desert locust infestation across Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Tens of thousands of hectares of land have been affected by the infestation, prompting concerns over food security. On February 9, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned that the situation is likely to worsen in the coming weeks. On February 2, the Federal Government of Somalia declared a National Emergency over the infestation. Locust swarms have also reached Tanzania and Uganda, and Kenya has reportedly not seen a locust threat this severe in seven decades. The swarms’ destruction of crops is likely to displace thousands of people and aggravate existing communal fault lines, resulting in a potential increase in communal unrest.
On February 10, at least two civilians were killed, and 14 others injured when unidentified gunmen targeted a gendarmerie post in Tanwalbougou. At least eight suspected assailants were killed when security forces returned fire. The incident followed an overnight gun attack on February 2-3 in Bani municipality, during which at least 20 people were killed. While no group has claimed responsibility, these incidents underline the risks posed by militant activity in Sahel and Est regions.
Travelers in Cameroon should continue to monitor developments and avoid all political gatherings related to the Legislative and Municipal Elections. Voting took place on February 9: Municipal results are expected to be announced by the Constitutional Court today and Legislative results on February 29. The elections passed off peacefully in most parts of the country, although episodes of violence were reported in the Northwest, Southwest, and Extreme North regions. Although large-scale demonstrations are unlikely to occur before the announcement of the Legislative results, violence is expected in the Northwest and Southwest Anglophone regions as the lockdown in these regions ends today.
Today and tomorrow, travelers should minimize movement in Conakry and other urban centers, particularly in the Labe and Mamou regions. Fresh anti-government protests are being organized by the opposition Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC). Such demonstrations regularly involve roadblocks and descend into clashes with security forces. These latest protests follow President Alpha Conde’s announcement of a Constitutional Referendum on March 1 alongside long-postponed Legislative Elections. Opponents fear that the referendum will be used as a means of extending Conde’s time in office beyond his current two-term mandate.
On February 14, 21 and 28, travelers in Bamako should plan journeys bypassing sit-in protests by members of police unions outside the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection due to the risk of local disruption. Officers plan to protest issues linked to their careers and socio-economic grievances, including job mutations, social benefits, housing problems and the reintegration of suspended officers into the force following job abandonment. Travelers are advised to avoid all related protests as a precaution and to minimize delays.
Travelers in northern and central provinces should exercise caution and expect disruption due to forecast heavy rainfall. More than 50 people have been killed, and thousands displaced since the rainy season began in October. The Montepuez Bridge, located on the N380 Highway, collapsed on December 28 and has yet to be restored. An alternative route located between Nacololo and Pedreira Chudi has become impassable since February 10, leaving Meluco, Macomia, Muidumbe, Mueda, Nangade, Palma, and Mocimboa da Praia districts cut off from Pemba. Further adverse weather can be expected for the remainder of the rainy season, which lasts through April.
Today, travelers in Abuja and other urban centers should anticipate and avoid protests linked to the trial of human rights activist Omoyele Sowore. Common flashpoints for protests in Abuja include the Federal High Court and the National Human Rights Commission. Disturbances involving police, Sowore’s supporters, and pro-government elements during gatherings would pose incidental risks to bystanders, underlining the need to plan journeys bypassing all such events as a precaution.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Pretoria should plan routes bypassing demonstrations organized by the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW). Participants will gather at 8:00 AM local time today at Old Mutual Industrial Park before marching to the Department of Infrastructure and Development, the National Department of Health, the Department of Basic Education, and the National Treasury. The event will be followed by an overnight vigil at the NUPSAW headquarters, lasting until 3:00 PM tomorrow. While the demonstrations are expected to pass off peacefully, disruption to vehicular and pedestrian traffic is likely in nearby areas.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Countries are continuing to implement additional travel restrictions and health screening measures at transportation hubs, including airports, seaports and border crossings, to contain the spread of a COVID-19 (formerly “2019-nCoV’ disease) outbreak. While stringent restrictions apply primarily to passengers arriving from mainland China, many countries are expanding these measures to include more travelers. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and be prepared for short-notice changes to entry restrictions. Travelers coming from countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or who have been to or transited through mainland China within 14 days of arrival to their destination or place of transit should reconfirm the feasibility of travel.
All travel to Hubei Province and Wenzhou, China should be deferred due to stringent official restrictions in response to the COVID-19 (formerly “2019-nCoV’ disease) outbreak. These include restrictions on departure in many areas, and the risk of quarantine at your next destination. Travel to other areas of China should also be deferred as advised by travelers’ local national authorities. Even in the absence of government advisories, serious consideration should be given to deferring travel to the rest of mainland China, excluding Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan.
Travelers should continue to plan journeys accounting for restrictions between Hong Kong and mainland China that are designed to stem the spread of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The Hong Kong government has closed most routes between the city and mainland, and all travelers entering Hong Kong from the mainland are being quarantined for 14 days. While Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the Shenzhen Bay Checkpoint and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge remain open, flights between Hong Kong and the mainland have also been reduced. Several countries have extended travel advisories and other measures to Hong Kong and Macao.
Travelers in New Delhi should continue to avoid political gatherings as flashpoint dates approach. On Sunday, February 16, the city’s Chief Minister will be sworn in at Ramlila Maidan following the recent local Legislative Assembly elections. On February 17 there will be a Supreme Court hearing regarding ongoing protests at Shaheen Bagh over a contentious law. While widespread violence is unlikely, local unrest is possible, and security across the city has been tightened accordingly. Travelers should continue to plan journeys bypassing all political gatherings as a precaution.
Today, travelers in Jakarta should plan journeys bypassing a demonstration at 11:00 AM local time outside the People’s Representative Council. Up to 20,000 workers are expected to come from across the country in protest of the “Omnibus” bill on job creation. Although the end time remains unclear, Indonesian protests are required by law to finish by 6:00 PM local time. Travelers should expect increased disruption in the area, which is intersected by Jalan Tol S Parman, and typically suffers from traffic congestion.
All inbound travelers are required to show proof of up-to-date measles vaccination or measles immunity to enter the Marshall Islands. Those who do not have the required proof will be denied entry. In addition, citizens and foreign residents who are temporarily departing the Marshall Islands will be denied exit if they do not have proof of vaccination or immunity. People for whom vaccination is contraindicated must have a written document from their doctor.
Travelers in Rakhine are reminded of the risks posed by continued fighting between the military and Arakan Army (AA) insurgents. More than 1,000 people have fled villages in Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships following a fresh surge of fighting on February 5-10. On February 3, the government reimposed internet blackouts in Buthidaung, Rathedaung, Maungdaw and Myebon townships, as well as Paletwa township in neighboring Chin, for three months.
Today, travelers should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Tropical Cyclone Uesi. Meteo-France has forecast that Uesi will not make landfall on the archipelago. The storm is currently located west of Grand Terre Island and passed closest to Grand Terre last night. It is now turning away towards Australia. Strong winds and heavy rainfall have been reported throughout the country. Short-notice disruption to flights, particularly at Malabou Airport (PUV) and Koumac Airport (KOC), is possible.
Travelers in urban centers should avoid demonstrations by the hardline Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party against the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. The party announced fresh protests against the perceived failure of the PTI government to stem an increase in the prices of essential goods. A gathering in Karachi on February 23 will reportedly take place at the Hakeem Muhammad Saeed Park in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. Related gatherings will also be held in Islamabad on March 1 and in Lahore on March 19. JUI-F may hold small, related gatherings prior to February 23.
Over 45 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19,” formerly “2019-nCoV”) have been confirmed in Singapore. Some cases have been imported, and some have been infected within Singapore. This is a fast moving and rapidly changing situation. This new coronavirus, which is causing an outbreak in China, can cause symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Severe disease is possible. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing, and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. To prevent infection, travelers should pay attention to hygiene, wash hands frequently, avoid touching of the face, and keep a distance from people who are sick.
Limited human-to-human transmission, as well as imported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19,” formerly “2019-nCoV”) have been confirmed. This new coronavirus 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. Some countries have advised their citizens to defer travel to Taiwan.
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.
Passengers of Air France Hop, the domestic and regional subsidiary of the French flag carrier, should reconfirm flights due to potential industrial action by pilots. Strikes are planned between 6:00 AM and 6:00 PM local time on Fridays between February 14 and April 24, as well as on April 30. The action is being organized to demand pay and working conditions on a par with Air France pilots.
Today, travelers in Austria, Germany, and Norway should anticipate residual disruption and reconfirm transportation arrangements following the passage of Storm Sabine. The meteorological agencies of these three countries have issued weather warnings, including expected wind gusts of up to 55 miles per hour. The storm caused significant disruption to flights, trains, and road travel. Although the situation has largely stabilized, strong winds persist in various parts of the three countries.
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 expect transportation disruption and avoid protests while strikes over planned pension reforms persist. Unions at RATP, the public transportation operator in and around Paris, have called for an all-out “Black Monday” strike across the Ile-de-France region on February 17, when the first debate on the revised pension bill is scheduled in the National Assembly. The industrial action will affect metro and RER train services. A general strike and fresh demonstrations are also planned in Paris on February 20, though details are yet to be announced.
On February 14-16, travelers in Munich should expect enhanced security measures, demonstrations, and associated disruption during the annual Munich Security Conference. Dozens of heads of state and high-profile visitors are expected to attend, and the area around the event venue, the Bayerischer Hof Hotel, will be cordoned-off. Protests against the conference will be held at 6:30 PM local time on Friday, February 14 in Gartnerplatz. On Saturday, February 15, demonstrators will march and form a human chain around the hotel from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM local time.
Air Italy has announced that it will cease operations on February 25. The airline’s schedule will be operated by other carriers through February 25. Passengers with flights booked after February 25 will be refunded by the airline.
On Saturday, February 15, travelers in Rome should plan journeys accounting for traffic disruption around a civil society demonstration. Participants will gather in Piazza della Repubblica at 2:00 PM local time before marching towards Piazza della Madonna di Loreto, where the event is scheduled to end at 7:00 PM local time. The demonstration has been called by pro-Kurdish and leftist groups to demand the freeing of jailed militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and what they describe as other political prisoners in Turkey.
On Saturday, February 15, travelers in Rome should plan routes bypassing a demonstration by supporters of the Five Star Movement party as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. Participants are expected to gather at 2:00 PM local time in Piazza Santi Apostoli in protest of annuities granted to former Parliamentarians. The rally may prompt traffic disruption in the city center.
An increased number of scarlet fever cases have been reported in England and Wales, including some cases in London. This disease, most common in children, is caused by the same bacteria that cause strep throat and is very contagious. There is no vaccine to prevent it, though it can be treated with antibiotics. Travelers should prevent infection by practicing good personal hygiene.
Travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm transportation arrangements during the passage of Storm Dennis. The Met Office has issued weather warnings for wind, snow and rain, with expected gusts of up to 60 miles per hour in coastal areas and up to 50 mph inland. Storm Ciara, which impacted the country on February 9-10, caused disruption to flights, ferries, trains and road networks, and killed at least two people. Travelers should exercise increased caution due to possible injury and threat to life from flying debris and large waves.