Business Travel Advisory

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THE AMERICAS

Regional 
Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys bypassing rallies associated with International Labor Day. Such events are likely to be well attended and are liable to result in local disruption.

Venezuela 
Travelers in Venezuela should continue to minimize movement amid ongoing clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters in and around Caracas. Yesterday, President Nicolas Maduro claimed to have ended what he called an attempted coup by opposition leader Juan Guaido. Both Guaido and officials loyal to Maduro have called on supporters to demonstrate in Caracas, with roadblocks reported in many areas; at least 69 people are reported to have been injured. Travelers in Caracas should continue to exercise caution and monitor developments.
 

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional 
Local reports indicate that Eritrea has closed the Bure-Assab Border Crossing with Ethiopia. This follows unilateral closures by Eritrea of the Oumajir-Humera Border Crossing in mid-April, and Serha-Zalambessa and Adi-Quala-Rama Border Crossings earlier this year. It remains unclear if the closures are applicable to all nationalities or Ethiopian and Eritrean Nationals only, though they are reportedly restricted to the Eritrean side. Neither country has made official statements on the closures. It remains possible to travel to Eritrea by air. Travelers should reconfirm the status of border crossings before planning overland travel between the two countries.

Algeria 
Travelers in Algiers and other urban centers should continue to avoid anti-government protests due to associated disruption and the potential for unrest. Previous protests have brought traffic to a standstill in Algiers, and tight security should be expected. Demonstrators are calling for an overhaul of the entire political system, after the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 2. A number of Bouteflika allies have since resigned under public pressure while others are facing corruption probes. A related march by labor unions will occur in Algiers today, while nationwide demonstrations are expected on Friday, May 3.

Benin 
The April 28 Legislative Elections passed off without major incident, though travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid all related gatherings due to the potential for unrest. According to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENA), turnout was historically low, as opposition parties had boycotted the polls. Provisional results indicate that the Progressive Union party has gathered 47 seats, and the Republican Bloc party has acquired 36 seats thus far. These results need to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court.

Burkina Faso 
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Ouagadougou should expect heightened security and associated disruption due to a planned official visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Today, Merkel will attend an extraordinary summit of the G5 Sahel. Tomorrow, she will deliver a speech to students at the Joseph Ki-Zerbo University.

Iran 
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Tehran should avoid all gatherings related to Labor Day as a precaution. Gatherings are currently being held in front of Parliament and the nearby Baharestan Metro Station. A rally is also taking place in front of the Workers’ House against poverty, among other issues. Tomorrow, another related protest will be held at 10:00 AM local time along Taleqani Street.

Jordan 
Today, travelers in Amman should plan routes bypassing events associated with Labor Day. The Jordanian Movement for Dignity group has called for a rally at 4:00 PM local time at the Firas Roundabout in the central Jabal al-Hussein area. A related march is planned afterwards, though the exact route is unclear. A similar event in 2018 attracted several hundred participants. Meanwhile, the Justice and Freedom Group has called for another march at 5:00 PM local time from the Municipality Building to Hashemite Square.

Nigeria 
On April 27, two Chinese Nationals were released by their captors after being abducted by unidentified gunmen three days prior from a construction site in the Ohaozara local government area. No details regarding the abductors have been released. While the kidnapping-for-ransom of foreigners remains relatively rare in Ebonyi, the recent incident underscores the need to exercise caution throughout the country.

South Africa 
Today, travelers in urban centers should avoid all rallies marking International Labor Day and anticipate related traffic disruption. COSATU, the country’s largest trade union federation, has organized a number of events, which are scheduled to begin simultaneously at 9:00 AM local time. In addition, SAFTU, the country’s secondlargest trade union, will hold concurrent rallies at 10:00 AM local time, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party is also organizing marches. Heightened security measures, potentially including road closures and police cordons, are likely near such events.

Togo 
On Saturday, May 4, travelers in Lome should avoid a rally at 2:30 PM local time at the Akassime Ground in the Hounoukope district. Local authorities have approved the “information and awareness meeting” by the “Front Citoyen Togo Debout” opposition movement. Several recent political protests in Lome have become violent, and some disruption in the area is possible.

Tunisia 
Tomorrow through Saturday, May 4, travelers in urban centers should expect possible fuel shortages and avoid all gatherings associated with a nationwide strike called by the General Transport Federation. The group is denouncing the alleged lack of wage increases, among other issues. Disruption should be expected at fuel stations for the duration of the strike. Any fuel shortages may impact the availability of taxis.

Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys bypassing all Labor Day gatherings as a precaution and to minimize delays. In Tunis, the UGTT trade union federation has called for a related protest at Mohamed Ali Square. Local traffic disruption can be expected around associated events. Zimbabwe Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys accounting for possible disruption during Workers’ Day events. These gatherings are expected to be well attended amid a heightened security presence. Travelers should avoid all related events as a precaution and to minimize delays.
 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Regional 
Today through Saturday, May 4, travelers should expect disruption and increased demand for accommodations in major cities during the Labor Day holiday. Traffic congestion is likely along major motorways, at transportation hubs, and in popular tourist locations. In Beijing, heavy traffic is expected at Beijing Railway Station and Tiananmen Square. Increased demand for flights means that there could be longer queues at key airports, including Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Baiyun International Airport (CAN), and Pudong International Airport (PVG).

Bangladesh 
Travelers in Bangladesh, particularly low-lying central coastal areas, should anticipate heavy rainfall and travel disruption due to the passage of Cyclone Fani. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has advised that the weather system will affect the ports of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra; all have been advised to issue a local warning “Signal No. 4” (“port is threatened by a storm”). Today, Fani was upgraded to an Extremely Severe Cyclone (second-highest on a seven-tier scale). It is likely to further intensify as it moves northwest up the Bay of Bengal.

India 
The increased risk of violence in extreme leftist Naxalite rebel strongholds during the ongoing Electoral Period has been highlighted by recent attacks on election officials and security forces. Today, a homemade bomb planted by rebels blew up a police vehicle on the Kurkheda-Korchi Road in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, killing at least 15 officers and their driver. The incident follows attacks on election officials in Kandhamal district on April 17, one day ahead of the second phase of the election. Travelers should avoid non-essential road travel in Naxalite-affected areas.

Non-essential travel to the southeastern coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal states should be deferred through Saturday, May 4 due to the passage of Cyclone Fani. Today, Fani was upgraded to an Extremely Severe Cyclone (second-highest on a seven-tier scale). It is forecast to further intensify as its moves northwest up the Bay of Bengal before crossing the Odisha coast on Friday, May 3 between Gopalpur and Chandbal, south of Puri. Strong winds of up to 125 miles per hour and heavy rainfall are expected to cause significant disruption to transportation and communications.

Indonesia 
Today, travelers should expect heightened security and disruption around rallies commemorating International Labor Day. A mass rally is planned in Jakarta in front of the Istana Merdeka, with organizers from the Indonesian Trade Union Confederation (KSPI) expecting 50,000 participants. Disruption is therefore likely to extend along Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara and Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat roads around the National Monument Park. Other rallies are planned in provincial capitals.

Kazakhstan
Today, travelers in urban centers should avoid all anti-government demonstrations due to the risk of local unrest. The opposition Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) movement has called on supporters to rally at 1:00 PM local time in public squares and parks in the country’s major cities. DVK is protesting the renaming of the capital and the June 9 Presidential Elections. DVK is outlawed in the country; therefore, attempts by demonstrators to rally are likely to be resisted by security forces. Travelers should anticipate heightened security measures, as the demonstrations coincide with International Labor Day.

Malaysia
Today, travelers in Kuala Lumpur should plan journeys avoiding a Labor Day rally. Participants will march at 10:30 AM local time from Maju Junction to Medan Pasar to demand an increase in minimum wage, among other issues. Organizers expect around 1,000 people to participate in the rally, which is likely to pass off peacefully.

Nepal 
From Monday, May 6 to June 4, passengers transiting Dhangadhi Airport (DHI) should reconfirm the status of their flights. The airport will be closed during this period for runway renovation and extension work. Various airlines plan to increase flights at Nepalgunj (KEP) and Biratnagar (BIR) airports to accommodate passengers affected by the closure.

Pakistan
Today, travelers in Karachi should plan journeys bypassing a gathering held by the opposition Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) to mark Labor Day. The rally will take place in the Dawood Chowrangi area of Landhi and will be attended by Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Minor PPP-led protests are also likely in the party’s strongholds throughout the country. The party is using the date to protest poor conditions for workers and the rising prices of daily commodities. Travelers should expect local disruption in the vicinity of any gathering and plan journeys avoiding such events.

Philippines 
An outbreak of measles is underway across the Philippines. 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.

Passengers of Cebu Pacific should reconfirm their flights due to ongoing cancellations. The airline has canceled 58 roundtrip domestic flights through May 10. It has also said that around ten flights daily will be canceled for the rest of the month over operational reasons. Affected services include those to and from Manila.

Today, travelers in urban centers should avoid Labor Day rallies by leftist groups as a routine precaution. In Metro Manila, common protest locations include Liwasang Bonifacio, Mendiola, Plaza Miranda, Aurora Boulevard, Quezon Memorial Circle, Welcome Rotunda, and Monumento Circle. In other major cities, rallies are likely at public parks, state universities, and public assembly areas. Such gatherings are typically well attended; travelers should expect traffic disruption in the vicinity and plan journeys circumventing affected areas.

Taiwan 
Today, travelers in Taipei should avoid a Labor Day march as a routine precaution. Participants plan to gather at 12:00 PM local time in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard. They will subsequently march to the Labor Ministry and Legislative Yuan, before returning to the Presidential Office. Organizers expect around 5,000 people to participate in the rally, which is likely to pass off peacefully.
 

EUROPE

Regional 
Today, travelers in major urban centers across the region should plan routes bypassing annual Labor Day gatherings. Travelers should exercise particular caution in France, Italy, Germany and Greece, where local unrest is possible due to historical precedent or because protests will be linked to ongoing socio-economic movements. Related demonstrations in other countries, such as the UK, are likely to pass off peacefully, causing only local traffic disruption.

Passengers of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) should continue to reconfirm flight schedules due to an ongoing indefinite strike by pilots in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. More than 3,000 flights have been canceled since the walkout began on April 26, affecting more than 320,000 passengers. The work stoppage is related to a dispute over a collective bargaining agreement, wages, and working hours. Further disruption is likely as negotiations between the union and the airline have stalled.

Today, travelers in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine should anticipate disruption around Labor Day celebratory gatherings and plan journeys bypassing them as a precaution. Labor Day is a public holiday, and businesses and government offices are likely to be closed. Travelers in affected locations should confirm the status of routes before setting out.

Belgium 
Travelers in main cities should avoid further climate rallies through the end of May. The “Youth for Climate” student group, which has been organizing protests in Brussels since January, plans to continue protesting every Thursday until European Parliamentary Elections on May 23-26. The latest demonstration is planned for 10:30 AM local time tomorrow at Gare du Nord in Brussels. Protesters are calling on the EU and the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Previous demonstrations in Brussels on March 31 resulted in scuffles between protesters and police and damage to property.

Georgia 
Today, travelers in Tbilisi should avoid a protest outside Parliament. The Georgian Trade Unions Federation has called the demonstration to demand that the government enforce labor safety standards, after a series of work-related deaths in the construction sector. The group also wants the issue of high unemployment addressed. Travelers should avoid the area around Parliament during the gathering.

Russia 
On April 29, the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that seven suspected militants were recently arrested during a raid on a house in Moscow province. Several firearms and explosives were seized, as was extremist literature. Police believe the suspects were linked to the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, and there are suggestions that foreigners were among those detained.

Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption around International Labor Day protests and celebratory gatherings. Authorized rallies are being organized by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, which has called on its members to mobilize to demand socio-economic changes. Alternative demonstrations will protest a recent controversial pension reform that will increase the age of retirement. Travelers should anticipate heightened security, including road closures, and avoid all public gatherings as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience caused by disruption.

Spain
On Friday, May 3, travelers in Barcelona should avoid a planned protest at 7:00 PM local time in front of the Spanish Government Delegation Office. The rally has been organized by several pro-Catalan independence groups. They are denouncing a decision by Spain’s Electoral Commission to bar former President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and other prominent Catalan politicians from running in the European Parliament Election.

Ukraine 
Tomorrow, travelers in Odessa should avoid commemorative events marking the fifth anniversary of fatal clashes between pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia activists. A memorial rally will start at 4:00 PM local time at Kulykove Pole, which will be cordoned off throughout the day. Vehicular movement will be restricted on multiple roads surrounding Kulykove Pole and Soborna Square. Around 2,400 police officers will be deployed to the city during the sensitive anniversary. There is a risk of unrest, including by far-right groups, during related events.

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