Travelers in Venezuela should continue to minimize non-essential movement amid the ongoing political crisis in the country. The opposition is calling on President Nicolas Maduro to resign in favor of Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President.Large demonstrations and clashes occurred on February 23-24 along the borders with Colombia and Brazil over the delivery of humanitarian aid. All political gatherings entail the risk of unrest; security forces and pro-government militias, known as “colectivos,” regularly use tear gas, rubber bullets, and occasionally live ammunition to disperse anti-government protesters.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Cases of monkeypox have been reported. Monkeypox is a rare viral disease present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. People can contract the virus from an infected animal. They may be bitten or come into contact with an infected animal’s skin, blood or body fluids. Infected people can pass on the disease to others. Travelers should prevent infection by following good hygiene measures and avoiding contact with animals.
Measles is present in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 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. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.
Today, travelers in Abidjan and other urban centers should avoid planned nationwide demonstrations by students. Supporters of the FESCI student union will stage marches at 7:00 AM local time from universities across the country to denounce an ongoing strike by primary, secondary, and public university teachers. On Thursday, February 28, a related march is expected to take place at 9:30 AM local time from the University of Abidjan campus.
Today, travelers in Nairobi should anticipate local disruption due to an ongoing protest by the students of Kenyatta University Law School demanding an investigation into the recent murders of a professor and student. Travelers should avoid the vicinity of the university campus in the Parklands area of the city in to minimize disruption and inconvenience.
Travelers are reminded to exercise vigilance in public places and around soft militant targets, including hotels, shopping centers and restaurants, following fresh arrests of suspected militants during an anti-terrorism raid in Malindi on February 22. Travelers should anticipate a heightened security presence as security forces continue their search for affiliated individuals. There remains a persistent risk of terrorism in Kenya, necessitating vigilance and, where possible, minimizing time spent around potential targets.
An outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) has been reported in Murang’a and Nyandarua counties. The disease can be transmitted to humans via contact with the blood, organs or bodily fluids of infected animals. Infection can also occur through the bite of an infected mosquito or other insects. Symptoms of RVF may include a mild flu-like illness; however, in some cases, the illness can be deadly. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding contact with potentially infected animals and their fluids/ organs, preventing mosquito and other insect bites, and avoiding unpasteurized dairy products.
Travelers in Nigeria should monitor developments closely following the February 23 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Travelers should minimize movement upon the release of overall provisional results, expected by Friday, March 1. Non-essential travel should be deferred through March 18 during the core election period, with Gubernatorial and State Assembly polls scheduled for March 9.
Travelers should exercise caution and avoid all gatherings around the release of provisional results of the first round of the February 24 Presidential Election. The National Commission of Census of Votes (CNRV) is expected to release the provisional results on Thursday, February 28 or Friday, March 1. Election Day passed off without any major incident, though some voter irregularities were reported. The election took place amid heightened tensions after two opposition candidates were barred from running, increasing incumbent President Macky Sall’s chances of re-election.
Non-essential travel to Sudan should be deferred for at least the next week following the imposition of a year-long State of Emergency by President Omar Al-Bashir on February 22. Travelers in the country should monitor developments and continue to avoid all protests. In response to Bashir’s announcement, in which he also dissolved the federal and state governments, several opposition groups pledged to continue their protests. Fresh demonstrations are planned today through Thursday, February 28. Travelers should plan routes bypassing gatherings.
On Saturday, March 2, travelers in Harare should avoid a pro-government rally as a precaution and minimize disruption. Participants are due to gather at Robert Mugabe Square and march to the Rainbow Towers Hotel at 9:00 AM local time. The event, which was postponed from February 16, has been organized by the ruling ZANU-PF party’s youth wing in solidarity with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is due to attend and deliver an address.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, travelers in Baku should anticipate disruption due to commemorative events. A march is planned to commemorate the anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre, in which several hundred ethnic Azeri civilians were killed in 1992, allegedly by Armenian soldiers. Participants will march from the intersection of Neftchilar and Bulbul avenues and proceed to Khojaly Park. 28 May Street, Khatai Avenue, Khojaly Avenue, Neftchilar Avenue, Pushkin Street, and Yusif Safarov Street will be closed to vehicles.
On Saturday, March 2, travelers in Baku should avoid a rally organized by the opposition National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) coalition over various issues. Participants plan to gather at 3:00 PM local time at Mehsul Stadium. NCDF is demanding the release of detained opposition figures, including prominent activist and blogger Mehman Huseynov. Authorities refused to permit previous gatherings planned for January 26 and February 23 following a well-attended rally at the stadium on January 19. There is a risk of local unrest and disruption if the upcoming demonstration proceeds without authorization.
Since the beginning of the year, the daily air quality status in parts of north and central China has been fluctuating between “moderate” to “seriously” polluted levels. As a response, local authorities have been triggering the “Orange” and “Red” Alerts to help curb pollution levels and limit exposure. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Although young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with underlying heart or lung disease are more vulnerable, high levels of air pollution can affect everyone. Travelers should be aware of the pollution levels and accordingly avoid or reduce exposure and physical activity outdoors.
Travelers in Itanagar and Naharlagun should continue to avoid all protests over proposed legislation on foreign tribal communities’ rights. Following violent demonstrations on February 22-23, protesters defied an existing curfew and attempted to burn down the residence of the state’s Chief Minister in Itanagar on February 24. While fresh violence has not occurred since yesterday, authorities have extended the curfew until 9:00 AM local time tomorrow, suspended internet services and deployed 1,000 additional security personnel.
Travel to Pakistan can continue following a series of airstrikes carried out by the Indian Air Force today near the border town of Balakot. The operation targeted camps belonging to the Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militant group. Unconfirmed reports suggest many militants have been killed. While there is little prospect of bilateral tensions easing in the near term, a significant deterioration in the broader security environment is not expected, and an all-out war remains unlikely.
Today through Thursday, February 28, travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Tropical Depression 11F. The weather system is forecast to pass near the Niua, Vava’u and Ha’apai islands today, before moving south toward the Tongatapu and ‘Eua islands tomorrow. The Tonga Meteorological Service (TMS) has issued a nationwide Tropical Cyclone Warning. While the weather system is not forecast to make landfall, heavy rain and strong winds during its passage may cause short-notice travel disruption across Tonga.
Passengers transiting airports in Istanbul should reconfirm which of the city’s airports their carrier will use. Turkish Airlines has moved a limited number of routes to the newly built Istanbul Airport (ISL). Although all flights were expected to be operating from the new facility by Sunday, March 3, this date has been moved to April 5.
Today through Thursday, February 28, travelers in Hanoi should expect heightened security and related disruption ahead of and during a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Unconfirmed reports suggest the meeting between the two leaders will be held at the Government Guest House. Both leaders will arrive in the city today. Access restrictions and road closures can be anticipated throughout the city through Thursday, February 28. Travelers should allow plenty of time to complete journeys and follow all official directives during the summit period.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid weekly protests by supporters of the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the risk of local unrest. Related demonstrations in Paris take place on Saturdays and often focus on Avenue des Champs-Elysees, while similar rallies may be held in other cities and towns. A “Yellow Vests” protest in Paris is due to be held at 10:00 AM local time on Saturday, March 2 at the corner of Place du Marechal Juin and Boulevard Pereire.
Travelers in London should continue to avoid protests by taxi drivers to minimize inconvenience. Participating drivers will protest every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Parliament Square; other actions may be called with little to no notice. Demonstrators say they will continue until carbon taxation laws for cabs are changed. Previous protests have affected the Westminster and Bank areas, Oxford Circus and adjacent Regent Street, London Bridge, Tottenham Court Road and the Transport for London headquarters.