Business Travel Advisory – 2/8/19

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail

THE AMERICAS

United States
United States Travelers in western Washington, particularly the cities of Seattle, Everett and Tacoma, should anticipate disruption due to the passage of a winter storm. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for most of western Washington for today and tomorrow, meaning significant snowfall and strong winds are likely in the affected areas. The adverse weather conditions are liable to disrupt flights at airports in the region, including at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Road travel is also likely to be impacted; travelers should maintain flexible itineraries.

Costa Rica 
Today, travelers in San Jose should plan journeys avoiding a protest at 5:30 PM local time at Parque Central. The rally is being held against former President Oscar Arias over alleged sexual offenses.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Cameroon 
Non-essential travel to Northwest and Southwest regions should be deferred due to an insurgency by Anglophone separatist groups. On February 6, at least 15 people were killed during a gunfight between separatist militants and security forces in Bole Bakundu. Separatists have called for residents of the two regions to remain indoors during a ten-day “lockdown” through February 14, while a daily curfew in Bamenda remains in effect between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM local time.

Travelers in Yaounde, Douala, and other urban centers should anticipate and avoid further protests in support of opposition leader Maurice Kamto. The politician, at least two journalists, and other key figures from the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (MRC) were arrested on January 28 in Douala, triggering opposition protests. Further demonstrations have been planned for today and tomorrow in Yaounde, despite an official ban. There is a risk of unrest during such protests, posing incidental risks to bystanders.

Namibia 
On February 13, travelers in Windhoek should anticipate traffic disruption in the vicinity of the Parliament Gardens during the ceremony to reopen Parliament. President Hage Geingob will lead the ceremony, which will begin at 2:30 PM local time and entail the closure of Robert Mugabe Avenue between 11:30 AM and 5:00 PM local time. Travelers should avoid the vicinity of the Parliament building to minimize disruption and inconvenience.

Nigeria 
Tomorrow, travelers in Abuja should exercise caution during the final Presidential campaign rally of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The rally, in support of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, will begin at 10:00 AM local time at the Old Parade Ground. There is a heightened risk of unrest during the event, especially if supporters of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) gather in proximity. Large crowds will also cause disruption around the stadium, particularly upon the arrival of Abubakar and his entourage.

Senegal 
Travelers should avoid all political gatherings ahead of the first round of the Presidential Election on February 24. Campaigning will end on February 22. The National Autonomous Electoral Commission (CENA) is expected to release provisional results between February 25 and 27; the date of a possible second round has not yet been announced. The election will take place amid increased tensions and a heightened risk of unrest after two key opposition candidates were barred from running, increasing incumbent President Macky Sall’s chances of winning a second term.

South Africa 
Today, travelers in Johannesburg should avoid a planned demonstration outside the US Consulate in the city’s Sandhurst area as a precaution. Up to 100 people are expected to participate in the gathering, which will begin at 10:00 AM local time and conclude by 1:00 PM local time at the corner of Sandton and Rivonia streets. The event, called by the South African Communist Party, is being held over the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela. The gathering is liable to disrupt road traffic in the area.

On February 13 and 19, travelers in urban centers should avoid demonstrations by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to minimize inconvenience. The country’s largest trade union federation has organized the marches over various economic grievances. Several rallies will be held in front of local municipality buildings. While the events are anticipated to pass off peacefully, they are likely to disrupt traffic in their vicinities. Travelers should plan routes bypassing affected areas.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Bangladesh 
Today, travelers in Dhaka should avoid a planned demonstration at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is organizing the event to call for the release of its leader, Khaleda Zia, on the anniversary of her imprisonment. The BNP leader was incarcerated a year ago following her conviction on corruption charges. Authorities have yet to grant permission for the gathering. If the rally proceeds without authorization, police may forcibly disperse it, posing incidental risks to bystanders.

Nepal 
On February 6, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an Advisory Warning for possible nationwide protests today by the Nepal Student Union (NSU), the student wing of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) party. The two groups have staged several demonstrations in recent days, including in Kathmandu, over a controversial medical education bill and the arrest of protesters. While no further protests have been announced, travelers should remain abreast of any ongoing or planned demonstrations. All related activity should be avoided due to the potential for local unrest.

New Zealand 
Travelers in Nelson City and Wakefield on the South Island should exercise caution and follow all official directives amid ongoing wildfires. Residents have been evacuated from parts of the two locations. In Nelson, authorities have closed Cambria Street, Weka Street, Atawhai Drive, and Grove Street. In addition, State Highway 6 has been closed in Wakefield. Flight delays have been reported at Nelson Airport (NSN) due to the imposition of a restricted flight zone around the wildfire. The Nelson Tasman Emergency Management Group has declared a State of Emergency in the region.

Philippines 
Today, a magnitude 5.9 offshore earthquake was recorded by the US Geological Survey at 7:55 PM local time, 25 miles east of General Luna, at depth of 15 miles. The tremblor was felt in Surigao, Gingoog, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu cities, among others. While no Tsunami Warning has been issued, aftershocks are expected. Travelers in affected areas should exercise caution.

Taiwan 
Today, passengers of China Airlines (CAL) should reconfirm flights and anticipate associated disruption during a planned strike by CAL employees beginning at 6:00 AM local time. Unionized staff will stage the walkout over wages and working conditions at Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and Songshan Airport (TSA), as well as Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH). It is unclear for how long the strike will be observed; reports indicate departing flights will mostly be affected. Precedent suggests the action is liable to cause significant disruption.

Thailand
Yesterday, a speedboat carrying 23 Chinese tourists capsized after hitting an underwater rock while en route from the resort island of Ko Samet to the mainland. All onboard were safely rescued; two passengers were injured. Investigations are ongoing to determine whether the boat operator was licensed. Safety standards of boat tour operators in Thailand vary and such accidents are not uncommon. The incident is a reminder that travelers should carry out due diligence on providers’ safety records prior to undertaking marine travel.

Tonga 
Today and tomorrow, travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Tropical Disturbance 06F. Yesterday, the Tonga Meteorological Service issued a Storm Warning for the Niua and Vava’u groups of islands. On its current trajectory, the storm is not likely to make landfall on the archipelago. It will instead pass to the west of Niua, Vava’u, Ha’apai, and Tongatapu islands.

Turkey 
On Sunday, February 10, travelers in Ankara should avoid an opposition rally at 1:00 PM local time at the Ankara Sports Arena. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has organized the gathering to present its candidates for the March Mayoral elections. Local unrest is possible amid accusations by opposition parties that authorities have falsified voter registrations, among other irregularities.

EUROPE

Regional 
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Ireland and the UK should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption caused by the passage of Storm Erik. Ireland’s MET Eireann and the UK Met Office have issued weather warnings for several areas. The adverse weather may cause flight delays and cancellations at airports in affected areas, including Ireland’s Dublin (DUB), Shannon (SNN), Cork (ORK), Donegal (CFN) and Kerry (KIR) airports. In addition, delays to train and ferry services are possible.

Belgium 
On February 13, travelers should expect significant disruption during a planned general strike and plan journeys accordingly; all related demonstrations should be avoided as a precaution. The action, which was called by the CSC, FGTB and CGSLB unions over socio-economic grievances, is expected to affect all forms of public transportation, including air travel. Brussels Airport (BRU) has warned of flight cancellations, delays and diversions, as well as disruption to baggage handling and delivery. Brussels Airlines will cut around two-thirds of its scheduled flights on the day.

Netherlands 
Travelers in The Hague should anticipate and avoid further climate rallies by the “Youth for Climate” student group to minimize inconvenience. The next demonstration is scheduled for February 14 at the Malieveld. Yesterday, a related gathering at the same location attracted around 10,000 participants. Protesters are demanding better climate policies to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. The action has been inspired by a similar movement in Belgium.

Serbia 
Travelers in urban centers should continue to expect and avoid anti-government demonstrations as a precaution. The latest demonstration has been scheduled for tomorrow in Belgrade. Although exact details are unclear, demonstrators in the capital typically gather around 6:00 PM local time and march via central streets to the National Assembly, the Serbian Radio and Television headquarters, and the Presidential and Serbian government buildings. Previous related protests have been well attended and passed off peacefully; however, further such demonstrations are liable to cause local disruption.

Ukraine
An outbreak of measles is ongoing in Ukraine. 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.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail