All inbound travel to coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi should be deferred due to the passage of Tropical Storm Barry. The weather system, which developed into a tropical storm yesterday, is forecast to strengthen into a Category 1 Hurricane (the lowest on a five-tier scale) by this evening. The storm is expected to make landfall on the central Louisiana coast tomorrow before moving inland north through the lower Mississippi Valley. A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes in Louisiana.
Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption during a strike by transportation workers. The action will not affect Buenos Aires. The strike has been organized by the transportation workers’ union UTA in protest of government refusal to grant a wage increase approved for workers in Buenos Aires to staff nationwide. Travelers should make alternative transportation arrangements if due to use taxis and plan routes avoiding demonstrations to minimize disruption.
Today, travelers in Santo Domingo should plan journeys avoiding a rally in support of opposition Presidential candidate Luis Abinader. Participants will rally at 9:00 AM local time in front of the National Congress building in protest of perceived government corruption and overreach by security forces.
Today, travelers in urban centers should avoid rallies linked to a nationwide strike called by the Unep teachers’ union to demand President Laurentino Cortizo’s government pay $32 million in alleged unpaid wages and increase education funding. In Panama City, demonstrators will gather at 2:00 PM local time at the Republic of Venezuela School and march to the Presidential Palace. Demonstrations are also likely in other urban centers. All related gatherings should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize travel inconvenience.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Central African Republic
Travelers in Bangui should avoid travel the PK5 neighborhood following fatal clashes between armed groups on July 10-11. One civilian was killed, and several injured in a grenade attack late on July 10, allegedly perpetrated by self-defense militias collecting protection money. A rival armed group reportedly carried out retaliatory attacks, in which at least 26 people were injured. The situation remains fluid and tensions continue to run high in PK5, which could fuel further outbreaks of violence.
Travelers in Abidjan should anticipate and avoid demonstrations by opposition parties and civil society organizations. On Monday, July 15, members of the Forum of Organizations of the Ivorian Civil Society (FORSCI) will gather in front of the Delegation of the European Union to Cote d’Ivoire. On July 23, the Indignant Coalition of Cote d’Ivoire will hold a rally at the headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission. The protests have been organized against recently introduced fees for obtaining national identity cards. Additional protests in other locations are likely.
An environmental sample in Ghana has tested positive for poliovirus. 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 should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccinations are up to date, including a booster, and by selecting safe food and water.
Travelers are reminded to exercise caution amid the risks posed by armed banditry. On July 8, cattle-rustlers launched three separate raids in the Chemorongion and Kasiela areas of Baringo county. One person was killed, and three others were injured, including two police officers. Some residents have fled their villages in fear of further attacks. Authorities have announced plans to deploy additional security forces to Baringo.
Travelers in urban centers should avoid all gatherings related to the May General Election. The Human Rights Defenders Coalition has called for protests every Tuesday and Friday, beginning Tuesday, July 16. Protesters are demanding that Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah resign over alleged voting irregularities. Outbreaks of unrest, as well as acts of arson and vandalism targeting political figures and institutions, have occurred during some recent rallies, highlighting the need for caution.
Travelers in Bamako should avoid further protests against the relocation of the G5 Sahel regional counter-terrorism headquarters to the city’s Badalabougou district. Rallies are scheduled today and tomorrow at 2:00 PM local time at the Mess Militaire in Badalabougou, while a march from Place de la CAN to Rond Point Bougie will also begin at 2:00 PM local time today. An additional protest on Monday, July 15 is due to take place at 2:00 PM local time at Palace de la Culture.
Travelers in Abuja and Lagos, as well as Kaduna and other northwestern states, should avoid further demonstrations by the Shia Muslim Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). Yesterday, police used tear gas and, apparently, live ammunition to disperse protesters at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja and in the Sabon Gari area of Kaduna. A peaceful protest was held in Lagos. Further IMN gatherings are possible today after Friday midday prayers.
Some travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia are being administered oral polio vaccines and antibiotic tablets as preventative medication for meningitis, even if not undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Each year, health requirements and recommendations are issued for travelers who will undertake the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. This year, Hajj will take place from approximately August 9 to 14. A similar pilgrimage, Umrah, may be undertaken all year round.
Today, travelers in Cape Town should expect heightened security in the Cape Flats area following the deployment of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF). The SANDF is due to conduct a joint security operation with police later today. The operation is aimed at sealing off the Cape Flats, including the neighborhoods of Philippi, Delft and Hanover Park. Similar measures are planned in Khayelitsha, Gugulethu, eMfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, and Bishop’s Lavis. Travelers should plan routes bypassing all affected areas.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Tomorrow and Sunday, July 14, travelers in Hong Kong should avoid rallies related to a controversial bill that would facilitate extraditions to mainland China. Tomorrow, participants will gather at 3:00 PM local time at the North District Sports Ground and march to Sheung Shui Garden No 1. On Sunday, July 14, activists will gather at the Chui Tin Street Soccer Pitch at 3:30 PM local time and march to the Sha Tin Government Offices. A separate rally by journalists will also take place on Sunday, July 14. Participants will gather at Harcourt Garden in Admiralty at 10:30 AM local time before marching to the Chief Executive’s office. Heightened security and local traffic disruption can be expected during these events.
Travelers should expect intermittent disruption caused by heavy rain, flooding, and landslides during the ongoing monsoon season through September. On July 8, flooding caused significant traffic disruption in Dhaka and Chittagong. Cox’s Bazaar has experienced several days of heavy rain, resulting in flooding and landslides which have displaced thousands of people and damaged homes and infrastructure. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) has forecast further rainfall in Dhaka, parts of Chittagong division, and Cox’s Bazaar. Travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential delays.
Today, passengers transiting Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) should reconfirm the status of flights after a Yeti Airlines plane skidded off the runway while landing during bad weather. All incoming flights are being diverted to airports in other countries, and outgoing flights have been canceled.
An increase in dengue activity has been reported. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
On Monday, July 15, travelers should anticipate disruption and avoid gatherings linked to Democracy and National Unity Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the 2015 attempted Presidential coup. A heightened security force presence can be expected, especially in Ankara and Istanbul. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to address high-profile gatherings in these cities, while the July 15 Martyrs Bridge in Istanbul will be closed to traffic.
Today, a police operation is ongoing along Tollbugata in the Kvadraturen area of Oslo following a shooting. Police have arrested a suspect and cordoned off the area. Reports indicate that bus services have been suspended between the Kvadraturen and Wessels Plass stops.
On Monday, July 15, travelers should plan itineraries accounting for disruption during a 24-hour strike by the CCOO railway workers’ union beginning at 12:01 AM local time. The industrial action is linked to disputes over job creation, salary, and working hours. Further work stoppages are likely in August amid stalled negotiations between CCOO and rail operator Renfe Group.
Travelers in Northern Ireland should avoid all public gatherings and rallies linked to the ongoing annual marching season through August by Loyalist and, to a lesser extent, Republican groups. Annual “Twelfth” parades are planned across Northern Ireland today, the most important date in the Loyalist marching season. In Belfast, the main parade will be held at 10:00 AM local time from Carlisle Circus to Barnett Demesne, via City Hall, where a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 10:30 AM local time at the Cenotaph.
Travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption to road travel during planned protests by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmental group. Rallies and roadblocks are planned today through Sunday, July 14 in eastern districts of London. The group has also announced protests on Monday, July 15 in London, Glasgow, Bristol, Leeds, and Cardiff. Previous protests by the group attracted large crowds and caused significant disruption to road travel and public transportation.