Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to LaGuardia Airport (LGA). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 1 hour and 42 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.
An outbreak of hepatitis A is underway in Alajuela. The source has not been identified; however, authorities advise that water sources tested to date are not implicated. Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that spreads through the fecaloral route, via direct person-to-person contact or through contaminated food and water. Symptoms can take a month to appear and include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice. Travelers should prevent infection through vaccination, attention to hygiene, and selection of safe food and beverages.
Travelers in Peru should reconfirm the status of flights during a planned nationwide strike by air traffic controllers from 7:00 PM local time on Friday, July 26 through 7:00 PM local time on Sunday, July 28. The strike will affect operations at 16 airports nationwide, though the most significant disruption is expected at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM). The strike is over alleged poor working conditions.
Travelers in San Juan should avoid protests calling for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello due to a credible risk of unrest. Last night, clashes occurred between protesters and police in front of La Fortaleza. Police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Earlier in the day, an estimated 500,000 people participated in a related march along Expreso Las Americas.
Today, travelers in urban centers, including Caracas, should strictly avoid the vicinity of opposition-led demonstrations due to the risk of unrest. Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President, has called for demonstrations to commemorate six months since the beginning of his anti-government campaign. While specific times and locations have not been announced, activists are likely to demonstrate outside government buildings and may erect roadblocks on key routes.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in the Middle East should continue to monitor developments amid heightened tensions. On July 19, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced the seizure of a UK-flagged vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. The incident came nearly a week after Iranian authorities seized another foreign-registered vessel near Larak Island. While no side has an interest in intentionally initiating direct conflict, such incidents continue to increase the likelihood that a miscalculation or miscommunication could prompt a wider escalation.
An increase in the number of measles cases has been reported. 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.
Today through Saturday, July 27, travelers in Kinshasa should avoid all political rallies related to the Senate Election. Authorities have banned all political demonstrations in the city through Sunday, July 28 amid heightened tensions following multiple calls for protests. Some civil society groups have called for a march tomorrow against the candidacy of Alexi Ntambwe, the nominee of former President Joseph Kabila’s Front for Congo (FCC) coalition. They are also denouncing what they see as attempts by the FCC to block the formation of a new government.
An increase in dengue activity has been reported nationwide. 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.
Travelers in Abidjan should anticipate and avoid demonstrations by opposition parties and civil society organizations. The civil society groups Indignant Coalition of Cote d’Ivoire (CICI) and Ivorian Citizen Alternative (ACI) will hold a sit-in protest at 7:00 AM local time today at the headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). The protests have been organized to demand reforms at the IEC and denounce recently introduced fees for obtaining national identity cards. Additional protests in other locations are likely.
Today, travelers in urban centers, including Cairo, should anticipate disruption and heightened security around National Day celebrations. The day commemorates the 1952 Revolution, which overthrew the monarchy and led to the establishment of a republic. Military parades and other celebratory gatherings are likely. Travelers should avoid all related gatherings as a precaution.
Today, operations resumed at Mitiga International Airport (MJI), which serves Tripoli, after being suspended last night due to shelling. An ongoing offensive by the Libyan National Army (LNA) aimed at seizing control of Tripoli has disrupted operations at the facility on several occasions. Travelers should anticipate intermittent disruption at Mitiga Airport.
Travelers in urban centers should avoid protests every Tuesday and Friday by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition over the disputed May General Election. Related protests are also likely on Monday, July 29 when the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe resumes hearings on the opposition’s petition to annul the results. Protesters are demanding that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Jane Ansah resign over alleged voting irregularities. Outbreaks of unrest, as well as acts of arson and vandalism targeting political figures and institutions, including party offices, have occurred during some recent rallies, highlighting the need for caution.
All travel to Borno should be deferred following the abduction of six humanitarian aid workers in Kennari in the Mobbar Local Government Area on July 18. According to the affected non-governmental organization (NGO), a staff member, two local drivers, and three health workers went missing when their convoy was ambushed. A third driver was killed during the incident.
Today, authorities confirmed that several drones were intercepted by Saudi Air Defenses after being launched by the Yemen-based Houthi movement towards Asir province. The Houthis claimed to have targeted King Khalid Air Base (KMX) in Khamis Mushait, though Saudi authorities said the drones were headed towards civilian areas. While Saudi Air Defenses remain capable of intercepting most drones and missiles, this latest incident underlines the need to avoid non-essential travel to strategic locations within 68 miles of the border with Yemen.
Today and Friday, July 26, travelers in Cape Town should anticipate local disruption during protests outside Parliament. Supporters of the Friends of Cuba Society group will gather for an hour at 12:30 PM local time along Plein Street. The gatherings have been organized to denounce US sanctions on Cuba. The protests are likely to pass off peacefully, but travelers should avoid them to minimize local delays.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Travelers in Hong Kong should continue to monitor developments, especially indicators of social unrest, related to a controversial bill that would facilitate extraditions to mainland China. Related protests have expanded to include wider grievances. Frequent demonstrations of varying sizes are likely in the near term. Government offices and transportation hubs in the Admiralty, Central, and Wan Chai areas continue to be the focal point for large-scale protests; however, unrest is also possible in Kowloon and suburban areas of the New Territories, such as Sheung Shui, Sha Tin, and Yuen Long.
United Airlines (UA) suspended its service between Newark International Airport (EWR) and Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) on April 5. On June 21, United also suspended flights between Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and both Mumbai (BOM) and New Delhi (DEL), with service to BOM and DEL expected to resume on September 6-7, 2019. Passengers traveling on United, from or through BOM or DEL airports, are permitted a full refund of their unused ticket, provided the ticket was issued by July 14, and travel was due to take place between June 21 and September 5, 2019.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Bangkok should plan routes bypassing protests against the proposed Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) to minimize delays. Today, protesters are planning to march at 8:30 AM local time from the Bangkok Hua Lamphong Railway Station to the Government House and the Eastern Economic Corridor office. A rally is also scheduled at 9:30 AM local time tomorrow at the temporary Parliament House in the TOT building. While the gatherings are likely to pass off peacefully, they may result in local disruption.
Increased dengue activity has been observed since mid-June. 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.
Yesterday, one person was killed, and five others injured in armed clashes between residents of Vorukh enclave and Aksai. Aksai residents reportedly also blocked the road connecting Vorukh with Isfara. Additional security forces have been deployed to the area, and both sides are investigating the incident.
On Friday, July 26, travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights during planned strikes by employees of multiple airlines. Staff of flag carrier Alitalia will walk out for 24 hours beginning at 12:01 AM local time. Employees of Air Italy, Air Dolomiti, Ryanair, Blue Air, and Neos will strike from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM local time.
On Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, passengers transiting Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN) should anticipate disruption during a work stoppage. Ground staff of national carrier Iberia will strike over working conditions and hiring practices. The industrial action may also affect other airlines. The walkout may be called off at short notice following successful negotiations. Travelers should reconfirm schedules prior to setting out.
On Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, passengers transiting London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights due to a planned strike by ground staff. The strike has been called over a pay dispute, though talks between unions and employers are ongoing. While airport authorities will implement measures to minimize its impact, the strike will be well-observed if it proceeds. Further 24-hour strikes are planned on August 5-6 and August 23-24.
Pilots affiliated with British Airways’ pilots’ union, BALPA, have approved potential strike action; however, discussions between the airline and union are ongoing, and no dates for industrial action have been set. Should the strike proceed, it would have an impact on British Airways’ operations and result in a large number of delays or cancellations.