Business Travel Advisory
Travelers using the George Parks Highway between Willow and Trapper Creek, AK should reconfirm its status due to an ongoing wildfire. Yesterday, authorities reopened one lane of the highway, though vehicles are only allowed to pass with escort cars due to poor visibility. Rail services between Anchorage and Denali National Park have been suspended through today. The McKinley wildfire has destroyed at least 50 structures; efforts are underway to contain it. Travelers should allow additional time for journeys via the George Parks Highway and follow all official directives.
Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should avoid all protests associated with a 24- hour nationwide strike by opposition groups against President Evo Morales’ efforts to seek re-election in October. Participants plan to block the main streets and avenues across the country. The President’s opponents claim his move in unconstitutional, despite the Supreme Court in December 2018 ruling he could stand for a fourth term. That judgment overturned a 2016 referendum result in which voters rejected Morales’ plan to remove Presidential term limits. Police may forcibly disperse related gatherings, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Travelers in urban centers should anticipate local disruption and reconfirm the status of routes during planned rallies against the proposed “Abuse of Authority” law. Judges and police plan to demonstrate in several cities and are calling on President Jair Bolsonaro to veto the bill. In Brasilia, demonstrators will gather at Palacio do Planalto at 2:00 PM local time today. Similar gatherings are expected in other urban centers. While details have not been announced, likely venues include government buildings and central squares.
On August 18, suspected members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group killed a soldier and injured two others in Arenal municipality. Yesterday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that around 500 residents of three villages in Suarez municipality had been isolated due to ongoing fighting between the military and dissident members of the former leftist guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The incidents underscore the persistent risk of guerrilla activity in rural areas.
Today, travelers in Nicaragua should reconfirm any taxi or private vehicle/driver bookings due to a planned opposition protest that could result in shortages of vehicular transportation. The opposition Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) coalition have called on Nicaraguans to refrain from using vehicles in protest of the government, specifically by denying it the proceeds of fuel purchases. It is unclear whether taxi or ride-share app drivers will participate, though travelers should reconfirm bookings as a precaution.
An alert has been issued for increased dengue activity in the country. 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.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
On Friday, August 23, travelers using the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge border crossing should anticipate disruption due to a planned sit-in after Friday prayers by the Palestinian Parliament Committee. Participants will show solidarity with the Palestinian people amid renewed tensions in the West Bank. While the demonstration is intended to remain peaceful, local disruption is possible; travelers using the border crossing should allow additional time for journeys as a precaution and follow all official directives.
Yesterday, at least 12 security force members were killed on a military base near Koutougou. It was the worst attack on troops in the country, illustrating the declining security in border regions and the increasing boldness of militant groups. Most attacks continue to occur in Burkina Faso’s northern and eastern regions, including Sahel; however, instability and attacks against both security targets and civilians may spill over into other areas.
On August 17, authorities confirmed three Ebola cases in the Mwenga area. This is the first record of the virus in the province since the beginning of an Ebola outbreak in Ituri and North Kivu provinces. A new health zone in North Kivu has also reported a confirmed Ebola case. The response to the outbreak has been hindered by an escalation in violence in affected areas, where rebel and militia groups are active, prompting some health organizations to temporarily suspend operations. All travel to rural areas of the aforementioned provinces should be deferred.
There is an ongoing outbreak of monkeypox, 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.
Cholera cases have been reported across several provinces. The disease spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers staying in quality accommodations with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Travelers should ensure food and water are safe for consumption and consider vaccination is likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.
A number of travelers who visited the Hurghada region have been diagnosed with serious illnesses due to the bacteria E. coli. The source of infection has not been identified but is presumed to be contaminated food or water. E. coli can cause gastroenteritis with fever, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some people, especially young children and the elderly, can develop serious kidney complications. Travelers should prevent infection by paying attention to hygiene and carefully selecting food and beverages.
An increase in measles activity has been recorded. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from personto-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, passengers transiting Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) should anticipate disruption and expect heightened security during a visit by Prime Minister Saad Hariri and other officials. The event has been planned to mark the inauguration of the departure terminal’s extension, which will begin at 11:30 AM local time. Travelers should allow additional time for road journeys to and from the airport.
Travelers in the Jubaland region should exercise caution ahead of a Regional Presidential Election scheduled for Thursday, August 22. The extremist Islamist al-Shabab group has warned against proceeding with the poll and has assassinated candidates. Further al-Shabab attacks are possible during campaign events and on Election Day. Additionally, tensions between state and federal authorities may lead to confrontations, as two rival Legislative Assemblies have been created that will elect two separate candidates.
Today through Thursday, August 22, travelers in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo, and Mutare should avoid further protests by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) due to the risk of unrest. While police have banned a protest planned in Gweru today, MDC has vowed to proceed with the rally. Further demonstrations scheduled in Masvingo tomorrow and Mutare on Thursday, August 22 are likely to be prohibited. On August 16, police forcibly dispersed an unauthorized gathering in Harare; three people were injured, and 91 others arrested.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Tomorrow, travelers in Hong Kong should anticipate disruption to Mass Transit Railway (MTR) services and allow additional time if planned anti-extradition bill protests go ahead. Protesters plan to gather from 7:30 AM to 1:00 PM local time at the Fortress Hill, Kowloon Tong and Lai King stations, and from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM local time at Yuen Long Station. Some of these stations service multiple lines. If the demonstrations proceed, delays are likely along the Island (Dark Blue), East Rail (Light Blue), Kwun Tong (Green), Tsuen Wan (Red), Tung Chung (Orange), Airport Express (Teal), and Tseung Kwan O (Purple) lines.
All travel to the Kashmir Valley and parts of Jammu region should be deferred amid ongoing tensions over the government’s decision to revoke their autonomous status. On August 18, authorities reimposed restrictions on movement and communications following protests. Clashes reportedly occurred between protesters and police overnight on August 17- 18 at various locations, including the Rainawari, Nowhatta, and Gojwara areas of Srinagar. Several people were injured. While more than 190 schools reopened yesterday, attendance levels were low.
Land and forest fires have affected air quality in several parts of the country. At least five provinces have declared emergency status. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart and lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Papua New Guinea
Buka Airport (BUA) will be closed through September 12 due to security lapses, including uncontrolled access to the runway. Flag carrier Air Niugini has also suspended flights to and from the facility during this period. Aropa Airport (KIE) is operating normally. Travelers should reconfirm the status of their flights.
Today, travelers in urban centers should expect local disruption during planned nationwide demonstrations organized by several farmers’ groups to condemn violence against farmers in recent years. In Metro Manila, a rally will be held in Santa Cruz Church at 2:00 PM local time, followed by another demonstration at Mendiola Bridge. The events are likely to pass off peacefully.
On Saturday, August 24, travelers in Seoul should avoid a rally at Gwanghwamun Square planned by the opposition Liberty Korea Party. The event is being staged to denounce the government’s alleged inability to manage the state affairs. The rally is expected to be well attended.
Travelers should continue to avoid protests over the removal from office of three pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Mayors on terrorism charges, due to the risk of unrest. Today, HDP supporters will gather outside the Municipality building in Mardin at 11:00 AM local time and in Istanbul at the main courthouse in the Sisli district at 1:00 PM local time. Further rallies are likely in southeastern provinces and urban centers with a significant Kurdish population, including Ankara, Adana, and Mersin.
Travelers in Izmir and Mugla provinces should plan journeys accounting for disruption due to ongoing wildfires. Worst affected areas include the districts of Milas and Bodrum, as well as Karabaglar, where one village was evacuated. Strong winds are likely to exacerbate the situation. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and the feasibility of overland journeys before setting out.
From Saturday, August 24 through Monday, August 26, travelers in Biarritz should expect heightened security and significant disruption during the 45th G7 Summit. The summit will be held at Hotel du Palais; beginning Friday, August 23, the surrounding area will be closed to vehicular movement and unauthorized pedestrians. Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ) will be closed to the public from 7:00 AM local time on Friday, August 23 through Monday, August 26. Railway and international bus stations in Biarritz, as well as Bayonne and Hendaye, will also be closed. Bus service diversions began yesterday in the aforementioned areas.
On August 24, 25, 30 and 31, passengers transiting Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) should anticipate disruption and possible delays during staff strikes. Security personnel is currently conducting an indefinite strike, and Iberia ground staff are planning to strike beginning Saturday, August 24. The industrial actions are over labor conditions and pay disputes, which are often exacerbated during the busy summer season. Travelers are advised to expect longer processing times at security checkpoints, as well as possible disruption to other airport operations.
On Saturday, August 24, travelers in Kyiv should expect heightened security and adjust itineraries to bypass events commemorating Independence Day. According to authorities, a memorial ceremony will replace the usual military parade, which will begin at 9:30 AM local time at Nebesna Sonya and will be attended by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Separately, veterans’ groups have called for a “March of Defenders” which will start at 11:00 AM local time from Shevchenko Park to St. Michael’s Cathedral. Nationalist groups are also likely to rally. Despite heightened security postures, local unrest and scuffles between rival groups around these locations are possible.
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.
The British Airline Pilots Association has set strike dates for UK-based Ryanair pilots. 48-hour walkouts are expected to begin at 12:00 AM local time on Thursday, August 22 and Monday, September 2. Passengers of Ryanair should reconfirm flights on these dates.