Business Travel Advisory
Today, 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 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.
Opposition groups have called for a nationwide strike tomorrow through Saturday, August 24 to demand the government release imprisoned political activists, among other issues. Opposition, civil society, and student groups are expected to organize related demonstrations, which should be avoided due to the risk of disturbances. The level of commercial disruption will depend on how many businesses participate; travelers should monitor developments and reconfirm all ground transportation arrangements.
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.
Today, travelers in Luanda should expect a heightened security force presence and related disruption around a Quadripartite Peace and Security Summit. The event, which will be hosted by President Joao Lourenco and attended by his counterparts from Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda, will feature the signing of an understanding between the latter two countries. Travelers should plan routes accordingly, allow additional time to complete journeys, and follow all directives issued by authorities.
On Saturday, August 24, travelers in Ramtha should plan routes bypassing a protest at 10:00 AM local time outside the Jordan University of Science and Technology. The event is the latest in a series of gatherings condemning a 2016 gas deal between Jordan and Israel. Although related demonstrations have passed off without major incident, travelers should plan routes bypassing the affected area as a precaution.
Travelers should expect heightened security and related disruption around a national census on August 24-26. Unruly protests on August 15 occurred in Nairobi’s Westlands constituency, and in Kiambu county, over alleged favoritism towards civil servants and corruption in the hiring process for census-takers. Security forces dispersed the rallies with tear gas. Although authorities have taken measures to reduce perceived favoritism, related demonstrations may take place in urban centers during the census period. All such gatherings should be avoided due to the risk of unrest.
On Friday, August 23, travelers using National Route 1 between Bamako and Kayes should reconfirm its status before setting out. Activists have called on residents of the Kayes and Koulikoro regions to block the highway at multiple locations in protest of its poor condition.
Travelers in Jigawa should reconfirm the status of routes due to disruption caused by heavy rain and flooding. At least six people have been killed, and hundreds of others have been displaced by floods since August 18. Incessant rainfall caused the Hadejia River to overflow, inundating several districts. The worst-affected areas of the state include Dutse, Birnin Kudi, Guri, Kafin Hausa, Kaugama, Kirikasamma, and Miga.
Yesterday, at least three people were killed in Eggon during an attack by roadside bandits against the convoy of Nasarawa State Deputy Governor Emmanuel Akabe. Similar attacks have also been reported in recent weeks in Jibia and Danmusa, as well as Zamfara, including along the A126 Motorway between Gusau and Sokoto. While extra security forces have been deployed to the affected locations, non-essential travel to Katsina, Nasarawa, and Zamfara should be avoided.
Travelers in the Khana local government area should exercise caution following fatal violence involving suspected members of rival cults. On August 18, at least five people were killed during two separate attacks by heavily armed individuals in the Opuoko and Lumene communities in Khana. Travelers should ensure that enhanced security precautions are in place for road travel in Rivers, especially if passing through Khana, which is located along the Eket-Port Harcourt Expressway.
Today, travelers in Richards Bay should avoid the Central Business District (CBD) following reports of violent unrest. Travelers already in the CBD should minimize movement until the situation stabilizes. Demonstrators have reportedly turned out to condemn the arrest of participants in an unruly rally on August 16. Police have begun to disperse the crowd using tear gas. This comes after various protest roadblocks in and around the town earlier in the day, including of the N2 Highway leading to Durban. During another related rally, security forces used rubber bullets, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, 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 the 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 Tsueng Kwan O (Purple) lines.
Today, passengers transiting Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Perth (PER), Adelaide (ADL), and Gold Coast (OOL) airports should expect disruption during demonstrations by airport workers outside and en route to the terminals; demonstrations are being held to demand improved working conditions and wages. Participants do not intend to disrupt flights or airport operations, and the protests are likely to pass off peacefully. Nonetheless, travelers should arrive early at the affected airports in case of traffic or other disruption in the vicinity.
Travelers in India should continue to expect disruption during the ongoing monsoon season. Heavy rainfall, flooding, and landslides will continue to affect the country through October. Flooding since early August has affected parts of the northern states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the southern state of Kerala, and the western states of Punjab and Karnataka, causing at least 1,000 fatalities and displacing more than one million people. Rescue operations are ongoing in the worst-affected areas. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm the feasibility of road journeys before setting out.
Today, travelers in New Delhi should anticipate traffic disruption around the Jantar Mantar Monument during a rally by Dalit organizations. Activists are denouncing the demolition of a historic temple in the Tughlakabad area of New Delhi. The gathering is likely to draw thousands of participants and take place amid heightened security. Similar protests were held across Punjab state on August 13, where several routes, including the Jalandhar-Delhi National Highway, were blocked.
On August 19, at least 13 people were killed, and 33 others injured when a bus carrying Chinese tourists to Luang Prabang skidded off the road near Kasi. Initial police investigations suggest that brake failure was the likely cause, though the road where the accident occurred is known to be particularly slippery during the ongoing rainy season. The incident highlights that bus travel is not recommended for long journeys in Laos, due to poor road surfaces, the variable condition of vehicles, and limited communications coverage.
Travelers in Ankara and Istanbul should anticipate disruption associated with severe weather. The Turkish State Meteorological Service has forecast heavy rainfall, flash floods, and strong winds through tomorrow. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and adjust itineraries accordingly. In Istanbul, previous flash flooding on August 17-18 rendered some roads impassable and resulted in the cancellation of ferry services.
Passengers of Ryanair should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights during a series of planned strikes by employees over working conditions and announced layoffs. Crew members in Portugal will strike today through August 25; Irelandbased pilots will strike tomorrow and Friday, August 23; UK-based pilots will also strike tomorrow and Friday, August 23, as well as September 2-4; Spain-based employees will walk out on September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, and 28. The walkouts may be called off at short notice following successful negotiations.
Today, travelers in Yerevan should plan journeys bypassing the embassies of France and Italy, as well as Grigor Lusavorich Street, during an ongoing protest in support of former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan. Demonstrators are trying to draw international attention to the trial of the former President on charges of corruption, which they claim are politically motivated.
Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate local disruption and heightened security during commemorations of civil society protests forcibly suppressed by the Soviet Union in August 1968 and 1969. In Prague, the anniversary will be marked with a march organized by the Million Moments for Democracy campaign. Participants will gather at 6:00 PM local time in Wenceslas Square before marching to Hradcany Square. Previous events organized by the group were well attended.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid weekly Saturday protests by the Yellow Vests movement due to the risk of local unrest. The next gathering is scheduled for Saturday, August 24. In Paris, participants will gather at Place des Martyrs Juifs du Velodrome d’Hiver, near the Bir Hakeim metro station at 9:00 AM local time and march towards the Campo-Formio metro station at 11:30 AM local time. While an associated rally in Paris during the last round of Yellow Vest protests passed off peacefully on August 17, police used tear gas to disperse unruly demonstrators in Toulouse.
From Saturday, August 24 through Monday, August 26, travelers in Biarritz should expect heightened security and significant disruption ahead of and 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. Buses have been diverted since August 19.
Travelers in the breakaway separatist region of Abkhazia should monitor developments, exercise caution, and avoid all gatherings linked to the August 25 Local Presidential Election. The campaign period has so far been largely peaceful, and polling day is also likely to pass off without major incident; however, the region has a history of political violence, and there is potential for election-related gatherings after the announcement of the poll results.
On Saturday, August 24, travelers in Dresden should anticipate disruption due to an anti-racism demonstration by a coalition of civil society organizations and political parties. Participants will gather at 1:00 PM local time at Altmarkt before marching to Cokerwiese. The gathering is being organized to call for solidarity and an open and free society, as well as to denounce far-right politics. Up to 25,000 participants are expected during the demonstration.
Today, passengers transiting Pristina International Airport (PRN) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flight schedules due to a strike by airport workers. Ground staff will observe a walkout between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM local time over working conditions. A related two-hour work stoppage occurred yesterday, resulting in some flight delays.
Passengers transiting Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) and Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport (MAD) should anticipate disruption during planned industrial action and reconfirm flights. At Barcelona-El Prat Airport, security personnel are currently conducting an indefinite strike, while ground staff of national carrier Iberia are planning to observe work stoppages on August 24-25 and August 30-31. Iberia staff will also walk out at Madrid-Barajas on August 30-31. The strikes are linked to disputes over pay and working conditions.
From Friday, August 23 through Wednesday, August 28, travelers in Kiev should expect heightened security and plan journeys bypassing events commemorating Independence Day. Road closures will be in force, while a memorial ceremony at Nebesna Sotnya, attended by President Volodymyr Zelensky, will replace the usual military parade at 9:30 AM local time on Saturday, August 24. Separately, veterans’ groups have called for a “March of Defenders” on Saturday, August 24 at 11:00 AM local time from Shevchenko Park to St. Michael’s Cathedral. Nationalist groups are also likely to rally, and local 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.