Business Travel Advisory
Travelers on St Martin, St Maarten, and Saint Barthelemy should anticipate heavy rain and associated disruption due to the passage of Tropical Storm Jerry. Yesterday, the storm was located 765 miles east of the Leeward Islands and was moving northwest at 15 miles per hour. A Tropical Storm Warning (meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours) is in place for the islands of St Martin, St Maarten, and Saint Barthelemy. The storm is expected to intensify into a hurricane today.
Due to runway construction, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 2 hours. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.
Today, travelers in Aurora, CO should expect local disruption during a demonstration against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practices. Participants are due to gather at a community center on East Bellewood Drive at 6:15 PM local time and proceed to the residence of the local ICE detention facility’s Warden. The event has been organized in protest of alleged medical neglect and poor living conditions in ICE facilities.
Today, travelers in Mexico should anticipate disruption and road closures associated with a national earthquake drill. The event will begin at 10:00 AM local time with the sounding of an alarm through loudspeakers, just as in a real earthquake. The government has urged residents to take the drill seriously in preparation for a real emergency. Reports indicate that temporary road closures will be in place in Mexico City and other urban centers.
Today, travelers in Mexico City should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during a rally by various feminist groups to denounce violence against women in Mexico. Participants are expected to gather at the Monument to the Revolution at 4:00 PM local time before marching to the Angel of Independence Monument. A similar protest on August 16, against alleged police involvement in cases of abduction and sexual assault, degenerated into low-level clashes between participants and journalists covering the event.
Travelers in coastal areas of Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, and Michoacan should maintain flexible itineraries and anticipate disruption linked to the passage of Tropical Storm Lorena. As of yesterday, the storm was located 75 miles south of Manzanillo and was moving northwest at 13 miles per hour. Heavy rain is forecast to affect Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, and Michoacan.
On Saturday, September 21, travelers in Managua should avoid unauthorized antigovernment rallies due to the risk of violence. Participants will gather at 11:00 AM local time at the Pellas, Movistar and National Lottery buildings, as well as in the Colonia Centroamerica area. They will then march to the Centroamerica Roundabout.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in the Middle East should continue to monitor developments following an attack on the Saudi Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities on September 14. Although the Yemen-based Houthi group claimed responsibility, Saudi officials have claimed the attack was sponsored by Iran and launched from an unspecified area to the north of the country. The scale of the incident, which resulted in the suspension of more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, has further increased regional tensions.
Travelers in Oued Rhiou should exercise caution following fatal clashes between youths and police last night. The unrest occurred after police chased a motorcycle, killing one rider. Hundreds of youths gathered at the police station to denounce the incident, which prompted police to use tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the crowds; one protester was killed. Residents have again gathered in the streets today. Travelers should bypass the vicinity of all related events due to the credible risk of unrest.
Travelers should monitor developments over an ongoing social media campaign against the government of President Fattah el-Sisi. The campaign started earlier this month after an Egyptian businessman, Mohammad Ali, accused officials of corruption. There have been general calls for protests tomorrow, including at 5:00 PM local time in Cairo’s al Galaa Square. Travelers should avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of unrest.
Travelers in Amman and other urban centers should continue to monitor developments and plan journeys avoiding protests linked to an ongoing nationwide strike by teachers demanding pay increases. Today, protests are possible near the West Amman Court during a scheduled trial to discuss the strike being held by the JTA teachers’ union. Other key protest flashpoints in Amman include the Fourth Circle and the Prime Minister’s office.
Travelers in Mombasa should anticipate further protests by transportation workers and human rights groups, and plan journeys accounting for related disruption. The issue relates to a dispute over the government’s plan to transport all bulk cargo by railway. A related demonstration on September 16 took place in the city’s Changamwe area, causing traffic disruption for several hours. Yesterday, union leaders pledged to hold daily protests if the government did not rescind the cargo transportation initiative within 72 hours.
Travelers in Rabat should anticipate further demonstrations during the ongoing trial of a journalist arrested in August for “illegal abortion.” Activists held well-attended demonstrations at the Court of First Instance during hearings on September 9 and 16. A third hearing is scheduled for September 23, though reports indicate a verdict may be released today. Local disruption in the vicinity of gatherings can be expected.
Travelers should avoid all rallies ahead of the October 15 General Elections. Allegations of death threats acts of intimidation against opposition leaders and vandalism of campaign offices have been reported. Travelers should exercise caution in the central provinces of Sofala, Zambezia, and Nampula, which are traditional opposition strongholds.
Today, a warning siren system will be tested at 1:00 PM local time in Riyadh and the surrounding area, including al-Dilam, al-Kharj, and al-Diriyah. Travelers in these areas should not be alarmed by the test by the civil-defense authorities and should expect three loud sounds throughout its duration. The siren system is aimed at warning people of a variety of threats, including floods, industrial accidents, and air raids.
Today, travelers in Freetown should plan routes bypassing any gatherings linked to a call for protests by a group calling itself “Concerned Sierra Leoneans” (CSL) due to the risk of unrest. The group has circulated a message on social media urging anti-government rallies, but specific details and the extent of CSL’s support are unclear. The events have not received official permission, and police have warned against any unauthorized demonstrations. As such, any protests that go ahead are likely to be forcibly dispersed.
On Saturday, September 21, travelers in Cape Town should anticipate disruption during a planned march and plan journeys accordingly. The event has been organized by the CSAAWU rural workers’ union, with the backing of the SAFTU trade union federation. Participants will proceed from Keizersgracht Street towards the Norwegian and Swedish Consulate at 10:00 AM local time, calling on international companies to use their influence to help create better working conditions for farmworkers.
Travelers in Uganda should anticipate and avoid unauthorized opposition gatherings due to the credible risk of unrest. Yesterday, security forces reportedly fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesting supporters of the main opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party in Hoima. A local FDC candidate was blocked by authorities from appearing on local radio stations, prompting the demonstration. Four protesters were arrested. The FDC earlier declared 2019 a “year of action” and is likely to continue holding rallies and other events without official authorization.
Travelers should avoid further protests related to an ongoing doctors’ strike and the apparent detainment of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) President Dr. Peter Mugombeyi. Yesterday, riot police in Harare prevented protesters from marching to the Parirenyatwa Hospital, though the situation did not escalate further. This was the second instance when authorities prevented rallies. On September 16, police did not allow a march to the Office of the President and Cabinet to proceed. The work stoppage is being observed over salaries and poor working conditions.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Demonstrations can be expected to continue, as protesters have dismissed Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s September 4 announcement that the government planned to formally retract a controversial extradition bill as inadequate. While turnout at weekend rallies has decreased, protests still involve violence, including vandalism and the use of petrol bombs. Clashes remain likely around the Legislative Council and other government buildings, as well as at Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations. Travelers in Hong Kong should continue to plan journeys avoiding all gatherings.
Normal movement can resume along Burringbar and Station streets in Mullumbimby following the conclusion of a security operation. The discovery of a pipe bomb near a bank at around 7:30 AM local time today prompted the operation. Police have declared the area safe.
Travelers in urban centers should expect increased security and large crowds during the Hindu festivals of Navaratri (September 29-October 7), Durga Puja (October 4-8), Dussehra (October 8), and the most widely celebrated Diwali (October 27). In addition to delays at transportation hubs and traffic congestion, there are risks from militancy and communal unrest during this period. Authorities in Haraya have increased security at multiple railway stations following an anonymous letter sent to local police on September 16 warning of attacks against these facilities during Dussehra.
Today, travelers should anticipate disruption and avoid protests related to a nationwide strike by truckers. Public transportation unions in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), including Gurgaon and Noida, will participate in the work stoppage. The unions are protesting a recent increase in traffic fines. Travelers should reconfirm transportation arrangements and the status of routes before setting out.
According to the US Geological Survey, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake occurred at 2:06 PM local time today, 59 miles northwest of Tuban. No Tsunami Alert was issued following the quake, which occurred at a depth of 380 miles and was also felt in Denpasar.
Travelers on Sumatra island and in Kalimantan should continue to expect disruption as smoke and haze from forest fires has intensified. The fires are an annual problem, but the current blazes have been exacerbated by dry weather and are among the worst in several years. Reduced visibility in the worst-affected provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra, South, Central, and West Kalimantan has caused road travel and flight disruption. There have been short-notice cancellations and delays at 11 airports, including Supadio International Airport (PNK) and Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (PKU); more cancellation and delays are possible.
Travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption from smoke due to intensifying forest fires in Indonesia. Five flights from Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (IPH) to Johor Bahru and Singapore were canceled due to poor visibility today. In addition, flight delays and diversions were reported at Sibu Airport (SBW). Further short-notice flight or road travel disruption remains possible.
An increase in dengue activity continues, particularly on the Malay Peninsula and in East Malaysia. 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.
Haze from land and forest fires has been reported in a few regions of the country. 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 or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Tomorrow through September 24, travelers in Istanbul should plan journeys accounting for adverse weather and related disruption. The Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology (MGM) has warned of heavy rain and thunderstorms, which could trigger flash floods. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm the status of roads and transportation, including flights and ferry services, before setting out.
Travelers in Yerevan should plan routes bypassing the Prime Minister’s office, near Republic Square, where an ongoing sit-in protest is taking place. Mothers of troops killed in action have gathered to appeal for financial compensation and have threatened to extend the protest and a linked hunger strike if their demands are not met. There is a heightened security force presence in the area.
Tomorrow, travelers should avoid environmental protests against a controversial gold mining project near Jermuk. Activists have labeled the date “Environmental Mobilization and Justice Day;” several rallies are planned in Yerevan. Organizers have also appealed to communities that are affected by environmental problems to hold rallies. The day marks the deadline for the government to make a final decision on the mining project in the Almusar Mountain area. It also coincides with “Global Climate Strikes” day.
Today, travelers in Madrid should plan routes bypassing a protest march from Plaza de Cibeles to Puerta del Sol at 7:00 PM local time. Metro workers are demanding better working conditions and staffing levels, as well as an increase in a service capacity. Some taxi drivers will also join the rally, in protest of increased ride-hailing services. While the demonstration is expected to be peaceful, it may cause local disruption.
British Airways pilots have called off a strike that was scheduled for September 27. The airline, which had already begun canceling flights for the 27th, has said that it will attempt to reinstate those flights. Passengers of British Airways should reconfirm scheduled for September 27-29.
Today, passengers transiting London Heathrow Airport (LHR) should expect disruption due to a fire alert and subsequent evacuation of Tube Terminals 2 and 3.