Business Travel Advisory
Travelers in the northern Lesser Antilles, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St Barthelemey, St Eustatius, St Maarten, and St Martin, should anticipate heavy rainfall and associated disruption due to the passage of Hurricane Jerry. According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Jerry is a Category 1 Hurricane (lowest on a five-tier scale) and is forecast to pass just north of the Lesser Antilles today. The NHC has issued Tropical Storm Warnings for these islands. No airports have closed, though delays and cancellations are possible if the storm worsens.
Yesterday, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, TX was closed to all traffic due to heavy rain from Tropical Storm Imelda. The airport is expected to resume normal operations today, September 20; however, travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and the feasibility of journeys prior to setting out. Normal operations are also resuming today at Houston William P. Hobby Airport (HOU).
Today, travelers should avoid planned demonstrations and continue to minimize nonessential movement amid ongoing roadblocks and unruly protests. The unrest has lasted several days over fuel shortages. There is a risk of violence around today’s demonstrations, which are most likely at common flashpoints. Yesterday, protesters blocked Delmas 18 and John Brown Lalue avenues, as well as Champ de Mars and St Cyr in Port-au-Prince. Gunfire has been reported in recent days, including at Carrefour de l’Aeroport. Police regularly disperse demonstrators with tear gas.
Today, Tropical Storm Lorena is forecast to make landfall near Cabo San Lucas before moving inland and strengthening to a Category 1 Hurricane (lowest on a five-tier scale). The US National Hurricane Center has issued watches and warnings for several parts of Baja California Sur, while Colima, Jalisco, and Michoacan are forecast to receive heavy rain over the next 24 hours. Travelers in coastal areas should maintain flexible itineraries and anticipate disruption.
On September 17, six people were killed, and two others injured in a shooting in the Doctores area of Mexico City. Police believe that the attack was in retaliation for the non-payment of cartel tax. They suspect the involvement of a local gang, Union Tepito, in the incident; two suspects were arrested.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in Algiers should anticipate road travel delays and allow enough time to reach their destination, particularly if traveling via Houari Boumediene International Airport (ALG). Chief of Army Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah announced heightened security measures on September 18, including new checkpoints at city entry, points to prevent demonstrators from entering Algiers to join today’s anti-government protest. It is unclear whether all vehicles will be stopped and searched. Travelers should have all relevant travel documentation readily available and follow all official directives.
On September 22, travelers in Kinshasa should anticipate disruption during a planned gathering by the ECIDE opposition party of Martin Fayulu. The event will take place at 2:00 PM local time at the junction of Pierre Elengesa and Mukoso avenues in the Makala district. Yesterday, a related demonstration, organized to commemorate those killed in the violence during opposition protests on September 19, 2016, passed off peacefully.
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 today, including at 5:00 PM local time at al Galaa Square in Cairo. Travelers should avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of unrest.
Travelers in Addis Ababa and other urban centers should anticipate and avoid further demonstrations demanding increased security for churches amid arson attacks. Local media have reported that church members and clergy have been killed while attempting to protect churches during attacks. Thousands of protesters peacefully rallied on September 15 following Sunday morning mass in Addis Ababa, as well as in Debretabor, Dessie, Este, Gondar, Mekane Eyesus, Nifas Meewcha, and Woreta. Demonstrators have vowed to rally until their demands are met; further gatherings are likely on September 22.
Today, travelers in Nairobi should anticipate local disruption during an ongoing environmental rally and plan journeys accordingly. Participants are marching from Uhuru Park to the Environment and Forestry Ministry, via the Energy Ministry, Parliament and Harambee House. The event, which is part of the “Global Climate Strike” campaign, should be peaceful, but could disrupt travel along its route.
Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should exercise vigilance and anticipate potential disruption linked to heightened security for the sixth anniversary of the Westgate Shopping Center attack in Nairobi. While no official commemorations have been announced, local memorials and vigils are possible. Security will also be tightened at high-profile venues, particularly after the January 15-16 attack on an upscale hotel in Nairobi’s Riverside Complex, during which 21 people were killed, and 28 injured.
Recent fatal communal clashes highlight the need to avoid all travel to Timbuktu region. On September 18, at least two people were killed. The unrest began when motorists attempted to break through a roadblock manned by ethnic-Songhai youths in the Abaradjou neighborhood. Those in the car opened fire, after which the vehicle was chased down and set on fire. Yesterday, armed clashes between Songhai and Arab youths occurred, injuring several people. Troops are patrolling the city in a bid to ease tensions, while talks between community leaders are taking place.
Today, travelers in central areas of Roodepoort in Johannesburg should reconfirm the status of routes. Protesters have blocked Dumat, Van Wyk, and Olivier streets. Disruption along nearby R24 Highway is also possible.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
From October 1-7, travelers should expect disruption and increased demand for transportation and accommodations during the “Golden Week” holiday period. Related events will be held in major urban centers, especially on National Day (October 1), which commemorates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The main events will be held at Tiananmen Square in Beijing; heightened security and large crowds are likely. Other large celebrations will be held at The Bund area in Shanghai.
Today through September 22, travelers in Hong Kong should avoid anti-extradition bill protests and plan journeys accounting for disruption in the affected areas. Clashes between protesters and security forces are liable to occur on the aforementioned dates, as the events will coincide with the two-month anniversary of the Yuen Long mob attack on protesters and commuters at the Yuen Long Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station. A heightened police presence is likely around these gatherings.
Tomorrow, travelers in New Delhi should avoid a rally by Dalit organizations. Participants plan to gather at the central Jantar Mantar Monument before marching to the site of a historic temple in the Tughlakabad Village area. The rally comes a month after an unruly demonstration over the demolition of the temple. Organizers are demanding that protesters arrested during the August 21 gathering be released.
Today through September 27, travelers in major urban centers should anticipate local disruption during a series of rallies by environmental activists. In New Delhi, demonstrators are expected to gather at 11:00 AM local time today outside the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. In Mumbai, there will be rallies at 11:00 AM local time today at Mantralaya Fort and at 4:00 PM local time on September 27 in Joggers’ Park. The gatherings, part of the Global Climate Strike campaign inspired by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are expected to pass off peacefully; however, they could cause local disruption.
Travelers in the Kyushu, Shikoku, and Chugoku regions should plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Tropical Storm Tapah. The storm is forecast to affect Miyako, Ishigaki, and Okinawa islands today; however, on its current trajectory, Tapah is not likely to make landfall on any of these islands. The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of flooding and landslides in areas affected by the storm’s passage. Short-notice disruption to flights is possible, including at Naha (OKA), Ishigaki (ISG), Kumamoto (KMJ), and Oita (OIT) airports.
Regional fires have affected air quality in several parts 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.
A spike 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.
Smoke from forest fires in the region has affected air quality in Singapore. 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. When air quality is poor, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Today through September 23, travelers in southern and eastern provinces should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Typhoon Tapah. On its current trajectory, the weather system is not expected to make landfall in the country. Heavy rainfall and strong winds are likely to start affecting Jeju on September 22. Tapah will then pass close to coastal South Gyeongsang province and Busan. Short-notice cancellations to flights are possible, including at Jeju (CJU) and Busan (PUS) airports.
An increase in cases of dengue fever has been noted nationwide. Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites. Although there is a vaccine against dengue, it is not recommended for travelers, as it may increase the risk of severe disease.
Haze from regional land and forest fires has been reported across several provinces in southern Thailand. 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.
Today through September 24, travelers in Istanbul should plan journeys accounting for adverse weather and related disruption. The Turkish General Directorate of Meteorology 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.
Today, as well as September 22 and 27, travelers in major urban centers across Europe and Central Asia should plan journeys bypassing “Global Climate Strike” demonstrations to minimize inconvenience. Protests are being organized as part of a movement inspired by Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. A “Global Strike for Climate” on May 24 attracted in excess of one million participants from more than 100 countries. Marches in capital cities are likely to be well attended, causing disruption.
Today, 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 take a final decision on the mining project in the Almusar Mountain area.
Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys bypassing rallies organized by civil society group Decent Slovakia over the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiance Martina Kusnirova. A large protest is scheduled to take place in Bratislava in Freedom Square from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM local time. Further gatherings are planned in Banska Bystrica, Kezmarok, Kosice, and Prievidza.
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. Pilots are protesting a salary dispute; the airline canceled nearly all of its flights during a related strike on September 9-10. Passengers of British Airways should reconfirm scheduled for September 27.