Business Travel Advisory
Travelers in Bermuda should anticipate heavy rain and associated disruption due to the passage of Tropical Storm Jerry. The weather system is forecast to gradually weaken before it passes north of the island today. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Bermuda, meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. Rainfall of up to three inches is forecast across Bermuda through today.
Today, passengers transiting Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm the status of flights after a fire at the facility yesterday. The blaze damaged businesses inside the departures terminal, and there are conflicting reports on the extent of its impact on airport operations. Several arriving flights have been diverted or canceled, and operations may be completely suspended with little or no notice.
From September 28 through October 6, travelers should expect heightened security during the Morazanico holiday. Security forces will be deployed to entertainment venues and on main roads for the holiday period, as the country anticipates the arrival of two million tourists for the celebration. Celebratory gatherings are likely to take place in tourist destinations and on main squares in urban centers.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
From September 29 through October 1, travelers in Israel and the Palestinian Territories should expect heightened security around Rosh Hashanah. A heightened security presence is particularly likely in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) may close border crossings between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a routine measure during Jewish holidays. Visits to religious sites, particularly the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem, tend to increase during holiday periods. Travelers should exercise caution around such sites.
On September 23, six people were killed in raids by unidentified gunmen in the Singa-Mossi, Singa-Rimayibe, and Norde villages of the Zimtanga commune in Bam province. The raids follow an attack by suspected militants on September 21-22 in the Pisseke and Bool Kiiba villages of the Bourzanga commune. These incidents reflect the threat posed by militant activity in Centre-Nord and Sahel region.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Interior confirmed that six suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) were killed in 6th of October City during a security force operation. This follows earlier fatal shoot-outs on September 18 in al-Obour and 15th of May that killed nine suspected members of Liwa al-Thawra, a small-scale militant organization created after the MB was outlawed in 2013.
On September 27-28, travelers should anticipate further anti-government protests following calls on social media. Related demonstrations occurred on September 20- 21 in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, and Mahalla. Security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse crowds, and have arrested over 400 people. There is a heightened security force presence in public areas, and some social media and news sites have experienced intermittent disruption. Due to the credible potential for unrest, travelers should avoid all gatherings.
On September 21, authorities said that 12 suspected members of the extremist Islamic State (IS) and Somalia-based al-Shabab groups had been arrested in Addis Ababa as well as in the Oromia and Somali regions. The suspects are accused of photographing sensitive locations with the intent of attacking hotels, religious gatherings, and public areas in Addis Ababa, according to a statement released by the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS). The announcement highlights the latent threat of militancy in the country. Travelers should minimize time spent near potential targets and exercise caution in popular public areas.
Today, travelers in Beirut should anticipate disruption in the Bechara el-Khoury area due to an ongoing protest by taxi drivers against app-based ride-share services. While the event is likely to pass off without major incident, travelers should plan routes bypassing the area amid local reports of traffic delays.
Travelers in urban centers should anticipate protests and associated disruption during an ongoing indefinite strike by health workers over salary arrears and working conditions. During the strike’s first day on September 23, protesters in Paynesville erected roadblocks around a local clinic, but otherwise the gathering passed off without major incident. While further demonstrations are likely to pass off peacefully, all such gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.
Today through Friday, September 27, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) civil society group will stage a demonstration in Blantyre, outside the hotel where Electoral Commission Chair Jane Ansah is attending an annual conference. The group has been demanding Ansah’s resignation since disputed elections in May and has stepped up its calls after the government recently extended her contract. Ansah is at the Electoral Commissions Forum for SADC Countries (ECF-SADC) Annual General Meeting, which the group now intends to picket. Travelers should expect a heightened security presence throughout Blantyre during this period. Related protests in other cities are possible.
On Friday, September 27, travelers in Bamako should avoid a march by police officers to minimize inconvenience. Participants plan to gather at the General Directorate of the National Police at 8:00 AM local time and march to the Prime Minister Office, passing by the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection. The protest is being held to denounce recent events in Niono, where the Police Commissioner was killed during a protest on September 19.
On Saturday, September 28, travelers in Bamako should anticipate local disruption during a rally against the proposed revision of the constitution. Participants affiliated to the “An Te A Bana” coalition of political parties, civic groups, and unions will gather at 3:00 PM local time at Monument de l’Independance.
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 decision is expected on September 30. Local disruption in the vicinity of gatherings can be expected.
Today, travelers in Cape Town should anticipate disruption during planned protests by local activists. Participants will stage a “shutdown” from 5:00 AM to 10:00 AM local time by blocking major roads such as the M7 Motorway, Jakes Gerwel Drive, Stellenbosch Arterial Road, Valhalla Drive, and Voortrekker Road. Travelers should anticipate a heightened security force presence and bypass affected routes as a precaution.
Today, travelers in Pretoria should plan routes bypassing a planned climate march to minimize disruption. Participants will meet at the National Botanical Garden at 10:00 AM local time and begin a three-hour march south of the N1 Highway to Extension 136 at 11:00 AM local time. The event is likely to remain peaceful but may cause significant local disruption. Similar demonstrations in several cities on September 20 drew large crowds.
An outbreak of cholera has been reported in Blue Nile state. 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 that food and water are safe for consumption and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.
Tomorrow, travelers in Hoima should anticipate a heightened security force presence, road closures, and associated disruption due to a contentious local by-election. The election has become a rallying point for both supporters of incumbent President Yoweri Museveni and opposition movement People Power, which supports the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate. Both Museveni and People Power leader Robert Kyagulanyi held rallies in Hoima yesterday, amid tight security. Travelers should avoid all further election-related gatherings due to the credible risk of unrest.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Poor air quality has been reported throughout the region and is likely to persist in the coming days. 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, travelers in Hong Kong should avoid the vicinity of the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai during a “direct dialogue” session scheduled to take place from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM local time. Chief Executive Carrie Lam will meet with 150 selected citizens to discuss the long-running protest campaign; 20,000 people have reportedly registered for the event. Gatherings may take place outside the venue, and an increased police presence and disruption should be expected around the area.
Travelers in Hong Kong should maintain enhanced situational awareness and flexible itineraries during further demonstrations calling for an independent inquiry into recent police conduct, among other demands. There is heightened potential for clashes today, when a high-profile court hearing is scheduled for 44 activists charged with rioting, as well as on September 28, which marks the fifth anniversary of Occupy Central protests, and Chinese National Day on October 1. Travelers should plan journeys avoiding flashpoint areas in Hong Kong.
Today through Sunday, September 29, travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid the vicinity of planned protests by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The BNP has called for public rallies tomorrow in Mymensingh and on Sunday, September 29 in Rajshahi to demand the release of the party’s imprisoned Chairperson, Khaleda Zia. In Rajshahi, the rally is likely to be held at the Madrasa Field while no specific venue has been announced for the demonstration in Mymensingh. A near-daily human-chain protest continues in Dhaka.
On September 23, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) officials arrested three suspected militants and seized large amounts of explosives during a security operation in Fatullah. Authorities have linked the militants to recent crude-bomb attacks targeting security personnel in Dhaka. The latest discovery of explosives and recent attacks highlight the persistent risks posed by terrorism in Bangladesh and the need for travelers to remain vigilant, especially in the lower-security areas of Dhaka.
Today, travelers in Jakarta should avoid the vicinity of Parliament due to an ongoing unruly protest. Police have fired tear gas in the area in an attempt to disperse protesters and have closed Jalan Gatot Subroto. This protest is a continuation of yesterday’s unruly protests against a controversial law that includes a provision that could weaken the country’s anti-corruption body.
Travelers in Papua and West Papua provinces should monitor developments related to ongoing ethnic tensions and avoid all demonstrations due to a credible risk of violence. On September 23, more than 20 people were killed, and around 70 others injured in rioting and clashes in Wamena and Jayapura. In Wamena, protesters set fire to houses and government buildings, including the Local Government Headquarters. Operations resumed at Wamena Airport (WMX) yesterday after being suspended the day before; however, disruption remains possible in the event of further unrest.
Today, travelers in Sri Lanka, especially Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle and Matara, should anticipate heavy rainfall and associated disruption. The Department of Meteorology issued a weather warning yesterday, following heavy rainfall since September 20. Southwestern districts are expected to be the worst-affected regions. One person has died in the flooding, and over 150 houses have been damaged. Travelers in affected areas should anticipate short-notice disruption and maintain flexible itineraries.
Today, at least five people, including one police officer, were injured in a roadside bombing targeting a bus carrying police officers in the Yuregir district of Adana. Several other vehicles in the area were damaged in the attack. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the incident, several domestic and transnational militant groups operating in Turkey possess the intent to carry out attacks against government and security force personnel and interests. Travelers should minimize the amount of time spent in the vicinity of likely targets.
On Friday, September 27, travelers in major urban centers across Europe 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. An estimated four million people participated in related demonstrations on September 20.
On Saturday, September 28, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption and heightened security around events linked to Czech Statehood Day. Approximately 140 anti-government protests are planned across the country, except in Prague. A march by the Million Moments for Democracy campaign will take place in Brno at 5:00 PM local time from Malinovskeho Square to Freedom Square. Previous events organized by the group were well-attended.
Today, passengers transiting Warsaw-Chopin Airport (WAW) should anticipate disruption due to an ongoing security operation. Airport authorities have partially evacuated the facility following the discovery of an unattended bag.
On September 23, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that British tour operator Thomas Cook has ceased operations and suspended all its flights with immediate effect. The travel company has entered compulsory liquidation, following failed talks to produce a funding lifeline for the company. The developments have caused around 600,000 people to be stranded overseas, around 150,000 of whom are British citizens. The government and CAA are working on repatriating customers within the next two weeks. Travelers should keep abreast of the situation and to make alternative arrangements.
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 schedules for September 27.