Business Travel Advisory
Travelers in Bogota should avoid further potentially unruly student protests and exercise caution around university campuses. Rioting and clashes involving students of Universidad Pedagogica Nacional (UPN), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ), and Universidad Distrital continued yesterday. Students vandalized more than 270 buses and threw projectiles at riot police, prompting the latter to use tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse crowds. At least nine people were injured, and 65 others arrested during the protests.
Today, travelers should minimize movement due to ongoing violent protests over the country’s fuel shortage and alleged government corruption; those in the country should stand fast. Demonstrators in Port-au-Prince have recently used burning tires to block several key roads, including Boulevard Toussaint Louverture, Boulevard du 15 Octobre, and Route de Frere.
Today, travelers in Mexico City and other urban centers should anticipate disruption and plan journeys bypassing gatherings marking the fifth anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from a teachers’ college in Iguala. In Mexico City, protesters will assemble at the Angel of Independence Monument at 4:00 PM local time before marching down Paseo de la Reforma to the Zocalo. Demonstrations are also planned in Leon and Guadalajara at 6:00 PM local time and may also take place in other cities.
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.
Tomorrow, travelers in Port Gentil should plan journeys bypassing a demonstration at 3:30 PM local time at the National Organization of Petroleum Employees (ONEP) headquarters. ONEP, which represents members of 13 labor unions, is protesting proposed labor reforms. The demonstration is likely to be well attended, causing disruption around the ONEP headquarters.
Travelers in Baghdad should anticipate and avoid further student protests over perceived poor employment prospects due to the risk of local unrest. Yesterday, security forces used water cannons to disperse dozens of protesters outside the Council of Ministers building. Daily gatherings have occurred since June. The forceful dispersal, coupled with Iraq’s persistent socio-economic woes, may prompt further demonstrations in the coming weeks. Travelers should ensure routes are clear prior to setting out on protest days.
Motorcycle taxi operators have reportedly blocked a section of the Uhuru Highway and Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi this morning. They plan to demonstrate at the nearby Uhuru Park at 11:00 AM local time against alleged harassment by police.
Travelers in the Victoria Island district of Lagos should plan routes bypassing events associated with the funeral of traditional Chief Oba Idowu Abiodun Oniru. Prayers have been held since the leader’s death on September 23. The traditional burial is scheduled for September 29, while a related ceremony will take place at Oniru Palace on October 6. Further gatherings are expected around Oniru and Iruareas, with large crowds potentially spilling over into neighboring areas. On September 23, the popular Oniru market shut down to mark Oba Oniru’s passing.
An outbreak of yellow fever has been reported in Bauchi and Ebonyi states. Yellow fever is a potentially severe viral illness spread via mosquito bites. It can be prevented through vaccination and by avoiding mosquito bites. All travelers over 9 months old should be vaccinated and are required to have proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter the country.
Tomorrow, travelers in South Africa should monitor developments around a planned banking strike, which is threatening to shut down ATMs and other bank services; travelers should ensure they have contingency plans in place. The South African Society of Bank Officials (SASBO) says that 45,000-50,000 of its members will walk out nationwide over job losses and the digitalization of banking systems; however, an injunction to halt the industrial action is before the courts, with a ruling expected today. If the strike goes ahead, solidarity action and related protests are also possible; travelers should avoid all gatherings as a precaution.
Travelers in Hoima should anticipate a heightened security force presence, road closures, and associated disruption due to today’s 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 on September 24 amid tight security. Travelers should avoid all further election-related gatherings due to the credible risk of unrest.
On Saturday, September 28, travelers in Harare should anticipate disruption near Rufaro Stadium during a rally by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. The rally will mark the 20th anniversary of the party’s founding. Large crowds, heightened security, and associated traffic disruption along routes near the stadium are expected.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, travelers in Hong Kong should avoid the vicinity of the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai during a “direct dialogue” session taking place from 7:00 PM to 9:00 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 Afghanistan should exercise enhanced caution ahead of the September 28 Presidential Election. There is a heightened threat of social unrest and militancy during this period, especially amid allegations of electoral fraud and the recent suspension of talks between the US and Taliban. As always, travelers should minimize movement outside secure premises, and avoid all polling stations, party offices and gatherings. A heightened security force presence and related disruption should be expected throughout the country.
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 today 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.
There have been no immediate reports of major damage or casualties following a magnitude 6.5 offshore earthquake, which occurred at 8:46 AM local time today. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the tremblor struck five miles southeast of Kairatu at depth of 19 miles. The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks. No Tsunami Warning was issued. Travelers in affected areas should follow all official directives.
Travelers in Jakarta and other urban centers should avoid further protests over penal code amendments due to a credible risk of violence. Today, protests are planned from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM local time near the Senayan Metro Station in Jakarta and at 11:00 AM local time outside the Provincial Parliament (DPRD) building in Surabaya. More than 5,000 police personnel have been deployed to Jakarta. Related gatherings are also possible in other urban centers.
Passengers transiting Osaka International Airport (ITM) should reconfirm flights after a security incident earlier today.
The US and UK Embassies in Naypyitaw have issued alerts about alleged bomb threats against the city today, as well as on October 16 and 26. While the UK government warning mentions only Naypyitaw, the US government alert also specifies threats against Yangon and Mandalay; however, the Myanmar government has not confirmed these threats. Travelers in urban centers should exercise enhanced vigilance and minimize time spent around likely targets for attack, including places of worship, transportation hubs and low-income markets as well as government and military buildings and personnel.
Today, travelers in northwest Turkey should exercise caution after a magnitude 5.7 offshore earthquake struck at 1:59 PM local time. The tremblor originated at a depth of six miles approximately 13 miles south of Silivri. Damage and communication outages have been reported in the province, including in Istanbul. No disruption has been reported at Istanbul Airport (IST).
Tomorrow, 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.
Tomorrow, travelers in Nicosia should plan routes bypassing a planned climate march to minimize disruption. Participants will gather outside the Supreme Court at 5:30 PM local time before marching to Eleftherias Square, where a number of informational and artistic events are planned.
Today, a WWII-era bomb was discovered near the old prison in Orleans. Police have set up cordons along nearby Rue Emile Zola and Boulevard Guy Marie Riobe.
Today, travelers in Rouen should avoid the area around the plant of specialty chemicals manufacturer Lubrizol France. A major fire continues to rage at the plant. The cause of the blaze is currently unknown; there have been no reports of casualties. Authorities have established a security perimeter around the plant and imposed traffic restrictions in the vicinity. The A150 Motorway and N338 Road have been partially closed. The Flaubert Bridge is also inaccessible.
Adria Airways has extended the suspension of its flights through tomorrow due to ongoing financial problems. The airline will only operate evening flights between Ljubljana and Frankfurt. It may further extend the suspension period if a solution is not found. The carrier has until October 2 to put forward a financial plan to retain its license. Travelers due to fly with Adria Airways should make alternative arrangements.
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 tomorrow. The airline, which had already begun canceling flights, 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 tomorrow.