Business Travel Advisory
Beginning October 29, travelers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) using rideshare services, including Uber or Lyft, will be picked up at a designated parking lot near Terminal 1. Shuttle service from the main terminal will be provided. Travelers are advised that shuttles will run every 3-5 minutes. Alternately, passengers can walk from the main terminal to the designated ride-share pick up area, which would take approximately 18 minutes.
Today through Friday, October 25, non-essential travel to Chile should be deferred due to violent protests. Those already in Chile should continue to minimize nonessential movement in affected areas. A State of Emergency remains in force in several areas. Overnight curfews were in place in Santiago, Bio Bio, Coquimbo, Los Rios, and Valparaiso; these may be renewed on a day-to-day basis. Various civil society organizations plan to join demonstrations beginning today. Several flights serving Arturo Merino Benitez Airport (SCL) have been canceled or delayed.
Today, striking health care workers are planning demonstrations in major urban centers to demand reforms to the sector. While organizers from the CONFUSAM union have yet to make exact details available, similar protests have been well attended in the past and disruption is likely around key squares and government buildings. Other trade unions and social groups such as CUT and ANEF are expected to join the rallies. Travelers should plan journeys bypassing the events to minimize delays.
Today, travelers in San Jose should anticipate local disruption during a planned student rally near the Presidential Palace at 9:00 AM local time. Students of the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the National University (UNA) are denouncing recent changes to the education budget. Additionally, in Heredia, students have blocked the road in front of the UNA campus for the past five days.
Travelers in Tegucigalpa and other urban centers should avoid further antigovernment demonstrations due to the risk of unrest. The protests come after a US court found the brother of President Juan Orlando Hernandez guilty of drug trafficking. Yesterday, security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters who had blocked roads in Tegucigalpa. Further gatherings are planned today through October 27, though details are not available. Demonstrators are calling for roads to airports to be blocked. Additional possible flashpoints include key roads, government buildings, public squares, and monuments.
On Thursday, October 24, travelers in Caracas should avoid a protest denouncing persistent power outages in Zulia due to the risk of unrest. An MP’s call for the demonstration has been backed by Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President. While the timing and route are unclear, precedent suggests participants could rally at government buildings and may erect roadblocks on key routes.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in Burundi should exercise caution and seek reliable local advice when exchanging currency amid a government crackdown on unofficial currency exchange vendors. At least 40 people have recently been arrested in connection with alleged violations of foreign exchange regulations. As a result, increased surveillance of bureaux de change by banking and law-enforcement officials is likely, and travelers may find they are only able to exchange foreign currency at official rates. There is a legitimate risk of confiscation or even detention in the event of being observed participating in an unlawful currency transaction.
Fighting between security forces and a self-defense militia is ongoing around Miski and Yebbibou. The clashes involving the “Self-Defense committee of Miski” group started on October 3. The violence is occurring despite an ongoing State of Emergency and curfew in Tibesti. The situation has been volatile in Tibesti due to rebel incursions and the presence of illegal gold miners. Further clashes are likely, underlining the need to avoid non-essential travel to Tibesti and Borkou.
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in Chari Baguirmi province. The cVDPV strains can emerge in under-vaccinated populations. Polio is a contagious viral illness that can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccinations are up to date and selecting safe food and water.
Cases of bubonic plague have been reported in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), near the Ugandan border. Plague is known to occur in the DRC and sporadic cases are reported each year. The disease is caused by a bacterium which mainly affects rodents. It is occasionally transmitted to humans when they are bitten by fleas carrying the bacteria, or more rarely via contact with an infected animal or person. Travelers should prevent infection by maintaining strict hygiene measures, as well as avoiding flea bites and contact with sick people.
Today through October 27, travelers in Jerusalem and other urban centers should avoid all demonstrations called by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee. The protests are against a recent spike in violence in Arab-Israeli communities and perceived police inaction. The committee has called for mass rallies at 5:00 PM local time today outside Police Headquarters in Nazareth. Demonstrations are also planned on October 27 outside Police Headquarters in Ramla and outside government buildings in Jerusalem. The nationwide gatherings are taking place despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise to increase police enforcement in Arab communities.
Today and tomorrow, all travel to Lebanon should be deferred due to ongoing anti-government protests. Foreign Nationals already in-country should minimize movement during the day and avoid all movement after dark due to the risk of violence. Yesterday, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced that the government had agreed on a series of economic reforms; however, protesters have vowed to continue demonstrations until the government resigns. Flashpoints include main squares and government buildings. In Beirut, the largest demonstrations have taken place in Riad al-Solh Square and Martyrs’ Square.
An outbreak of measles has been reported nationwide. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.
Beginning October 27, passengers of Fastjet should reconfirm itineraries following the suspension of all Mozambique domestic routes. Routes connecting Maputo with Beira, Quelimane and Tete will be suspended indefinitely.
Today, travelers in Cape Town should anticipate disruption after calls for a taxi protest over fines levied on drivers. Taxi drivers are expected to gather at 10:00 AM local time at Khayelitsha and drive to the Central Business District at 2:00 PM local time. A similar taxi blockade occurred on October 18, affecting the N2 Highway, among other routes. Police fired rubber bullets and used water cannons to disperse it. Travelers should plan routes bypassing the affected areas as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience.
Travelers in South Sudan should continue to monitor developments after opposition leader Riek Machar expressed doubt that his group, the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), would commit to the joint agreement to form a transitional government by November 12. Machar disclosed that negotiations between President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO have thus far failed to resolve several key points of contention and has proposed extending the deadline. While a further delay will put additional pressure on already fragile peace process, a continuance of the status quo in the country’s security environment is likely in the short-term.
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in Plateaux province. The cVDPV strains can emerge in under-vaccinated populations. Polio is a contagious viral illness that can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccinations are up to date and selecting safe food and water.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
On October 25-26, travelers in Baku should anticipate heightened security and local disruption around the Baku Convention Center (BCC) and Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD). This disruption is linked to the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which will take place at the BCC. In addition, there will be short-term road closures along the route from the airport to the city center, where protests by the opposition party and/or women’s rights activists are likely. Travelers should avoid all such gatherings due to the credible risk of unrest. Demonstrations on October 19-20 were forcibly dispersed by authorities.
Travelers in Dhaka and other cities should avoid demonstrations over an allegedly blasphemous social media post and the police response to a related protest in Bhola district. Hefazat-e-Islam, an Islamist group, has called for nationwide gatherings today, including at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) also plans to hold protests tomorrow, including outside the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Headquarters. Other likely venues include religious buildings, public grounds, press clubs, and main roads.
Today through Friday, October 25, travelers in Borhanuddin Upazila should minimize non-essential movement due to the potential for further violent disturbances. At least four people were killed, and more than 100 injured in clashes outside Upazila headquarters on October 20 when police opened fire on Muslim protesters condemning an allegedly blasphemous social media post by a Hindu man. Multiple protests have been organized in response to the violence, including outside police stations in Bhola today. Any further clashes during such gatherings would pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Tokyo should expect heightened security and associated disruption linked to the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. Related events will take place at the Imperial Palace, including the enthronement ceremony, which will commence at 1:00 PM local time today. A banquet will also be held at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo tomorrow. Access restrictions and road closures will be implemented across the city, especially around the main event venues. Travelers should allow additional time to complete journeys and follow all official directives.
Today, travelers in the Central Business District of Auckland should plan journeys accounting for traffic disruption around the Sky City Convention Center (SCCC). A fire broke out at around 1:00 PM local time on the roof of the SCCC, prompting its evacuation as well as the evacuation of several adjacent buildings. Ongoing operations to put out the fire continue to disrupt traffic around the building, particularly along Hobson Street, Federal Street and Victoria Street West.
Travelers in the UK and EU member states should continue to monitor developments and follow all government guidelines related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” Brexit is currently due to occur on October 31, but the UK has requested an extension to this deadline, which the EU is considering. Local gatherings relating to Brexit may take place in the UK, with most such events likely to be focused on Parliament Square in London.
Today, travelers should anticipate disruption during a nationwide farmers’ protest against the government’s new agricultural policy, and plan journeys accordingly. The largest rally will take place in Bonn, where around 10,000 farmers will congregate on tractors. Significant traffic disruption can be expected, particularly on the B9 Road through the city center, the B56 Road, and the Kennedy Bridge. Related demonstrations will be held in 16 other cities, including Berlin and Munich. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and allow additional time for journeys.
Tomorrow and Thursday, October 24, travelers in Athens should anticipate disruption during scheduled protests over a new development bill and plan journeys accordingly. Tomorrow, demonstrators will rally from Mavili Square to the Health Ministry at 8:30 AM local time, as well as from Karaiskaki Square at 10:00 AM local time. On Thursday, October 24, a demonstration will take place in Karaiskaki Square at 11:00 AM local time, while the ADEDY civil servants’ union has called for a major rally in Klafthmonos Square at 6:00 PM local time. Critics claim the bill contains provisions that are damaging to the interests of workers and trade unions.
On Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, travelers should plan itineraries accounting for disruption during a nationwide general strike by several umbrella labor unions. The industrial action has been called in protest of tax rates on wages and pensions. A 24-hour industrial action on October 25 is expected to affect public and private transportation operators, including Alitalia, as well as metro, bus and tram services. Additionally, rail workers will strike for 24 hours beginning at 9:00 PM local time on Thursday, October 24.
Today, travelers in Barcelona and Lleida should avoid demonstrations denouncing the perceived government repression of pro-independence protests. In Barcelona, rallies by students are ongoing at the University of Barcelona (UB) Mundet campus, the UB Diagonal campus, and the nearby Polytechnical University of Catalonia campus. Additional demonstrations are due to be held at 4:00 PM local time on Via Laietana and at 7:00 PM local time at Placa Espanya in Barcelona, as well as at 8:00 PM local time outside the Sant Anastasi student residence in Lleida.