Business Travel Advisory
On Saturday, November 16, travelers should minimize non-essential movement and avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of unrest. The National Assembly recognized interim President Juan Guaido has called for nationwide protests against President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela has called for demonstrations on the same day, including in Caracas, in support of deposed Bolivian President Evo Morales. Specifics have not yet been announced, though demonstrators are likely to gather outside government buildings and may erect roadblocks on key routes. Clashes are possible if pro- and anti-government protesters gather in close proximity.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in Khuzestan province should anticipate further gatherings linked to the recent death of local activist and poet Hassan Heydari. Thousands of people have protested in Ahvaz, Kut Abdollah, and Shadegan since November 10 against allegedly suspicious circumstances surrounding Heydari’s death. Security forces have reportedly blocked some roads in these cities and have used tear gas to disperse gatherings. Travelers should avoid all such gatherings due to the credible risk of unrest.
Today through Friday, November 15, all travel to locations with 25 miles of the border with the Gaza Strip should be deferred due to the risk of renewed rocket exchange. The latest conflict follows the killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Baha Abu al-Ata on November 11-12 in Gaza City’s Shejaia district. Retaliatory actions by militants continued yesterday. Following a brief pause, sirens were activated earlier today in the Jerusalem, Southern, and Central districts. No structural damage or injuries were reported.
Today, travelers in Amman should anticipate local disruption around the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during a planned sit-in protest scheduled for 3:00 PM local time. Participants will be protesting the arrest of over 30 Jordanian Nationals in Saudi Arabia, some reportedly standing without trial since February. The demonstration is expected to pass off peacefully.
Kenyan budget carrier Silverstone Air has suspended all flights for one week to allow its aircraft to undergo safety inspections. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) grounded a number of Silverstone planes yesterday during a compliance audit after two recent flight incidents. The KCCA also suspended the licenses of two other air operators. Silverstone Air operates predominantly domestic flights from Wilson Airport (WIL) in Nairobi.
Today, a protest by students of the Technical University of Mombasa is ongoing outside the Makupa police station in Mombasa.
Today, unruly protests by municipal workers are ongoing in the Central Business District (CBD) of Pretoria. Affected routes include Bosman and Pretorius streets. Other roads in the CBD are also likely to be affected.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, travelers in Hong Kong should continue to avoid the Tai Po area due to ongoing unrest between police and protesters. Officers fired tear gas at around 3:30 PM local time, and again at around 5:15 PM local time, during a stand-off with demonstrators along Tai Po Tai Wo Road. Riot police have since moved to Tai Po Mega Mall. Gatherings may spread to other locations with little or no notice as unrest continues across the area. Travelers should remain alert and avoid all gatherings as a precaution.
Today, travelers in Hong Kong should continue to exercise increased vigilance, particularly in flashpoint locations. A citywide protest is planned for the morning. Stand-offs, as seen at the Chinese University of Hong Kong yesterday, are likely as several universities remain closed. Protesters may again block roads and vandalize Mass Transit Railway (MTR) facilities, prompting police to use riot-control measures. Given that short-notice disruption to traffic and transportation services is likely, travelers should be prepared to arrange for alternative transportation.
Today, at least seven people were killed, and seven others injured in a car bombing at around 7:25 AM local time in the Qasaba area of Kabul. No group has thus far claimed responsibility for the attack, which also damaged several vehicles. Travelers in Kabul should avoid the Qasaba area and reconfirm the feasibility of movement in other areas.
Today, Catastrophic Fire Danger Warnings (the highest fire danger level on a six-tier scale) were lifted for the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter, and Shoalhaven-Illawarra regions of New South Wales, including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast. Travel to these areas can resume with precautions and close monitoring of the situation. There are no further Catastrophic or Extreme Fire Danger (the second-highest fire danger level) Warnings in place or forecast. Travelers are advised to be prepared to defer or change travel plans at short notice, especially for journeys to non-urban areas, due to ongoing bushfires.
Travelers in Baku should anticipate further opposition rallies calling for greater protection of civil rights. Yesterday, police dispersed an unauthorized gathering by the opposition Musavat party outside City Hall; at least 24 people were arrested. Although authorities are unlikely to permit gatherings in the city center, opposition groups could hold further demonstrations. Travelers should avoid all such gatherings due to the risk of local unrest, harassment by security forces, and arbitrary arrest.
Today, travelers in Dhaka should avoid demonstrations by jute mill workers as a precaution at the National Press Club and the Prime Minister’s office. These gatherings are likely to be well attended, causing local disruption.
Cases of pneumonic plague have been reported in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region in northern China. Pneumonic plague is caused by a bacterium which mainly affects rodents. It is transmitted to humans through flea bites. Infected people can transmit the disease to other people in close contact with them. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding flea bites, maintaining strict hygiene precautions, and avoiding contact with sick people.
Travelers in Manipur and Nagaland should continue to monitor developments related to the outcome of the Nagaland Peace Accord and plan journeys bypassing all protests. While an agreement has been reportedly reached between the central government and the Isak-Muviah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), its contents remain undisclosed. Shutdown strikes and demonstrations that have resulted across Manipur over the issue are therefore likely to continue. The accord concerns the territorial boundaries for ethnic Naga-inhabited areas, a highly emotive issue for many ethnic groups in both states. Increased security personnel have been deployed in both states as a precaution.
Today, travelers in Medan should continue to avoid the vicinity of Police Headquarters on Jalan HM Said following a suicide bombing at around 8:45 AM local time. At least five police officers and a civilian were injured in the attack, which occurred near the headquarters’ registration office and canteen. The attack was carried out by two people who pretended to be rideshare motorcycle riders; both were killed.
Measles cases have been confirmed in Tonga. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from personto-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.
Travelers crossing the Spain-France border by road should plan journeys accounting for road blockades on the AP-7 and AP-8 motorways in Spain and the A9 and A63 motorways in France. The organizing activist group “Democratic Tsunami” started the protest along the AP-8 at 6:00 PM local time yesterday. Reports indicate that blockades are planned today, some of which may be erected with little or no notice. Travelers are advised to plan journeys bypassing these roads to minimize inconvenience.
Travelers in the UK and European Union (EU) should continue to monitor developments and follow all government guidelines related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” The EU has agreed on flexible extension date of January 31, 2020. The current negotiations come amid heightened political tensions over a British General Election, which is expected to take place in early December. Local gatherings relating to Brexit may take place in the UK, with most such events likely to be focused on Parliament Square in London.
On Saturday, November 16, travelers in Prague should anticipate a rally at Letna Park by the Million Moments for Democracy movement. Activists will gather at 2:00 PM local time to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babis and denounce alleged conflicts of interest within his government. The protest is likely to be well attended; a related demonstration in June 2019 attracted 250,000 participants. Rallies have also been announced for Sunday, November 17 in urban centers to commemorate the 1989 Velvet Revolution that ended the country’s Communist era. These include a gathering at 10:45 AM local time in Vaclav Havel Square in Prague.
Today, travelers in Paris should anticipate disruption and heightened security around La Grande Halle de La Villette during the second Paris Peace Forum. Thirty world leaders are attending the event, at which challenges to peace, development, and international co-operation will be discussed. Travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption.
Today, travelers in Tbilisi should anticipate local disruption during a planned anti-government protest outside Parliament. The rally will take place from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM local time. Protesters are demanding fair Parliamentary elections in 2020 and the release of those detained during related demonstrations in June.
On Saturday, November 16, travelers in Rome should plan journeys bypassing a demonstration at 9:30 AM local time at Circus Maximus. A coalition of labor unions has organized the gathering to demand pension law reforms.
Travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by ongoing heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flooding. An Orange Weather Alert (second-highest level on a four-tier scale) is in place for Bernalda, Pisticci, Marconia, and Policoro. Severe floods have affected various areas, including Venice, Taranto, Brindisi, Lecce and Pozzallo, prompting the closure of shops, businesses and schools, and significantly affecting movement. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and transportation before setting out and allow additional time for journeys. In Venice, a State of Emergency was declared yesterday in response to severe damage caused by high tides.