Business Travel Advisory
United States Travelers in Washington state should anticipate disruption during the passage of a major winter storm, plan journeys accordingly, and follow all official directives. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for northwestern parts of the state, including the Seattle metropolitan area. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes as snow accumulations and blowing snow can create dangerous road conditions.
On Saturday, January 18, travelers in Washington DC and other urban centers should expect disruption during a series of women’s rights rallies, and plan journeys accordingly. Participants in Washington DC will march from Freedom Plaza at 10:00 AM local time. The gatherings should be well attended in major cities and pass off peacefully.
On Saturday, January 18, travelers in urban centers, including Buenos Aires, should avoid planned demonstrations to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the controversial death of State Prosecutor Alberto Nisman. In Buenos Aires, participants will gather at Plaza del Vaticano at 6:30 PM local time. Related demonstrations are planned at major squares in other cities across the country. While the gatherings are most likely to pass off peacefully, they may cause local disruption.
Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys avoiding all gatherings called by supporters and opponents of former President Evo Morales. In La Paz, opponents of Morales will rally at the Plaza San Francisco at 6:00 PM local time. Separately, Morales’ party, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), has said it will make a major announcement in El Alto today. Rallies in support of this event are expected. Associated demonstrations may also occur in other urban centers.
An outbreak of pertussis has been declared in southern Alberta. Pertussis is highly contagious and spreads when infected people cough or sneeze droplets into the air. Infants are affected most frequently. Early cold-like symptoms are followed by episodes of rapid and violent coughing. Supportive treatment and antibiotics help to treat the illness. Travelers should prevent pertussis by ensuring vaccinations are up to date.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Today, travelers in Abidjan are advised to avoid possible protests during the scheduled eviction and demolition of residences located in the vicinity of Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport (ABJ). The eviction is expected to start at 5:00 AM local time and affect the Amangoua, Agbouahou, and Adjouffou areas. Associated protests are likely to be forcibly dispersed by police, posing incidental risks to bystanders. Possible road disruption around the airport and disruption to airport operations may also occur.
Travelers in Conakry and other main cities should avoid further anti-government protests due to the risk of unrest. The opposition Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) Alliance has called for fresh protests against President Alpha Conde’s re-election today. Two people were killed, and several others were injured when security forces used live ammunition to disperse protesters in Conakry and Labe.
On Friday, January 17, travelers in Amman should anticipate heightened security and associated disruption around a protest against the 2016 gas deal between Jordan and Israel. Participants will gather at 12:30 PM local time after Friday prayers at the Grand Husseini Mosque. Related gatherings in recent weeks have been well attended and passed off without incident.
Today and tomorrow, travelers should exercise increased vigilance during the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the DusitD2 Hotel in Nairobi. Security is likely to be heightened during this period, which also coincides with the fourth anniversary of a significant attack on Kenyan troops in al-Adde, Somalia. Local memorials and vigils are possible around both events, though no official commemorations have been announced.
Travelers should anticipate intensified protest activity amid the continued political deadlock. Protesters have declared this week “Anger Week,” and issued a 48-hour deadline for politicians to form a government. Unrest occurred yesterday and continued overnight in Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon, among other areas. Demonstrators are calling for a general strike tomorrow, followed by a march to Parliament in Beirut on Saturday, January 18, if the deadline is missed. Travelers can expect roadblocks on major routes, sit-ins and demonstrations outside key government and financial institutions, and marches through urban centers.
Travelers in Johannesburg should continue to anticipate demonstrations against the privatization of state-owned electricity provider Eskom, and plan journeys accordingly. Members of the NUM and NUMSA unions, which represent mineworkers and metalworkers, will gather at Eskom Megawatt Park in the Sunninghill district at 12:00 PM local time today. While the gathering should pass off peacefully, it is likely to be well attended and cause local disruption.
Passengers transiting Khartoum International Airport (KRT) should reconfirm flight itineraries due to the possibility of residual delays, after yesterday’s unrest resulted in the temporary suspension of flights. The facility was closed after demonstrations by former National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) employees turned violent. Clashes between protesters and security forces occurred at NISS sites in the Riyadh, Kafouri, and Soba neighborhoods. While the situation has since stabilized and the airport has reopened, travelers should monitor developments, exercise caution, and anticipate a heightened security force presence.
Today, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys bypassing any gatherings linked to a call for protests by the emerging “Yellow Vest Movement” (YVM). The YVM, which is named after the ongoing protest movement in France, has said it will defy any attempts by security forces to break up demonstrations over the government’s plans to amend the 2013 constitution. The call coincides with the first anniversary of major protests in urban centers over fuel price increases; however, the level of support commanded by the YVM, and specific details of the planned demonstrations, remain unclear.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today through February 8, travelers should expect heightened demand for transportation during the annual Lunar New Year holiday period. Lunar New Year itself falls on January 24-25. Significant congestion can be expected at transportation hubs and along major routes due to a large volume of travelers, particularly at the beginning and the end of the holiday period. Travelers should make bookings well in advance and plan journeys accounting for potential disruption.
Travelers should anticipate further climate protests and related disruption in Canberra and other state capitals. Demonstrators are calling on lawmakers to provide increased funding and support for firefighters and communities affected by the ongoing bushfires in Australia, as well as a levy on fossil fuels and other policies to address climate change. On January 10, tens of thousands of people attended related rallies in Sydney and Melbourne, and future protests are likely to attract significant turnouts.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in urban centers, including New Delhi, should anticipate local disruption and avoid nationwide demonstrations by the Confederation of All India Traders. The union is protesting the alleged unfair business conducts and competition law violation by major e-commerce companies in India. Large participation is expected during the upcoming gatherings, and protesters may disrupt traffic by blocking roads in the vicinity of the rallies.
Today, a magnitude 5.5 offshore earthquake struck at around 3:55 PM local time, 38 miles southeast of Kupang. A Tsunami Alert has not been issued for the region following the earthquake, which occurred at a depth of around six miles.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Jakarta should plan journey bypassing demonstrations organized by the Two-Wheel Action Movement over demands including the legality of app-based motorcycle taxi driving profession. At least 5,000 motorcycle taxi drivers are expected to participate in the two-day demonstrations. Today, protesters will gather outside Merdeka Palace at 1:00 PM local time. A similar rally will occur around the same time tomorrow in front of Parliament. Travelers should also anticipate increased demand for alternative modes of transportation during the demonstrations.
Travelers in the Calabarzon and National Capital regions, including Metro Manila, should anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries due to increased activity at the Taal Volcano. Residual delays remain possible at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) today. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology maintains the volcano at Alert Level 4 (second-highest level on a five-tier scale) as it is spewing ash, lava, and steam. This means a hazardous eruption is possible within hours or days. Authorities have urged the evacuation of areas within a nine-mile radius of the volcano’s crater.
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 a flexible extension date of January 31, 2020. 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, January 18, travelers in Brussels should plan journeys bypassing a protest by the international environmental activist movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) to minimize inconvenience. The demonstration, which is aimed at disrupting a motor show, is due to take place at 1:00 PM local time at Brussels Expo. It is likely to pass off peacefully, though some participants in previous XR events have been arrested.
Tomorrow, travelers in Nicosia should anticipate local disruption around a planned march by a local student group against changes in the examination system. The rally will begin at 10:30 AM local time from Athalassas Avenue towards the Presidential Palace. The event is expected to pass off peacefully.
Today, travelers should anticipate disruption and exercise caution due to strong winds and blowing snow associated with the passage of Storm Brendan. An Orange Wind Warning (second-highest level on a three-tier scale) has been issued by the Icelandic Met Office for the Westfjords region. Yellow Warnings (third-highest) are in place for the Breidafjordur area and Northwestern region. Moderate Avalanche Danger Alerts (stage two of five) have been issued in western and northern areas.
Today, travelers should anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries due to the passage of an extreme weather system named Didrik, and the risk of flooding caused by rising sea levels. The Norwegian National Meteorological Service has issued Orange Alerts (second-highest on a three-tier scale) for very high sea levels in Telemark, Vestfold, Ostfold, Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, Bergen, Sogn og Fjordane, More, and Romsdal. Red Alerts (the highest warning level) are in place for extremely high sea levels in Rogaland, Sunnhordland, Agder, and Hardanger.