Business Travel Advisory
Travelers in the Central Plains, Upper Midwest, Northeast, and New England should plan journeys accounting for possible disruption due to the passage of a winter storm. Strong winds and heavy snow are forecast in parts of northern Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the interior Northeast. Freezing rain is expected across parts of the Southern Plains tomorrow. Increased snow accumulations are possible across interior parts of the Northeast and New England tomorrow and Sunday, January 19. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries as short-notice and intermittent transportation and road disruption are likely during this period.
Today, passengers transiting Kansas City International Airport (MCI) should reconfirm flights after the facility was closed at 6:35 AM local time due to ice. Operations are expected to resume at 9:00 AM local time, though residual delays can be expected as authorities work to clear passenger backlogs.
On Monday, January 20, travelers in Richmond, VA should plan routes bypassing a progun rally at 7:00 AM local time at the Capitol in protest of a recent vote to ban guns in the State Capitol building. A heightened police presence around the gatherings is expected. A State of Emergency has been declared by the Governor ahead of the event which will be in effect from 5:00 PM local time today through 5:00 PM local time on Tuesday, January 21; this includes a ban on weapons at Capitol Square.
Tomorrow, travelers in Santiago should plan journeys bypassing a human rights march to minimize delays. Participants will gather at Salvador Metro Station at 11:30 AM local time and march towards Los Heroes Metro Station. The gathering is expected to be well attended and may disrupt travel in the vicinity.
Today, travelers in Tlalnepantla and Toluca should plan journeys avoiding protests against a recent increase in public transportation fares. Demonstrations will be held at 3:00 PM local time in Tlalnepantla at the Corpus Christi Cathedral, as well as in Toluca at the Cosmovitral building. The protests are likely to be well attended and have the potential to turn unruly. On January 9, associated protests devolved into roadblocks and clashes between police and demonstrators.
Travelers in Arequipa department should plan journeys accounting for possible disruption caused by increased activity at the Sabancaya Volcano, 48 miles northwest of Arequipa city. According to the Buenos Aires Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAAC), the volcano emitted ash plumes reaching 25,000 feet above sea level yesterday. Small tremors may cause landslides, while ash plumes could disrupt flights.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers should expect and avoid further anti-government protests in urban centers despite conciliatory measures by newly-elected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Tebboune’s first administration was formed on January 2 and includes four ministers who previously served under former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Tebboune appointed Abdelaziz Djerad, who is widely perceived as a technocrat with limited links to the political establishment, as the new Prime Minister. Student protests on Tuesdays and general demonstrations on Fridays are likely to continue, particularly after the recent and unpopular cabinet appointments.
Travelers in Save should exercise caution and reconfirm the status of routes amid continued heightened tensions. Fatal clashes broke out on January 15 after police arrested two youths for their alleged role in violent clashes six days earlier. Others reacted by erecting roadblocks on the RNIE2, the main north-south highway linking Cotonou and Parakou; they also vandalized several vehicles. Two protesters were killed when security forces responded with live ammunition. Six police officers were injured.
Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in the provinces of Alibori, Atakora, Borgou, Collines, and Donga since August 2019. 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.
Central African Republic Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in several locations. 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.
Today, police used tear gas to disperse a protest in the vicinity of Place Pascale in Kinshasa. Demonstrators were heading towards Echangeur de Limete.
Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate local disruption around protests called by Martin Fayulu of the opposition Lamuka coalition. Protests are being held over the spate of attacks by the Uganda-based Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on civilians in North Kivu province. In Kinshasa, participants will gather at 8:00 AM local time at Place Pascale before arriving at the Echangeur de Limete at 3:00 PM local time.
Today, travelers in Amman and Irbid should anticipate heightened security and associated disruption around protests against the 2016 gas deal between Jordan and Israel. Participants in Amman will gather at 12:30 PM local time after Friday prayers at the Grand Husseini Mosque. In Irbid, a march will be held along Al-Hashemi Street at 9:30 AM local time. Related gatherings in recent weeks have been well attended and passed off without incident.
On January 15, the General Security Directorate announced that a suspected member of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group had been arrested. The suspect is a Syrian National who was allegedly planning to carry out an attack against a political party and a western embassy. During the arrest, security forces also seized materials used to make explosives. The incident highlights the continued threat of militancy in Lebanon, as well as the capability of security forces to tackle it. Travelers should minimize time spent near potential militant targets, including government buildings and diplomatic missions.
Today, travelers in Niamey should plan routes bypassing an unauthorized protest at Place de la Concertation at 2:00 PM local time. The rally has been called over the presence of foreign security forces in Niger and perceived infringements of national sovereignty. The unauthorized nature of the gathering makes scuffles between participants and security forces more likely. The demonstration should therefore be avoided as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience.
On Tuesday, January 21, travelers in Harare should anticipate disruption around the planned opposition Movement for Democratic Change party’s shadow State of the Nation Address. The event will take place along Nelson Mandela Avenue at the party’s headquarters. Security forces have been deployed since yesterday in the Central Business District following party leader Nelson Chamisa’s announcement of the address. Previous attempts to hold the gathering have been dispersed violently by police. Travelers should avoid the gathering due to potential exposure to incidental risks.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
There has been an outbreak of respiratory illness and pneumonia in Wuhan, China, caused by a new strain of a coronavirus. The outbreak is linked to stall holders and people who visited the Huanan/South China Seafood Wholesale Market. One possible family cluster has been reported. The first case was reported on December 12; no new cases have been reported in Wuhan since January 3. Coronavirus is responsible for MERS and was responsible for SARS. It appears that this new coronavirus is not transmitting efficiently among humans. Travelers in Wuhan are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid wet markets. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, who is or has been to Wuhan, should seek medical attention.
A Public Health Emergency has been declared, and travelers from Samoa and Tonga are required to have a travel permit in order to enter American Samoa. All requests for travel permits, regardless of country of origin, must include documented proof of measles vaccination or proof of immunity to measles. Travelers unable to show proof will be denied entry. 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. Travelers should prevent infection by ensuring they are vaccinated for Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR).
Today and tomorrow, travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption due to the passage of Tropical Cyclone Tino. The weather system is currently a Category 1 storm (lowest on a five-point scale) and is expected to intensify into Category 2 before making landfall over Vanua Levu, the second largest island of Fiji, today. Weather Warnings for heavy rain and strong winds have been issued for several areas, including the eastern part of Viti Levu, the largest island in Fiji, and home to Nadi International Airport (NAN).
Tomorrow through January 26, passengers transiting New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) should expect disruption and reconfirm flight schedules during the temporary closure of the city’s airspace. Landings and take-offs will not be permitted from 10:35 AM to 12:15 PM local time on January 18, 20-24, and 26 as part of preparations for Republic Day on January 26. Flights scheduled within 30 minutes of this window may be affected.
Since early October 2019, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital Region and northern states intermittently recorded “Poor” to “Severe” levels on the Indian pollution measurement scale. In January 2020, the AQI has improved slightly. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes or nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To minimize the risk of potential health problems, travelers are advised to reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
On Monday, January 20, travelers in urban centers should anticipate protests against a so-called “Omnibus” bill, which seeks to make revisions to the labor law. Related demonstrations occurred on January 9, 13, and 15 in several parts of Jakarta, including at the Parliament, Istana Merdeka, and DPR/MPR RI buildings. While further demonstrations are expected to pass off peacefully, heightened security and short-notice road closures can be expected in affected areas.
Travelers in Nur-Sultan should plan journeys accounting for disruption due to poor weather conditions. Yesterday, authorities announced that all major inter-city routes from Nur-Sultan have been closed due to forecast heavy snowfall, ice, limited visibility, and strong winds. Delays have also been reported at Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport (TSE). Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and flights prior to setting out.
Today, 32 students and teachers were injured, including 21 Chinese Nationals, when their bus collided with a truck in Bharatpur. The group was returning to Janakpur as part of an educational trip when their driver reportedly lost control and hit the truck from behind. Travel by bus is not recommended for long journeys in Nepal due to poor driving standards and the variable conditions of roads and vehicles.
Travelers in Calabarzon and Metro Manila should continue to anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries due to increased activity at the Taal Volcano. Today, the volcano remained at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS)’s Alert Level 4 (second-highest level on a five-tier scale) and continued to spew ash, lava and steam, indicating that a hazardous eruption may be imminent. Evacuation orders remain in place for areas within a nine-mile radius of the crater. Although Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) was operating normally yesterday, further volcanic ash-related disruption is possible.
Cases of the new strain of coronavirus, currently causing an outbreak of respiratory illness and pneumonia in Wuhan, China, were detected in Chinese travelers in Bangkok in January. Travelers in Wuhan are advised to pay attention to general hygiene and avoid wet markets. Anyone with symptoms of pneumonia, which include high fever and shortness of breath, who is or has been to Wuhan, should seek medical attention.
Today through Monday, January 20, travelers should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to the passage of Tropical Cyclone Tino. The weather system is expected to pass southwest of Nukualofa tomorrow night as a Category Two (second-lowest level on a five-tier scale) storm. Disruption is possible at Fuaamotu International Airport (TBU) during Tino’s passage. Heavy Rain and Flash Flood Warnings have been issued by the Tonga Meteorological Service (TMS) for all Tonga land areas.
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.
Travelers should anticipate further protests over a controversial law that recently came into effect in Montenegro, which the Serbian Orthodox Church has claimed is designed to confiscate its property. Although the government has denied this, tens of thousands of the Serbian church’s supporters have joined recent protests in Montenegro, Serbia, and Kosovo and are now promising protests every Tuesday and Sunday across Montenegro until the law is withdrawn. In Belgrade, another demonstration is planned for 6:00 PM local time today outside St Mark’s Church. Further protests are also likely in Kosovo.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid protests by the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the credible risk for unrest. In Paris, protesters are gathering at 9:00 AM local time tomorrow at Porte de Champerret before marching via Trinite and Bastille to Gare de Lyon. In Montpellier, a gathering has been announced for 2:00 PM local time at Place de la Comedie. Yellow Vests protesters have joined demonstrations against pension reforms over the past weeks.
Today, travelers in Belgrade should anticipate local disruption during a demonstration by environmental groups. Supporters of the “Let’s Not Give In” initiative will gather at 6:00 PM local time at Belgrade City Hall to demand stronger government action to curb air pollution. The gathering is likely to be well attended and peaceful.
From January 21-24, travelers in Davos should anticipate heightened security measures, protests, and related disruption during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 2,500 people, including heads of state, will participate in the event. Security zones will be established, including around the main Kongresszentrum. Access to these zones will not be permitted without valid authorization. In addition, travelers should anticipate and avoid protests related to the summit as a routine precaution.