At least three people were killed and more than 20 others injured following a suicide car bomb explosion at the entrance of a prison in Jalalabad (Nangarhar province) on the evening of 2 August. After the explosion, multiple armed militants engaged in a prolonged gunfight with the security forces. Dozens of prisoners managed to escape. The extremist Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) grouphas claimed responsibility for the attack. The incident highlights the persistent militancy risks in Jalalabad and the need to avoid all travel there.
Members in Victoria state, particularly the Melbourne metropolitan area, should comply with all official directives following the announcement of further workplace restrictions. After a state of disaster declaration on 2 August, the authorities announced the closure of most businesses by 23.59 (all times local) on 5 August under ‘Stage 4’ restrictions (highest on a four-tier scale) in the city. Restrictions on non-essential movement will also apply from 23.59 on 5 August in the rest of Victoria, which remains under ‘Stage 3’ (second-highest). All schools will gradually shift to remote learning from 3 August. Wearing a face mask in public is mandatory statewide.
Members in the capital Dhaka and other major urban centres should continue to exercise vigilance following the passage of religious holidays. While the Eid al-Adha events have passed off without any security incidents, the heightened security posture is expected to remain over the coming days. Earlier, an alert from the authorities warning of possible terror attacks prompted tightened security around government buildings and embassies, often cited as possible targets. Meanwhile, the police have clarified that based on their investigation thus far, the explosion on 29 July at a police station in Dhaka’s Pallabi area was not terror-related and that the associated suspects are part of a criminal group.
Members in Belarus should monitor developments and avoid all gatherings linked to the9 Augustpresidential election. The Central Election Commission (CEC) rejected the applications of two opposition candidates, Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsepkalo, but registered opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. More than 60,000 people gathered on 30 July in an unprecedented rally in support of the opposition united behind Tsikhanouskaya. While this rally was peaceful, there remains a risk of unrest and detention by the police as political turmoil grows, including for bystanders. The authorities accused the opposition of collaborating with Russian mercenaries to cause unrest ahead of the election.
Defer all travel due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care situation in the country. Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, access to medical care is not assured. Hospitals are at or near capacity in some areas, and there are reports that oxygen may be in short supply. International SOS is monitoring the situation closely.
At least 16 people were killed and six others injured in a grenade attack by suspected members of the Nigeria-based Islamist Boko Haram group overnight on 1-2 August in Extreme North region. The attack targeted a displaced persons camp in Nguetchewe village near the Mozogo Gokoro National Park. The village is located around ten miles (16km) of the Nigerian border, where the risks associated with travel remain rated as EXTREME. Members should avoid all travel to areas within 20 miles (32km) of the Nigerian border in Extreme North region.
Members should avoid non-essential travel to areas of Lac region that lie to the west of the regional capital Bol. This is due to the persistent threat posed by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram among others. Suspected Boko Haram militants killed at least ten people and kidnapped seven others during an attack on the morning of 31 July at around 03.00 (local time) in the village of Tinana (Kaiga Kindjiria department, Lac). If overland travel in Lac is unavoidable, seek itinerary-specific advice prior to setting out.
Members in Araucania region in the coming days should avoid demonstrations by members of the indigenous Mapuche community due to recent clashes with the authorities. Activists occupied government buildings in multiple urban centres on 2 August to call for the release of Mapuche prisoners and to protest against their treatment at the hands of the authorities. The security forces and private citizens evicted some demonstrators forcibly, leading to violent clashes.
A magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck at 07.56 (local time) on 3 August, 72 miles (116km) north-east of Iquique (Tarapaca region). The quake occurred at a depth of 65 miles (104km).
Members in eastern provinces should plan journeysin the coming daysaccounting for disruption during the passage of Typhoon Hagupit. The weather system made landfall on the coast of Yueqing (Zhejiang province) overnight on 3-4 August, causing localised power outages and flooding. Hagupit is currently moving further northwards inland. The Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) has issued an orange typhoon warning (fourth-highest level in a six-tier system). Heavy rain and strong winds can be expected in areas along the storm’s path, including Jiangsu, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, as well as Shanghai municipality. Evacuations are currently underway in vulnerable coastal areas of affected provinces.
On 30 July, suspected members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillagroup shot and killed three soldiers and injured four others in the municipality of El Carmen (Norte de Santander department). The same day, three people were killed and three others were injured by explosives in the municipality of Puerto Caicedo (Putumayo department). Both incidents occurred during police operations aimed at eradicating illicit crops. The attacks underscore the persistent risks of violence associated with guerrilla and other organised criminal activity in rural areas. Travel to areas of high guerrilla activity should be for essential purposes only.
Members in Guyana should continue to follow all official directives amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and avoid demonstrations following the announcement of the controversial 2 March general election results. The election commission on 2 August declared Mohamed Irfaan Ali the winner of the election. Ali, the leader of People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), was sworn in as the ninth president of Guyana on the same day. The results come after a recount was called and an injunction was filed with the Court of Appeals, alleging voting fraud and inconsistencies with the voting. A formal inauguration of the new president is expected on 3 August.
Members in Ayodhya city (Uttar Pradesh state) in the coming days should anticipate heightened security and significant travel disruption ahead of a high-profile inauguration ceremony on 5 August. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the event at 12.30 (local time) on 5 August, along with other dignitaries. Ayodhya city border has been closed and the district border will be sealed from 4 August. Additional security force personnel have been deployed to the area following intelligence input indicating potential for a terror attack targeting the event. Members should exercise vigilance and follow all official directives.
Members in Kurdistan Region (KR)in the coming weeksshould monitor developments amid Turkey’s ongoing military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). On 1 August, a suspected PKK vehicle was targeted in a Turkish airstrike in Gundak village (Dohuk governorate), located around 12 miles (20km) north of Dohuk city (Dohuk). No casualties were reported. Earlier on 31 July, another airstrike targeted a village in the Zakho district (Dohuk), located around 31 miles (50km) north-west of Dohuk city. Further air and ground operations are likely over the coming weeks, which are liable to trigger demonstrations in the event of confirmed civilian casualties.
Members in the capital Rome on 4 August should plan journeys bypassing a rally organised by labour unions. They represent former employees of the now-liquidated Air Italy. Participants will gather at 10.00 (all times local) in front of Piazza Barberini and then march towards the Ministry of Labour. A gathering of no more than the 100 people has been authorised by the police. Participants will gather again at 14.00 in front of the Ministry of Transportation, with no more than 50 participants permitted.
Members in the capital Amman and other urban centres in the coming days should continue to anticipate and avoid protests linked to the arrests of members of the Teachers Syndicate. Demonstrations are planned in the al-Tafayleh neighbourhood in Amman and in Na'our (both Amman governorate). In Irbid (Irbid governorate), a protest will commence on 3 August at 20.30 (local time) at the al-Thaqafa Circle, and head towards the Teacher’s Association on Wasfi at-Tal Street. In Karak (Karak governorate), a march is planned on 4 August at 19.00 starting at al-Iskan Circle before heading towards the provincial building.
Members should continue to defer all travel to Kenya despite a gradual resumption of international commercial flights to and from 30 destinations. All arriving passengers are required to present a negative Polymerase chain reaction test within seven days of arrival. Passengers coming from a list of 19 countries considered ‘low to medium risk’ are exempt from quarantine requirements. A nightly curfew remains in place from 21.00-04.00 (local time). Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for full details of travel restrictions.
At least five Malian soldiers on 2 August were killed and five injured in simultaneous attacks in Segou region. A military convoy was ambushed by unidentified gunmen between the villages of Diabaly and Goma-coura, while a Malian army camp in Goma-coura was attacked with heavy weapons. The assailants also stole five military vehicles. The incidents reflect the persistent risk of attacks by criminal and jihadist groups, especially in central and northern regions. The risks associated with travel to areas of Segou region situated north of the Niger river continue to be rated as HIGH. All travel to such locations should be for essential purposes only and undertaken with stringent precautions.
Members in the capital Bamako and other main citiesover the coming weeksshould exercise caution and avoid further protests by the opposition M5-RFP coalition. M5-RFP is calling for the resignation of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (commonly known as IBK). Protests resumed on 3 August following a pause during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, with protesters blocking roads in the capital Bamako. Badalabougou district (Bamako) remains a flashpoint for protests.
Members in Guanajuato state in the coming days should anticipate retaliatory violence by the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel (CSRL) following the arrest of the organisation’s leader Jose “El Marro” Ortiz. On 2 August, a joint task force comprised of Mexican Army and police elements discovered Oritz in the town of Santa Cruz de Juventino Rosas while carrying out a cordon-and-search operation. Eight other individuals, including the CSRL’s chief of security, were also captured, along with a stockpile of weapons, ammunition, and vehicles.
A Mexican journalist was killed in an armed attack at around 01.00 (local time) on 2 August in Iguala (Guerrero state). The journalist was having a meal with his bodyguard when armed individuals entered the establishment and shot both men. The killing occurred shortly after the journalist had published an article detailing the activities of a local organised crime group. The attack highlights the risks posed by organised crime in HIGH travel risk areas such as Iguala, and the need to maintain security precautions at all times.
Members in the capital Mexico City on 3 August should anticipate localised disruption during a planned protest linked to the recent arrest of a medical practitioner after the death of a former politician. Supporters of the National Front of Health Workers will gather at 18.00 (local time) in front of the National Palace to demand the release of the detained physician; the union claims his arrest was arbitrary and illegal. Travellers should plan journeys bypassing the protest as to minimise inconvenience.
Members in the commercial capital Lagos (Lagos state) should expect significant travel disruption during planned repair work on theMarine Beach and Third Mainland bridges,and plan journeys accordingly. The Marine Beach Bridge will be closed until October 2020 and the Third Mainland Bridge until January 2021. Members should anticipate increased traffic congestion on alternative routes and a potential surge in armed robberies and carjackings by criminals taking advantage of slow-moving traffic. Observe adequate security precautions (such as prearranging secure transport), confine travel to daylight hours and reconfirm the availability of alternative routes before setting out.
Members in urban centres on 5 August should anticipate gatherings and associated disruption around the first anniversary of the removal of the then- Jammu and Kashmir (both India) state’s special status. In Lahore (Punjab province), a march is being planned from the Chief Minister’s Office to the Governor’s House. Gatherings in other provincial capitals such as Karachi (Sindh province) and Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) are also likely to be held around local government buildings. While no specific gathering has been announced for the capital Islamabad, the government will likely deploy additional security forces personnel around the Red Zone, which houses key government buildings.
Members should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville due to renewed COVID-19-related measures. The authorities have reimposed flight restrictions for the region following recent increases in COVID-19 cases in the capital Port Moresby. Until 13 August, only approved charter flights, cargos and medevac will be allowed to operate. It is also mandatory for outbound passengers to obtain approval from the region’s State of Emergency controller prior to departure.
Latestupdate: This information is still current. Defer all travel due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care situation in the country. Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases, access to medical care is not assured. There is a severe shortage of general hospital and intensive care beds. Oxygen is also in short supply. International SOS is monitoring the situation closely.
Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) measures will be reinstated in the National Capital Region (NCR), as well as Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces, from 4 to 18 August. According to current guidelines, movement outside of residences is limited to the purposes of work, obtaining essentials and other permitted activities. Domestic flights to/from MECQ areas is prohibited, while limited international flights are allowed. Business operations, including hotels, will be restricted. Public transport has been suspended, while public gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people. Members should follow official directives. Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for full details of travel restrictions.
Members are reminded of the EXTREME travel risks for the capital Mogadishu, following a suicide attack on 3 August in the Hamar Jajab district. A suicide bomber at around 13.30 (local time) entered Luul Yamani, a popular restaurant known to frequently host government officials and security force personnel, and detonated his explosive vest. Two security guards were killed and two people injured. The incident highlights the persistent risk from militancy, and the need for members in-country to use a dedicated security provider for all movements during essential journeys.
Members in Cape Town (Western Cape province)in the coming weeksshould anticipate and avoid further disruptive protests linked to land invasions. Protests broke out in July after the authorities attempted to evict illegal land invaders in Kraaifontein, 19 miles (30km) north-east of Cape Town. A number of sporadic gatherings have since occurred; demonstrators have blocked roads and pelted passers-by with stones. Related demonstrators have also been held over unemployment and a lack of housing in other parts of the city. Members should reconfirm the status of routes before travelling, and avoid areas that are experiencing unrest.
Members in South Korea in the coming weeks should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides. The country’s rainy season is expected to last until early September, during which tropical storms are also common. Associated short-notice road and transport disruption is possible during this period. Members should follow official directives and reconfirm the feasibility of journeys before setting out.
Members in Sudan should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by heavy rain and widespread flooding during the rainy season, which usually lasts until October-November. On 31 July-1 August, heavy rain caused damage in Khartoum North (Khartoum state) and also resulted in the collapse of Bout Dam (Blue Nile state), which destroyed around 600 houses nearby. Several localities across the country remain inaccessible due to flooding. At least five people have been killed and around 3,500 houses damaged during the ongoing rainy season. Persisting flooding and current COVID-19-related restrictions have both complicated efforts by officials to distribute aid countrywide. Further rainfall, forecast until at least 5 August, is likely to exacerbate the situation.
Members in Taiwan (China) should anticipate residual disruption following the passage of Typhoon Hagupit. The weather system did not make landfall, but brought heavy rainfall as it passed through northern coastal regions. Flooding and road disruption was reported in multiple cities, including the capital Taipei. The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) has issued a heavy rain advisory for Kaohsiung and Tainan cities and Pingtung county. Strong wind warnings are also in place for the northern and eastern coastline. Domestic flights and ferry services experienced disruption on 3 August. Further delays and cancellations are possible.
Members in northern Taiwan (China) should continue to anticipate disruptionuntil at least4 Augustdue to the passage of Tropical Storm Hagupit. The weather system is not forecast to make landfall, and is expected to continue on its north-west trajectory, passing northern coastal regions. A sea typhoon warning issued by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) remains in place throughout 3 August. A heavy rain advisory is also in effect for the capital Taipei, as well as Keelung, New Taipei and Taoyuan cities. Short-notice disruption to flights is possible, including at Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), which serves the capital and the northern region.
Members in northern governorates in the coming days should anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries due to ongoing protests over water outages in Nefza (Beja governorate) and Mornaguia (Manouba governorate). Demonstrators on 2-3 August blocked several roads to protest against alleged inaction by the government in supplying drinking water to local residents. Members should reconfirm their itineraries and expect a heightened police presence and traffic disruption if conducting journeys in areas where protests are occurring.
Normal movement can resume in the vicinity of Volodymyrska and Bohdana Khmelnytskoho streets in the capital Kyiv following a hostage situation earlier on 3 August. A man reportedly entered a bank branch near the intersection at around 12.00 (local time), claiming he had a bomb in his backpack. He then took one hostage and demanded to give an interview with journalists. Following successful negotiations, the security forces entered the bank at around 15.00 (local time), arrested the man and freed the hostage. Deputy Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko later announced that no explosives were found at the scene. There have been no reports of resulting casualties.
Members in the USin the coming hoursshould exercise caution and anticipate potential unrest linked to demonstrations over police brutality and reform. There are persistent underlying risks associated with such events due to the emotive nature of the issue and the potential presence of firearms, counter-demonstrators and extremist individuals. Members attending related gatherings should be aware of their surroundings, maintain access to reliable means of communication and leave at the first sign of unrest.
Latest update: Increased activity continues.Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Severe disease is possible. Health authorities have implemented protocols for isolation, quarantine, testing and managing people who may have been exposed to the virus. To prevent infection, pay attention to hygiene, wash hands frequently, avoid touching your face, avoid close contact with other people (keep a distance of 1-2 metres / 3-6 feet). Do not travel if you are sick.
Members inor travelling through Cherry Valley(California state) over the coming days should continue to follow official directives and reconfirm the status of routes due to an ongoing wildfire. The so-called Apple Fire, which started on 31 July, has now spread to 41 sq miles ( 106 sq km), prompting the closure of multiple parks and hiking trails. One house and two outbuildings have been destroyed; no injuries have so far been reported. Mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for multiple areas ofRiversideandSan Bernardinocounties (both California). As of 3 August, the fires have been only 5% contained.
Members in South-east, Mid-Atlantic and New England states, especially those along the east coast, should continue to plan journeys in the coming days accounting for disruption during the passage of Tropical Storm Isaias. Multiple storm-related watches and warnings have been issued for areas in Isaias’s expected path. Mandatory evacuation orders are likewise in place for parts of North Carolina state. The storm is expected to regain strength off the coast of Georgia state before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane (lowest on a five-tier scale) over South Carolina state late on 3 August. From there, it is forecast to move north-eastward across the country, bringing strong winds and heavy rainfall to affected areas until 5 August.
Members in northern and north-central provinces should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption following the passage of former Tropical Storm Sinlaku (known locally as No. 02). The weather system, which made landfall betweenNinh BinhandThanh Hoaprovinceson2 August, has weakened into a low pressure area.According to the National Centre for Hydro Meteorological Forecasting (NCHMF), moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue in northern and north-central areas until at least 8 August, including the capital Hanoi. There has been no reported disruption at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport (HAN).