Members in Hong Kong over the coming weeks should expect and avoid further protests linked to police conduct, dissatisfaction with the local and central governments, and the 4 October ban on facial masks. Such events can quickly spread to multiple locations and escalate into violence, including vandalism, arson and the use of petrol bombs, especially during the weekends and around flashpoint dates (see More Detail below). Where feasible, members should plan journeys avoiding flashpoint areas on Hong Kong island and elsewhere (see map), and be prepared to minimise non-essential movement at short notice.
Members in Hong Kong on 18-20 October should avoid protests and plan journeys accounting for disruption in affected areas (see More detail section). In addition to the venues mentioned below, protesters may also gather at flashpoint areas, including mass transit railway (MTR) stations, at short notice. The authorities can be expected to preemptively close MTR stations or restrict rail services around large gatherings, which can quickly spread to multiple locations and escalate into violence, including vandalism, arson and the use of petrol bombs, especially during weekends.
Latest update: new cases reported in Victoria. Measles clusters have been reported in South Brisbane and the Rockingham area in Perth. 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 travellers should ensure that they are fully immunised against measles.
Members due to travel to/from Viracopos/Campinas International Airport (VCP, Sao Paulo state) in the coming hours should continue to expect heightened security in the area following a robbery. Criminals broke through an access gate on the airport’s grounds at about 09.50 (local time) on 17 October and stole valuable goods from the cargo terminal. Simultaneously, criminals set fire to trucks near the airport, blocking Santos Dumont Highway (SP-75) near the airport. The airport has resumed normal activity and the motorway has reopened.
Members in urban centres on 19 October should avoid protests called by the Catholic Lay Committee of Coordination against alleged corruption and impunity among government officials. As opposition parties, including the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) and the Lamuka coalition, have voiced their support for the demonstrations, gatherings are likely to be well-attended. While details of the rallies are yet to be announced, MLC leader Jean-Pierre Bemba called for a large-scale peaceful mobilisation in Kisangani (Tshopo province). The planned protest for the capital Kinshasa will be held on21 October.
Members should avoid a protest from 08.00 (local time) on 19 October at the capital Yamoussoukro's John Paul II square. Organisers from the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire (PDCI) say they are expecting 6,000 people to attend. The rally will call for the release of PDCI vice-president Jacques Mangoua, who was sentenced on 3 October to five years in prison on weapons possessions charges that his lawyers say are fabricated. On the same day as the rally, the military has announced an exercise involving around 300 soldiers in the west of the city. Related protests have been reported recently in Bouake (Vallee du Bandama district).
Members in Afar region in the coming days should expect and avoid demonstrations to protest against insecurity in the region. Protests have occurred in several urban centres, including the regional capital Semera as well as Awash and Gewane, following an armed attack by unknown assailants in Afambo district (Afar) reported on 12 October (see our separate alert). Although these demonstrations passed off peacefully, the risk of localised unrest during such events remains.
Members should exercise caution and monitor developments in the coming weeks amid reports of heightened communal tensions and associated violence. Tit-for-tat violence in recent days has broken out between rival ethnic communities, including targeted killings and the burning of villages; disruptive protests have also occurred. Ethnic conflict exists throughout the country; however, hot spots include Afar, Amhara, Gambella and Tigray states, as well as Somali region and some parts of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' region. Outbreaks of violence and unrest remain particularly common in border areas between regions.
Members in urban centres should anticipate disruption around protests on 19 October by members of the Kurdish diaspora. Demonstrations have taken place across Europe since 10 October, condemning Turkey's current military operations in Syria. In Germany, several people have been injured during demonstrations over the issue (see our separate report), and scuffles were reported during a protest in Rotterdam (South Holland province) on 16 October. While protests elsewhere have been peaceful, members should nonetheless plan journeys bypassing such gatherings as a precaution and to minimise travel delays.
Members due to travel via train on 18 October should reconfirm schedules due to an ongoing short-notice strike by employees of national rail operator SNCF. The work stoppage has already disrupted services in Centre-Val de Loire, Grand-Est, Hauts-de-France, Ile-de-France, New Aquitaine, Normandy, Occitanie, Pays de la Loire and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur regions. Negotiations are ongoing to resolve the issue.
Members in urban centres should avoid protests by the Yellow Vests ('Gilets Jaunes', GJ) movement on19 Octoberdue to the risk of localised unrest. In the capital Paris, protesters will gather in front of the Esplanade Henri de France station at 09.00 and march towards Gare de La Defense station at 11.00 via Boulevards des Marechaux. In Clermont-Ferrand (Auvergne-Rhone-Alpesregion) demonstrators plan to gather at 13.00 (local time) at Place de Jaude. Other protest locations have yet to be announced. A related gathering on 12 October in Toulouse (Occitane region) had been dispersed by the security forces with tear gas.
Members in major cities should plan journeys on 19 October bypassing protests planned by members of the Kurdish diaspora to condemn Turkey's current military campaign in northern Syria (see our separate report). Some of the demonstrations are expected to be attended by thousands and could cause localised traffic disruption; a number of the protests are also planned outside train stations (see More detail). Several people have been injured during recent rallies over the issue, and members should avoid all future gatherings due to a credible risk of unrest.
Members in the capital Guatemala City on 20 October should plan journeys bypassing a rally to commemorate Revolution Day, which marks the 1944 ouster of then-president Jorge Ubico. Participants will march at 08.30 (local time) from El Trebol in zone 11 to Plaza de la Constitucion.
Members in the capital Conakry should exercise caution on 18 October and avoid the areas of Dixinn and Matam, where the trial of opposition leaders is set to resume on the day. Anti-government protests, organised by the Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) opposition group, are likely to continue and may spread to other urban centres. The security forces are liable to use tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protests, which are against a proposed third term for President Alpha Conde. At least nine people have been killed in these protests.
Members in the capital Jakarta on 20 October should expect heightened security and associated disruption surrounding the presidential inauguration of Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo for his second term in office. The official ceremony will begin at 14.00 (local time) at the parliament complex. Around 27,000 security personnel will be deployed in Jakarta on the day, including around sensitive locations such as the parliament complex and Merdeka Palace. Security will be especially tight amid recent terror plots and unruly protests over controversial penal code amendments (see our separate reports).
Members in major urban centres in the coming days should continue to avoid gatherings over penal code amendments and other proposed legislation. The authorities in the capital Jakarta have refused to issue permits for public gatherings due to the upcoming presidential inauguration, which will take place at the parliament building on 20 October. However, demonstrators gathered around the National Monument in Jakarta and in Gedung Sate in Bandung (West Java province) on 17 October. Both events passed off peacefully.
Influential Shia Muslim cleric and politician Muqtada al-Sadr has called for protests on 19 October in solidarity with anti-corruption gatherings that occurred earlier in the month. Sadr has called participants of the annual Arbaeen pilgrimage (see our related alert) and commemorative events in Karbala (Karbala province) to march in solidarity. The march route will be the same as the direction of the pilgrimage, and movement restrictions are expected along it. Impromptu protests by Sadr’s followers are also possible elsewhere, including the capital Baghdad and Basra (Basra province). Members should liaise with their security provider regarding the feasibility of movement.
Members in or travelling to Japan should continue to anticipate residual disruption in areas impacted by former typhoon Hagibisin the coming days. While the storm has exited the country, disruption and flooding continue to be reported in several prefectures. Rail services have largely resumed across the country, including in the capital Tokyo. Tokyo’s Narita (NRT) and Haneda (HND) international airports have also resumed operations, though flight delays and cancellations are still possible in the coming daysgiven flight backlogs. Members should continue to maintain flexible itineraries and reconfirm logistical arrangements.
Members in the capital Tokyo on 22-23 October should expect heightened security and associated travel disruption linked to the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. Related events on 22 October will take place at the Imperial Palace, including the enthronement ceremony, which will commence at 13.00 (local time). A banquet will also be held at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo on 23 October. Access restrictions and road closures will be implemented across the city, especially around the main event venues. Members should allow plenty of time to complete journeys and follow all official directives during this period.
Members should expect disruption in Mombasa (Mombasa county) during Mashujaa (National Heroes') Day on 20 October. President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to attend events in the city's Mama Ngina waterfront park. Security is likely to be especially tight following terrorism warnings and continuing protests in the city over government proposals on cargo transport (see our separate report). Public events are attractive targets for the Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabab, who has a demonstrated capability to launch attacks in Kenya. Members should minimise movement on the day as a precaution and follow all official directives.
Members travelling to or from the capital Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) on 18 October should reconfirm the status of routes and allow additional time for journeys. Protesters have blocked the main access routes to the airport in the Ghobeiry area and at the Selim Salam Tunnel. The roadblocks are related to ongoing anti-austerity protests in the country (see our related report).
Members should defer non-essential travel to the country for at least the next 48 hours due to ongoing protests over government plans to introduce new austerity measures in the 2020 budget. Rallies are planned for 18 October at 14.00 (local time) at Martyrs’ Square in the capital Beirut and at 16.00 at al Nejmeh Square in Tripoli (North governorate). Meanwhile, a demonstration is ongoing at Riad al-Solh Square in Beirut. Additional demonstrations are likely, particularly after Friday midday prayers. Roadblocks along several major roads are reportedly in place, while schools, universities and banks have been closed on 18 October.
Members in the capital Monrovia should avoid an ongoing protest by University of Liberia students outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. A previous related rally, held on 15 October over non-payment of teachers’ salaries, was forcibly dispersed by the police. Similar unrest may occur during the ongoing gathering.
Members in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, should continue to minimise movement amid ongoing gunfight between the security forces and drug cartel members in various locations across the city. Clashes first erupted near thePlaza Fórumcommercial centre in central Culiacan, following reports that Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, had been arrested. According to local media, Ovidio has been released in an attempt to calm the situation. Multiple flights at Culiacan International Airport (CUL) have been cancelled due to the ongoing unrest.
Latest update: outbreak ongoing. An outbreak of dengue fever is underway in Yap. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or travelling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Search operations are continuing for suspected ethnic-Rakhine Arakan Army (AA) insurgents who held up a bus in Mrauk-U (Rakhine state) and kidnapped 31 civilians on 11 October. The abductions, which happened while the bus was en route to the state capital Sittwe, come amid ongoing fighting between the military and the AA in Rakhine and highlight the potential for spillover violence in MEDIUM travel risk areas of Rakhine and Chin states. Members in the region should follow all official directives. Internet services in Rakhine remained blocked in Mrauk-U, as well as Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun and Minbya townships.
Latest update: increased cases. Outbreaks of measles affecting several areas have been reported. Sporadic cases continue to be reported elsewhere in the country. 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 travellers should ensure that they are fully immunised against measles.
A fuel tanker overturned on 18 October morning alongOzumba Mbadiwe Avenue in the Eti-Osa area of Lagos (Lagos state), spilling petrol on the road. The accident occurred near the Akin Adesola Street intersection.
Latest update: increase in cases. An increase in dengue activity has been reported. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or travelling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Local media on 16 October reported that four suspects had been charged with the murder of a Chinese businessman by armed robbers four days earlier at his residence in Vaitele (Tuamasaga district). Three of the victim’s staff were also injured by the assailants. While overall levels of crime in Samoa are low, the incident highlights the need for members to be aware of signs of surveillance in the vicinity of offices or homes. Any suspicious behaviour should be reported to the authorities.
Members in South Africain the coming week should anticipate disruption and associated risks due to power outages that may potentially persist for a week. Eskom, the country’s primary power supplier, has instituted rolling outages to account for failures in some generator units. In addition to travel disruption as a result of non-functioning traffic lights, power outages can lead to an increase in criminal activity.
Members in Catalonia autonomous community should continue to avoid protests related to the recent sentencing of pro-independence leaders to prison. Rallies on 18 October are expected to be particularly disruptive as the day marks the end of a three-day students’ strike and the convergence of the ‘Marches for Freedom’ in Barcelona. A 24-hour general strike will also take place on the day, which will partially disrupt public transport, including bus services between Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN) and the city centre. Taxi drivers may also suspend services.
Members in Catalonia autonomous community should reconfirm road status prior to setting out on 18 October due to ongoing protests by pro-independence supporters. Demonstrators are marching towards the regional capital Barcelona as part of the last day of the ‘Marches for Freedom’. Participants have burned tyres to cut off traffic on the AP-7 at the northern exit from Girona, on the C-25 and C-55 around Manresa, on the N-240 in Lleida impeding access to the city centre, and on the AP-2 towards Tarres.
The ruling Sovereign Council on 16 October declared a nationwide ceasefire aimed at ending armed confrontations in conflict-afflicted regions. The move follows a temporary halt in peace negotiations between the government and armed factions. The armed Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) has threatened to withdraw from the talks over an alleged Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) attack on territory it controls. Despite the truce announcement, members should continue to avoid non-essential journeys to Darfur region and defer all travel to South Kordofan, West Kordofan and Blue Nile states. The travel risks associated with these locations are rated as HIGH.
Latest update: outbreak ongoing.All provinces affected. An increase in cases of dengue fever has been noted nationwide. Dengue symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and sometimes a rash. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites. Although there is a vaccine against dengue, it is not recommended for travellers as it may increase the risk of severe disease.
An increase in mumps cases has been reported nationwide. Cases reported this year have been significantly higher than those reported last year. Mumps is caused by a virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. It is highly contagious and nearly all cases occur among unvaccinated people. Symptoms include fever, painful and swollen glands, pain on swallowing and in men, the testes can become inflamed. Serious complications can occur. All travellers should ensure they are fully vaccinated against mumps.
Members in the capital London over the coming days should continue to anticipate localised disruption caused by fresh environmental protests. Demonstrations organised by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) activist movement have persisted despite a police ban on 14 October, which is being challenged in the courts. XR has called for rallies at Trafalgar Square, while demonstrators early on 18 October were blocking the Oxford Circus junction. A peaceful march from Whitehall Gardens to nearby government departments in the Westminster area is also scheduled on the day.
Normal movement can resume in the vicinity of Main Street Market in downtown Houston (Texas state) following a fire on 17 October at abuildingbetween Walker Street and Main Street. While the fire has been extinguished, the Houston Office of Emergency Management has advised the public to avoid the area until firefighters have officially cleared it. Residual disruption to public transport can be expected.
Members in south-eastern states should anticipate heavy rain and associated disruptionlinked tothe passage of potential tropical storm Sixteen in the coming days. The weather system - forecast to strengthen into a tropical or sub-tropical storm later on 17 October or overnight on 17-18 October - is currently located over the south-western Gulf of Mexico and is expected to move north-east towards the US. Sixteen is forecast to bring tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain in parts of Florida and Louisiana states as well as the border of Mississippi and Alabama states.
The tap water across several areas in Hanoi has been contaminated. Oil waste dumped into the Da River is reported to have caused the contamination. Select safe water to prevent illness.