Monitor developments and anticipate logistical disruption in the coming days amid eruptions at La Soufriere volcano (St Vincent and the Grenadines). St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia and Barbados have been most affected (see related alerts), with airport closures and/or flight disruption reported at each country’s international airport, and evacuations in St Vincent. However, additional countries, such as Antigua and Barbuda and Granada, may also experience related disruption. Both countries have agreed to take in evacuees from St Vincent, which could temporarily impact travel considerations such as hotel availability in each country. Disruption to inter-island air and maritime transport may impact travel throughout the Caribbean region more broadly.
Plan routes bypassing a student-led demonstration in the capital Luanda on17 April, due to the risk of localised unrest.Supporters of the Angolan Students Movement (MEA) from11.00 (local time) will assemble at Largo das Heroinas and march to the finance ministry in protest at increased tuition fees. An MEA demonstration in March passed off peacefully, though police officers reportedly fired warning shots to disperse the crowd. The security forces are liable to use tough measures to break up even small-scale demonstrations, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Expect heightened security and disruption in Muslim-majority countries, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and southern regions of India, the Philippines and Thailand on 13 April-12 May, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Businesses are likely to operate to reduced hours in Muslim-majority countries. Ramadan ends with a two- or three-day public holiday celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival (the precise end date can vary between countries). Respect cultural sensitivities and anticipate measures such as vehicle checks and the deployment of additional security force personnel around major transport hubs, religious sites and government buildings. Stringent COVID-19-related controls on mobility and gatherings also remain in place.
The authorities have extended a COVID-19-related lockdown in Lower Austria and Vienna statesuntil at least2 May. The same measure remains in place in Burgenland state until at least 18 April. This entails the mandatory closure of non-essential shops and round-the-clock restrictions on movement outside the home, except for daily exercise and the purchase of food. Continue to abide by all official directives. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor full details of travel restrictions.
Continue to defer all travel to Bangladesh due to additional COVID-19-related internal restrictions effective from 06.00 (local time) on 14 April until 23.59 on 21 April. Under the new measures, only essential movement, such as that for food delivery, burials/cremations, medical treatment and groceries, will be permitted. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor complete details on related travel restrictions across the country.
Monitor developments and avoid all gatherings linked to the recent death of a retired military officer in police custody. Reports allege that, on 7 April, the individual was killed after being detained and interrogated at a military barracks on Anjouan island on suspicion of preparing a coup. The authorities, however, claim the man began to feel unwell during questioning and died on his way to a hospital. The incident triggered unrest on Anjouan between 8 and 12 April. Tensions over the issue, alongside underlying frustration with President Azali Assoumani, remain high. Developments linked to the death may spark further protests over the coming days.
Latest update: Last confirmed case has recovered, no active cases. Several cases of Ebola have been reported in North Kivu province. Ebola is spread by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids (including vomit and diarrhoea) of infected or dead people. Healthcare workers, household members and people participating in traditional funeral practices (touching the body) are at high risk. Prevent infection by paying strict attention to hygiene, and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids. Do not participate in traditional funerals. Do not go to health facilities where Ebola patients are being treated.
Normal movement around Avenue Tombalbaye in the capital Kinshasa can resume following unrest earlier on 13 April. The police intervened to disperse clashing rival supporters of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) and l'Engagement Pour La Citoyennete et Le Developpement (ECIDE) parties.
Continue to anticipate and avoid protests over insecurity in North Kivu provinceover the coming weeks, particularly in Beni, Butembo and the provincial capital Goma. This follows the issuance of an ultimatum by residents and various civil society groups for the departure of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO)by 15 April. Several people have been killed during related clashes between protesters and the security forces. On 12 April, a decree banning all public demonstrations until at least 15 April was declared. All businesses operating in Beni and Butembo will remain closeduntil 24 Aprilin support of the protests.
Reconfirm flights and maintain flexible itineraries in the coming days. Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE, Guayaquil, Guayas Province) temporarily suspended operations on 13 April due to the latest eruption of the Sangay volcano (Morona-Santiago province) causing ash plumes to reach 40,000 ft (12,200 m).
People in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as well as the Muslim-majority areas of Russia should expect business disruption and respect cultural sensitivities during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. It will generally be observed in the region from 13 April to 12 May, though dates can vary between countries and branches of Islam. Although no specific COVID-19 restrictive measures are announced, the authorities are liable to implement short-noticed restrictions on movement and public gatherings should the pandemic situation worsens due to celebrations. Additionally, a heightened security force presence can be expected around religious and crowded venues against risks of crime and militant attacks.
Monitor developments and anticipate further protests over the construction of a controversial hydropower project in Imereti region in the coming days. On 12 April, people rallied near Rioni gorge in Namakhvani to demand an end to construction of the dam. Another protest was reported in Gumati (both Imereti), where a road was blocked. At the former location, the police erected barriers to prevent residents from entering the gorge following which confrontation between protesters and the police occurred. Despite the possibility of a government-led meeting in the next few days, periodic protests are expected to continue. Subscribers should avoid all gatherings as a precaution and to minimise inconvenience.
Plan routes bypassing the Reichstag (parliament building) in the capital Berlin during an ongoing anti-lockdown protest at the adjacent Platz der Republik. The police are at the scene and there is potential for localised scuffles, particularly if attempts are made to disperse the gathering.
Expect disruption and heightened security on 13-14 April during Hindu New Year festivities that will be observed across several states. While large crowds are usually expected at transport hubs and markets, public gatherings and celebrations are not anticipated this year due to restrictions imposed by several state governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue to anticipate disruption amid ongoing farmers’ protests in the National Capital Region (NCR), which includes the capital New Delhi and parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states. On 4 April, farmers’ groups blocked the Hisar-Chandigarh highway atTitram Mor(Kaithal district, Haryana) to condemn the forceful dispersal of a related demonstration in Rohtak district (Haryana). The police used water cannon to disperse a protest by farmers on 7 April near the municipal council office in Sirsa (Sirsa district, Haryana). Earlier, on 6 April, around 50 protesters vandalised a BJP MP’s vehicle in Shahabad Markanda (Kurukshetra district, Haryana).
Expect further travel disruption and reconfirm transport arrangements during an ongoing indefinite strike by transport workerswhich began on 7 Aprilacross Karnataka state, including its capital Bangalore. Members of multiple major unions are participating in the work stoppage, which has been called to demand a wage increase. Increased demand for alternative modes of transport, such as auto-rickshaws, taxis and trains, can be expected. Associated protests occurred outside sub-district and district council offices across the state on 12 April.
Anticipate and avoid all demonstrations on 13 April in West Bengal state following a decision of the Election Commission (EC) to ban Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of the state ruling Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) from holding election campaigning until 20.00 (local time) on 13 April citing an alleged model code of conduct violation. In response, Banerjee has announced a sit-in at the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Maidan area of the state capital Kolkata from 12.00 on 13 April.
Anticipate travel disruption and abide by official directives during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The authorities have announced a nationwide domestic travel ban from 6 May until at least 17 May. All modes of sea, land, air and rail transport will be suspended, in order to curb COVID-19 transmission amid anticipated large-scale travel for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.Border security will be tightened and checkpoints set up along roads. Exemptions to the ban may be granted for diplomatic, official or emergency travel. Transportation of cargo and logistics will continue during this period.
Continue to exercise caution on Java island and North Sulawesi province. A magnitude 6.0 offshore earthquake struck 56 miles (90km) south-west of Malang city (East Java province) at 14.00 (local time) on 10 April. This was followed by a magnitude 6.1 offshore earthquake 58 miles (94km) north-west ofSangihe island(North Sulawesi) at 17.30. At least eight people were killed and 39 others injured in East Java. Eight aftershocks have been recorded thus far, causing further damage. Emergency response efforts are ongoing and evacuation centres have been set up in Malang. Follow official directives and reconfirm the status of routes prior to travel.
At least five people were killed and one police officer was injured during a bandit attack on 11 April along the Isiolo-Garissa county border. According to local authorities, about 70 armed bandits at approximately 13.00 (local time) attacked the Kampi Samaki village, which is located along the disputed area between two counties. Dozens of cattle were reportedly stolen, and the village was set on fire. The incident underscores the risk of communal violence and the need to exercise enhanced precautions in Isiolo and other HIGH travel risk northern counties.
A protest is planned on 13 April in front of the Barbar Khazen Police Barraks in Verdun neighbourhood of the capital Beirut. Participant will gather at 10.00 (local time) to show solidarity with an activist who is being summoned for investigation. Protesters denounce the summons as a mean to suppress political freedom. Localised scuffles between demonstrators and the security forces are possible, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
A planned indefinite strike and possible protests by postal workers from 13 April may cause localised disruption near the capital’s Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport(BEY). A related sit-in protest occurred outside theLibanPost headquarters at the airport on 12 April. Workers are demanding higher salaries amid rising living expenses. Allow additional time for journeys to/from the airport.
Plan journeys bypassing several protestsin the capital Mexico City over the coming hours, to minimise travel inconvenience. The events have been organised by student-led organisations, workers’ unions, members of indigenous communities and political activist groups over various issues. While the demonstrations should pass off peacefully, they are liable to result in localised traffic disruption.
Large anti-military protests can be expected during the New Year (locally known as Thingyan) periodfrom 13 to 16 April amid persistent heightened tensions. Activists have called for protests instead of traditional celebrations. Demonstrations are also likely during the next court hearing of former state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on26 Aprilin the capital Naypyitaw. Escalated unrest is possible around these flashpoint dates. Continue to monitor developments closely and minimise non-essential movement. Prepare to stand fast in any areas affected by violence.
Continue to avoid the vicinity of an explosion in the commercial capital Yangon’s Sanchaung township (Yangon region). The blast occurred at around 12.15 (local time) under theMyaynigone flyover, nearPadonmar Park. The security forces reportedly carried out a controlled detonation of a bomb. No casualties or damage have been reported so far, but there has been significant disruption on nearbyPyay RoadandBagaya Street. It is unclear who was responsible for placing the device. There is a heightened security force presence in the area as investigations continue.
Suspected militants attacked the town of Damasak (Borno state) on 10 April, targeting a humanitarian hub. At least four people were killed and four others injured during the daytime attack. The authorities believe the incident was perpetrated by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), which claimed responsibility for a similar attack on 1 March in Dikwa (Borno) that also targeted aid agencies. On both occasions, the security forces managed to repel the assailants with ground troops and air support. These incidents highlight the EXTREME risks associated with travel to Borno state, and the need to avoid all journeys there.
Anticipate and avoid further protests in urban centres, including the capital Islamabad, Lahore (Punjab province) and Karachi (Sindh province), in the coming days by the Tehreek-e- Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party. Protests are still ongoing, primarily in the form of sit-ins along arterial roads across multiple cities even as the security personnel reportedly cleared several routes on 13 April. The demonstrations are being held against the arrest of TLP leader Saad Hussain Rizvi in Lahore earlier on 12 April.
Plan journeys bypassing nationwide protests by the Realizing Goals (RM) political party on13 Aprilbetween 16.30 to 18.00 (local time). Gatherings will be held over socio-economic issues such as unemployment, insecurity and the high cost of living, resulting in localised traffic disruption. In the capital Panama City, thepresidential palaceis a likely protest venue. RM previously held demonstrations in the vicinity on 6 April.
Latest update: Surging cases, advice remains the same. People who are not essential to in-country operations, and who are able to depart, should consider leaving by commercial means while they remain available. See the security evacuation alert for further detail. In some areas, health facilities are at or near capacity. The ability to manage serious medical conditions, both non-COVID-19 and COVID-19, is not assured. The ability to transport patients abroad is increasingly limited. Prevent infection by limiting contact with others as much as practically possible, maintaining strict attention to hygiene and wearing a mask when in public.
Anticipate travel disruption and heightened security in Cebu City on14 April during religious celebrationscommemorating the 500thanniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. Around 700 people are expected to gather aroundMagellan’s CrossandBasilica Minore del Santo Nino de CebuatPlaza Sugbu from 14.00 (local time). Roads in the vicinity of the plaza will be closed to traffic and parking, includingMC Briones Street,Legaspi Street, andF Gonzales Street. At least 400 police officers will be deployed to secure the area.
Reconfirm the status of routes in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape province) in the coming hours due to ongoing protests, ostensibly over shortfalls in service delivery. The South Africa Police Service has reported that several routes leading into the city have been blocked by protesters. Reports indicate that demonstrators have set vehicles alight to block roads. Alternative routes should be used where possible. The M19 is reportedly open, with a heightened security force presence.
Defer all inbound travel to St Lucia due to the impact of eruptions at the La Soufriere volcano in neighbouring St Vincent and the Grenadines. The authorities have advised residents to remain indoors and minimise vehicle travel as much as possible due to ash fall on the island, and have warned of the possibility of further eruptions. Most commercial airlines have cancelled flights to and from the Hewanorra International Airport (UVF, Vieux Fort district), though the facility remains operational. People in St Lucia should monitor developments, follow official directives and anticipate additional logistical disruption in the event of further eruptions.
Continue to defer inbound travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines due to the impact of eruptions at the La Soufriere volcano in Saint David parish. The island’s Argyle International Airport (SVD, St George parish) remains closed, likely until at least 13 April. The authorities have advised those on the island to remain indoors as much as possible due to the health risks associated with ash fall. People in St Vincent and the Grenadines should carefully evaluate their ability to remain in-country and consider departure given the possibility of further logistical disruption, shortages of water and food and health risks associated with any further eruptions.
Anticipate further demonstrations in urban centres over the coming weeks amid continuing socioeconomic grievances. Demonstrations against poor living conditions, fuel and basic commodity price rises and essential service shortages continue to occur. The latest unrest was reported on 11 April in Barah (North Kordofan state), El Fasher (North Darfur state), the capital Khartoum and Omdurman (Khartoum state). The security forces are liable to use forcible measures to disperse any further unrest, which poses incidental risks to workforce in the vicinity.
Plan routes bypassing a planned gathering outside the Provincial Directorate of Health (Fatih district, Istanbul province) on 15 April as a precaution and to minimise delays. Members of health and labour organisations will gather from 12.30 (local time) to claim that health systems are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The organisers of the demonstration have called on unions, political activists and citizens to attend. A heightened security force presence can be anticipated around the location. While the demonstration is likely to be peaceful, scuffles between participants and the security forces remain a possibility.
People in Jersey City (New Jersey state) in the coming hours should avoid the vicinity of John F. Kennedy Boulevard and Communipaw Avenue due to an ongoing security operation. Anticipate road closures in the area and a heightened police presence.
Normal movement may resume in the vicinity ofAustin-East High Schoolon Martin Luther King Jr Avenue in Knoxville (Tennessee state) following a shooting incident that occurred at 15.15 (local time) on 12 April. One person was killed and a police officer injured in the shooting. One suspect has been detained by the police.
Anticipate further demonstrations with potential for unrest in the coming days in Minneapolis (Minnesota state) and other urban centres related to the 11 April police killing of an African American man. Unruly demonstrations broke out after a police officer in Brooklyn Center (Minnesota state) shot and killed a man named Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. Protesters clashed with the police who responded with teargas and flash grenades. The National Guard has been deployed to Brooklyn Center ahead. In anticipation of further unrest, the authorities have declared an overnight curfew for the Minneapolis metropolitan area, including St Paul, from 19.00 (local time) on 12 April until 06.00 on 13 April.
Continue to abide by the ongoing curfew in the Minneapolis metropolitan area until 06.00 (local time) on 13 April. Unruly demonstrations and clashes between the police forces and protesters were reported late on 12 April. Looting was also reported at multiple stores in Minneapolis city. In Brooklyn Center, the authorities used tear gas and flashbangs to disperse protesters outside the city’spolice department building.
Scuffles between protesters and the security forces have been reported late on 12 April near theMultnomah County Sheriff's Office and Penumbra Kelly Building in Portland (Oregon state). According to local sources, participants have hurled fireworks at the police, who have warned them to disperse.