Members in Hong Kong until22 November should continue to exercise increased vigilance and anticipate unscheduled protests and associated disruption. Travellers should also avoid the area around Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hung Hom, as well as Austin and Nathan roads in Tsim Sha Tsui (all Kowloon) due to protracted clashes in the area since 16 November. Both planned and unplanned gatherings may cause short-notice disruption to movement, as protesters may again block roads and vandalise Mass Transit Railway (MTR) facilities. MTR authorities may also announce short-notice closures to train services.
Normal travel to Hong Kong can resume with appropriate precautions, including enhanced situational awareness and local host support. While protest activity had escalated following the 8 November death of a student, recent days have seen lower levels of disruption to transport and commercial activity. Unruly gatherings have reverted to being more localised in parts of Hung Hom, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei (all Kowloon) and Central (Hong Kong island) (see map and More detail). Nonetheless, members should have flexible itineraries due to possible unannounced protests and associated transport disruption.
Travellers from Samoa and Tonga are required to show proof of MMR (measles) vaccination or proof of immunity to measles to enter American Samoa from 13 November onwards. Travellers unable to show proof will be denied entry and be sent back. This requirement was issued after visitors from Samoa presented with signs of measles. A public health emergency has been declared in American Samoa for 30 days but may be extended further. 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. Prevention is by vaccination. International SOS is monitoring the situation and the alert will be updated as more information is available.
Several bushfires burning in multiple locations across the states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are affecting air quality. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with underlying heart and lung disease (high-risk groups) are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors. Defer all travel to any non-urban areas under a Catastrophic Fire Danger warning and defer non-essential travel to non-urban areas under an Extreme Fire Danger warning. For more information visit the International SOS Air Pollution website and monitor the Travel Security Online advisory for details on areas with Fire Danger warnings in place.
Members should continue to defer in-bound travel to Bolivia until at least 26 November and non-essential staff should depart, due to unrest related to the current political crisis. Essential staff remaining in-country should minimise movement in the coming days. Disturbances and looting have continued in the capital La Paz and other cities following former president Evo Morales' resignation on 10 November. Demonstrations involving localised clashes between Morales loyalists, opposition supporters and the security forces are likely to persist, posing incidental risks to bystanders. Opposition senator Jeanine Anez has assumed the interim presidency, but has yet to receive a popular mandate.
Latest update: outbreak expanding. An outbreak of cholera is ongoing in several areas, including the city of Bujumbura. The disease spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhoea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travellers staying in quality accommodation with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Ensure food and water for consumption are safe, and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.
Latest update: contacts test positive for polio. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) has been detected in Chari Baguirmi province. 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. Prevent infection by ensuring polio vaccination is up to date (including a booster if available), and selecting safe food and water.
Members in the capital Santiago and other urban centres should continue to anticipate and avoid further protests, despite the government announcing a constitutional referendum in April 2020. The National Association of Fiscal Employees (ANEF) announced they will hold protests until 22 November in major urban centres across the country. Further protests are likely to continue to be well attended and disruptive, often involving roadblocks and unrest, posing incidental risks to bystanders. Protests are likely outside government buildings, in major public squares (plazas) and around university campuses.
Members in urban centres, particularly the capital Santiago, should avoid demonstrations starting at 17.00 (local time) on 18 November due to the risk of unrest. Participants plan to gather in Santiago at Plaza Italia; no specifics have been released for other locations. Member should avoid all gatherings due to the potential for clashes between the security forces and demonstrators, which pose incidental risks to those in the vicinity.
Latest update: fewer affected health zones, ongoing security incidents, second vaccine to be deployed. An outbreak of Ebola continues in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, with spread in to South Kivu. Key response activities continue to be challenged by security issues. International SOS is monitoring the situation closely. 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. Continue to defer non-essential travel to affected areas. 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.
Latest update: increase in cases and affected areas. An outbreak of measles is ongoing. 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 in urban centres should continue to anticipate and avoid demonstrations by the Yellow Vests ('Gilets Jaunes', GJ) movement to minimise disruption and exposure to potential unrest. Protesters gathered across the country for a second consecutive day on 17 November to mark the movement’s one-year anniversary. Well-attended gatherings in many urban centres were peaceful with a few exceptions, including in the capital Paris, where the police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protests.
Members in urban centres in the coming days should avoid further anti-government protests, after the police on 18 November used water cannon to disperse protesters who had gathered outsideparliament on Rustaveli Avenue and set up barricades. Demonstrations have been held in the area since 14 November to demand the resignation of government and snap parliamentary elections. Small gatherings have also occurred in Batumi (Autonomous Republic of Adjara) and Kutaisi (Imereti region) in recent days. Opposition groups have vowed to hold further demonstrations in the coming days.
Regional carrier Astra Airlines on 18 November announced that it had suspended all scheduled flights with immediate effect. This follows an investigation by civil aviation authorities into the airline's ongoing financial problems. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has suspended all activity related to Astra, including ticketing through accredited travel agents. Affected passengers will be contacted by the airline within seven days. Members planning to travel with Astra should make alternative arrangements.
Members in the capital Conakry should avoid two further rallies by supporters of the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), due to the risk of unrest. On 19 November, a women's march will start at 09.00 (local times) from Bambeto roundabout and end at the Bellevue heliport at 16.00. On 21 November, a funeral procession will take place commemorating those killed during recent protests against the removal of presidential term limits. The security forces may use tear gas and sometimes live ammunition to disperse crowds. At least two people were killed at a similar procession on 4 November.
Members should defer all travel to Haiti until 20 November. Those in-country should minimise non-essential movement and stand fast in a secure location on days experiencing heightened unrest. Four people were shot and injured on 18 November during anti-government demonstrations which spread across the capital Port-au-Prince. Protesters had called for President Jovenel Moise to resign. Members should exercise caution, particularly following reports of local gangs extorting road travellers for money.
Latest update: further cases reported. An outbreak of dengue is ongoing. 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.
The runway of Kochi’s Cochin International Airport (COK, Kerala state) will be closed for re-carpeting work between 20 November 2019 and 28 March 2020. No flights will operate during the day between10.00 and 18.00 (local time). Although flight schedules have been revised in advance to fit the new operational schedule, members travelling through the airport during this period should reconfirm schedules, anticipate flight delays and allow additional time for check-ins due to the limited operation hours.
At least six people, including four police officers, on 13 November were injured in a suicide bombing at the police headquarters in Medan (North Sumatra province). The incident occurred just over a month after a knife attack on former chief security minister Wiranto in Pandeglang (Banten province). Two members of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) group, carried out that attack. The developments highlight the persistent risks posed by militancy. Members should be vigilant and minimise time spent around principal extremist targets, such as security force personnel and infrastructure.
Members on essential travel in Lebanon in the coming days should continue to anticipate protests and associated disruption. While demonstrations continue to take place on a daily basis, specific gatherings are planned in the capital Beirut’s downtown district on 19 November to coincide with a planned parliamentary session and on 22 November in Martyrs’ Square to commemorate Independence Day. Meanwhile, efforts among political parties to appoint a new prime minister remain stalled. Most banks are expected to reopen on 19 November after a week-long closure, though restrictions on withdrawals and transfers remain in place.
Latest update: outbreak ongoing.An increase in dengue activity continues, particularly on the Malay Peninsula, although East Malaysia is also affected. 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.
More than 20 soldiers were killed and 29 others injured in a militant attack on a military patrol on 18 November near Tabankort (Gao region); 17 militants were also killed in the ensuing clash. The attack occurred while the soldiers were on their way to the border for a joint operation with the Nigerien military. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the incident. The attack underlines the persistent militancy threat in Mali, especially in northern and central regions.
Members are reminded to avoid all but essential travel to Nuevo Laredo (Tamaulipas state) following a series of violent confrontations on 14-15 November between presumed members of the Northeast Cartel (CDN) and security force personnel. Armed men reportedly attacked a military patrol around 17.45 (local time) on 14 November. One soldier and six assailants were killed in the altercation and another three soldiers were injured. Confrontations involving shoot-outs and roadblocks continued into the following day, prompting the US Consulate in Nuevo Laredo to issue a security alert restricting movement, which has since been lifted.
Two further suspected Islamic State (IS) members have been arrested in Morocco, the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) announced on 17 November. The suspects, who were apprehended in the capital Rabat, are accused of planning domestic attacks. Their detention follows that of seven other IS militants in Casablanca (Casablanca-Settat region) on 25 October. The arrests highlight the underlying threat posed by terrorism in the country, as well as the security forces' proven capability to intercept terror plots and dismantle cells.
Members in the capital Windhoek on 19 November should plan routes bypassing the Magistrate Court, where a demonstration is planned for 08.30 (local time). Participants are protesting against the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the 27 November presidential and parliamentary elections . While a similar rally on 2 November passed off peacefully, traffic disruption in the vicinity of the upcoming protest is possible.
Latest update: high activity continues. A spike 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.
Members in the coming days should reconfirm the status of routes and follow all official directives in areas where fire danger warnings are in place. Meteo-France has issued a red wildfire alert (the highest level on a four-tier scale) for 19 November for Voh and Kone communes (both North province). An orange alert (second-highest) is in place for several other communes in North as well as South province. The authorities have said conditions may worsen in the coming days because of strong winds and rising temperatures.
Latest update: further cases reported.Outbreaks of yellow fever have been reported in several states, particularly in the north. Yellow fever is a potentially severe viral illness spread via mosquito bites. It can be prevented through vaccination and by avoiding mosquito bites. All travellers over 9 months old are recommended to be vaccinated and required to have proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter the country.
Members in urban centreson 18 November should continue to avoid demonstrations demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation and a fresh election. The gatherings, called by the hardline Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, come after the group’s 13-day sit-in protest in the capital Islamabad ended on 13 November. Demonstrators have blocked main roads in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces since 15 November. They are expected to continue obstructing routes connecting major cities until at least 18 November.
Members in the capital Lima and other urban centres on 21 November should anticipate and avoid protests related to a nationwide strike by the SUTEP teachers’ union. While any associated demonstrations have thus far not been announced, potential protest locations in Lima include Congreso de la Republica, Palacio de Gobierno and Plaza San Martin. SUTEP is organising the work stoppage to demand better salaries and an increase in education budget.
Latest update: outbreak continues. An increase in dengue activity has been reported, with a national epidemic declared on 6 August. 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.
Members on Luzon island, particularly its northern regions, should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Typhoon Kalmaegi. The typhoon, known locally as Ramon, is forecast to make landfall in the afternoon or evening of 19 November over Calayan municipality (Cagayan province) before weakening back into a tropical storm. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has issued flood advisories for Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain (all Cordillera Administrative Region), Cagayan, Isabela, Batanes (all Cagayan Valley region) and Ilocos Norte (Ilocos region) provinces.
Members should continue to exercise caution and follow all official directives after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck betweenKadingilanand Dangcagan (Bukidnon province, Mindanao island) at 21.22 (local time) on 18 November. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has revised the temblor's depth to 8.1 miles (13km). At least three people have been injured and several buildings in Don Carlos and Kadingilan municipalities (both Bukidnon) were damaged. Aftershocks have been recorded and more can be expected. This tremor follows a series of strong earthquakes that killed at least 23 people and injured 600 others in October.
Members in the capital Lisbon on 21 November should plan journeys bypassing a demonstration by police officers, to minimise inconvenience. Participants at 13.00 (local time) will gather in Marques de Pombal Square before marching towards the National Assembly (parliament). The event is being held in protest at salaries and working conditions.
Members in the capital San Juan should anticipate disruption around a rally on Puerto Rico Discovery Day on 19 November. The 'March for Peace' will travel from Parque Luis Munoz Rivera to El Capitolio; previous years' events have begun at 11.00 (local time). Puerto Rico Discovery Day, celebrating Christopher Columbus' landing on the island in 1493, is a public holiday. Attendance at the march, a civil society initiative from the 2000s, is expected to be in excess of 10,000. Dozens of streets will be closed and transport disrupted in other areas. VIPs attendees will include new governor Wanda Vazquez Garced.
Members in Barcelona (Catalonia autonomous community) on 19 and 21 November should avoid anti-fascist demonstrations scheduled to be held at 10.00 (local time) outside the Ciutat de la Justicia.The demonstrations have been called by university students belonging to the ‘Desemmascarem El Feixisme’ (Let’s Unmask Fascism) group. Members should expect an increased police presence in the vicinity of the gatherings.
Latest update: Cases increasing. Measles cases have been confirmed. 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 in and around the commercial capital Istanbul (Istanbul province) in the coming hours should plan journeys accounting for travel disruption due to dense fog. Poor visibility on 18 November resulted in temporary flight disruption at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). Ferry services by Istanbul’s fast ferry provider IDO remain cancelled until the fog clears. Dangerous driving conditions are also likely due to low visibility. Members should exercise caution and allow additional time for road travel.
Members in the capital Kyiv and other urban centres on 21 November should anticipate heightened security and associated disruption around events related to Dignity and Freedom Day. Related traffic delays are likely in downtown Kyiv, especially around Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), Khreschatyk Street and Heroyiv Nebesnoyi Sotni Alley. Separately, the Movement Against Capitulation will hold a large demonstration at Independence Square from 19.00 (local time) on the day. The rally is being held against President Volodymyr Zelensky's recent signing of the controversial 'Steinmeier formula' to resolve the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.
Members on essential travel in Venezuela on 18-21 November should minimise non-essential movement and avoid planned demonstrations due to the risk of unrest. The National Assembly-recognised interim president Juan Guaido called further nationwide protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s government; these will coincide with various union strikes. An estimated 700,000 people attended related rallies on 16 November. On 21 November, students will march to Fuerte Tiunaarea in the capital Caracas to demand military aide for the opposition movement. Demonstrators are likely to gather outside government buildings and may erect roadblocks on key routes, causing travel disruption.