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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 04 JAN 2019 JANUARY 04, 2019

Date 4 Jan 2019 | Posted by admin

THE AMERICAS

Regional

Travelers transiting the US-Mexico border should continue to reconfirm the status of crossings before setting out due to the possibility for delays and disruption. On Tuesday, January 1, US security forces fired tear gas, pepper spray and smoke-dispersing canisters at dozens of migrants, who in turn threw rocks and attempted to forcibly cross into the United States. The San Ysidro crossing remained open throughout the incident. The US reinforced security on their side of the border beginning in October, including deploying soldiers to support border officials through January 31.

Brazil

Travelers in the Fortaleza metropolitan area, including Caucaia, Maracanau and Pacatuba, should exercise caution amid ongoing violence involving suspected gang members. More than 35 incidents, mostly arson attacks, but also two suspected bombings, were reported on Wednesday, January 2 and Thursday, January 3; at least 12 people have been arrested. Authorities have deployed additional security personnel around commercial and financial institutions, and transportation hubs. The government has called for a federal military intervention, which has yet to be approved; however, more than 300 military police officers are expected to arrive in the coming days.

Jamaica

Travelers in areas currently under a State of Emergency, including in Kingston, should exercise caution due to high rates of violent crime. The measure will expire on Monday, January 7 in Kingston’s Central and Western areas, as well as in St Andrew South. It will expire on January 31 in St James parish. Authorities announced that the measure ended on Wednesday, January 2 in St Catherine North. Despite the announcement, the military will continue to patrol alongside the civilian police in these areas, albeit in reduced numbers.

Mexico

Travelers in Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, and Queretaro states should anticipate disruption due to ongoing fuel shortages. Yesterday, the stateowned petroleum company Pemex and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that supplies had normalized, though fuel station owners disputed it. The shortages have reportedly been caused by the closure of key pipelines.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Congo (DRC)

All travel to Congo (DRC) should be deferred from Sunday, January 6 through Thursday, January 10, and non-essential travel should be deferred through January 18. While incountry staff can resume movement with caution today and tomorrow, they should minimize movement between Sunday, January 6 and Thursday, January 10 and from January 15-18; they should be confident in their ability to stand fast if required. Heightened political tensions linked to the December 30 Presidential, Parliamentary and Regional elections persist amid ongoing disruption to telecommunication services, though calm is expected to prevail until provisional results are released. Results are expected on Sunday, January 6, though a delay is likely.

Egypt

Travelers in Egypt should expect an enhanced security force presence around Coptic Christian places of worship before and during Coptic Christmas celebrations on Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7, and minimize time spent around such sites as a precaution. Yesterday, the government issued a statement designating Coptic Christmas as a public holiday for the first time, and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is due to attend Christmas Mass at the new Cathedral of the Nativity, 28 miles east of Cairo on Sunday, January 6. Security has been tightened in several governorates ahead of the celebrations.

Ghana

Travelers in Chereponi and Saboba should exercise caution and abide by a recently imposed curfew. This follows clashes on December 31 between the Konkomba and Chokosi ethnic groups in Naduni that left two people dead, and several others injured. Additional security forces have been deployed to police the curfew, which was imposed yesterday and is in effect between 4:00 PM and 7:00 AM local time. Further unrest is possible.

Guinea

On Monday, January 7, travelers in Conakry should avoid a march by the Free Trade Union of Teachers and Researchers of Guinea (SLECG) due to the risk of unrest and traffic disruption. The union is demanding higher wages and has been on indefinite strike since October 3 over the issue. Protesters will march from the Gbessia International Airport (CKY) Roundabout to the central Kaloum area via Autoroute Fidel Castro. Gatherings are expected to start from 6:00 AM local time. Previous protests have been forcibly dispersed by police, posing incidental risks to travelers.

Lebanon

Today, passengers transiting Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport (BEY) should reconfirm flight schedules due to an ongoing strike by airport workers. The work stoppage is being observed over grievances related to salaries and working conditions. Although the walkout is due to end at 10:30 AM local time, delays could still occur as airlines work to clear the backlog of flights.
Travelers in urban centers, including Beirut, should avoid further protests over economic issues and months-long delays in forming a government. Several groups, including the Sabaa party and a business association, have called for a nationwide general strike today. The level of participation in the strike remains unclear; however, associated protests are possible, similar to those on December 26 in Beirut and on December 23 in Tripoli and Tyre.

Sudan

Travelers in Khartoum and other urban centers should exercise caution and avoid protests due to the risk of unrest. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called a general strike starting at 12:00 PM local time today and a march to the Presidential Palace in Khartoum at 1:00 PM local time on Sunday, January 6. An antigovernment protest is planned on Wednesday, January 9 at the National Council building in Omdurman, as well as continued nightly protests across the country. The frequency and intensity of protests has declined in recent days, most likely due to the heavy security force response.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Fiji

Flights and ferries were cancelled across Fiji for today and tomorrow ahead of the expected arrival of Tropical Cyclone Mona. Although initially forecast to make landfall today, Mona has veered off its forecast trajectory while intensifying into a Category Two Cyclone (second level on a five-tier scale). The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) now expects Mona to make landfall on Vanua Levu island on Sunday, January 6. National carrier Fiji Airways has canceled at least 28 flights for tomorrow. Travelers should continue to plan journeys accounting for potential disruption through Monday, January 7.

India

Tomorrow through Monday, January 7, travelers in the Andaman Island should expect disruption during the passage of Cyclonic Storm Pabuk. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a Pre-Cyclone Watch (the lowest level in a four-tier cyclone warning system) for the Andaman Islands. According to the IMD, Pabuk is likely to make landfall on the archipelago on Sunday, January 6.

Travelers should avoid all protests and expect disruption during a nationwide shutdown strike on Tuesday, January 8 and Wednesday, January 9. The industrial action is being organized by various national trade unions in protest of labor policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led federal government. Several state workers’ unions and banking associations have declared their support for the strike. Union leaders say they expect more than 18 million members to participate. In solidarity, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) farmers’ group has called for a “Gramin Bharat Bandh” on the same days.

Myanmar

Today and tomorrow, travelers in southern Myanmar, especially in the Tanintharyi region, should anticipate disruption during the passage of Tropical Storm Pabuk. The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology has issued Strong Wind and Storm Surge Warnings for the area; the storm liable to cause heavy rain and flooding, potentially disrupting overland travel. On its current trajectory, Pabuk is forecast to curve back and impact coastal areas of central Myanmar on Monday, January 7 and Tuesday, January 8.

Papua New Guinea

Travelers in Port Moresby should expect disruption due to ongoing flooding in low-lying areas. The Papua New Guinea National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Strong Wind Warning for all coastal areas, while Gale Wind Warnings are in place for southern inland and coastal areas. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out, including the road to Jacksons International Airport (POM).

Solomon Islands

Today and tomorrow, travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption due to the passage of Tropical Cyclone Penny south of the country’s main islands. Although the storm is not expected to make landfall in Solomon Islands, its outer bands are expected to bring heavy rains in the coming days. A Heavy Rainfall Warning issued by the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services (SIMS) is in place for all provinces. The agency has warned that the storm’s passage could cause flash flooding and landslides in low-lying areas and has urged caution for motorists undertaking road travel.

Tajikistan

Passengers of Tajik Air should reconfirm flights after the airline announced it was suspending several services due to their unprofitability. While the airline’s official press notice did not specify which routes, a spokesman later said no services would go to Khujand, St Petersburg, Delhi or Tehran until tomorrow at the earliest. Other cancellations are possible throughout January.

Thailand

All travel to Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao islands should be deferred following the suspension of flights and ferries to these locations due to the passage of Tropical Storm Pabuk. Pabuk made landfall at 12:45 PM local time today in Pak Phanang district, bringing heavy rain and strong winds. On its current trajectory, Pabuk is expected to impact Nakhon Si Thammarat, mainland Surat Thani, northern Phang-nga, southern Chumpon, and southern Ranong provinces. All nonessential travel to these areas should be deferred through tomorrow.

Europe

Regional

On Wednesday, January 9, travelers should expect disruption at the border crossing between southern Italy and France in Ventimiglia, due to a planned truck drivers’ protest around the checkpoint. Drivers are concerned that changes to European regulations could lead to unwelcome changes in rest periods. A related 24-hour strike across Italy by the Filt-Cgil and Fit-Cisl e Uiltrasporti unions on January 14 is not expected to cause major disruption. A truck drivers’ go-slow protest on December 23 along Highway 20 against new French regulations caused traffic congestion near Ventimiglia.

Belgium

Today, travelers in Brussels should avoid a demonstration between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM local time at Square du Bois. The protest is being held to demand tax reforms. The event is expected to pass off peacefully but may cause local traffic disruption.

Cyprus

Travelers should anticipate disruption due to ongoing heavy rainfall since Wednesday, January 2. Severe weather conditions are forecast through Sunday, January 6. Reports indicate that several roads were closed due to flooding and damage to infrastructure. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out.

France

On Monday, January 7, passengers of Air France transiting Marseille Provence Airport (MRS) should reconfirm flights and anticipate disruption if a planned strike proceeds. The CGT union has called on Air France employees in Marseille to walk out between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM local time in connection with a dispute over working conditions.

Hungary

Travelers in urban centers, including Budapest, should avoid all protests against an amended labor code that came into effect on Tuesday, January 1. At least 14 demonstrations are planned through Monday, January 7 in various urban centers. Tomorrow, a march will be held at 2:00 PM local time from Heroes’ Square to Kossuth Square in Budapest. Another protest is planned for 12:00 PM local time on Monday, January 7 at 5-7 Szinhaz Street.

Portugal

Travelers should avoid a series of planned protests by the “Vamos Parar Portugal” movement over fuel prices and other socio-economic grievances. Today, demonstrators plan to gather at 10:00 AM local time at the Marques de Pombal in Lisbon; related gatherings will take place at the same time on Avenue dos Aliados in Porto, Avenida 5 de Outubro in Faro, and in other urban centers. Further protests are planned on January 12, 19 and 26, though details are not currently available.

Russia

Today through Tuesday, January 8, travelers in Moscow should reconfirm the status of services and make alternative arrangements, where required, to minimize inconvenience. On the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line, the Kurskaya-Schelkovskaya section will be closed through tomorrow, and the Partizanskaya-Schelkovskaya section will be closed from Sunday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 8. Additionally, three stations on the Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line will be closed to passengers today through Tuesday, January 8, including Lermontovsky Prospekt, Julebino and Kotelniki. Replacement buses will be provided, but these are not recommended for business travelers.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

January 4
Armenia: New Year’s Day (Day 4)
Congo (DRC): Martyrs of Independence Day
Myanmar: Independence Day
Russia: New Year Holiday Week
Sao Tome & Principe: Day of King Amador

January 5
Armenia: Armenian Christmas Eve
Vietnam: Working day for Dec. 31, 2018

January 6
Andorra, Austria, Australia,
Canada, Switzerland, Cuba,
Cyprus, Germany, Dominican
Republic, Spain, Finland, Greece,
Greenland, Croatia, Italy,
Liechtenstein, Poland, Puerto Rico,
Sweden, Slovakia, San Marino,
United Kingdom, United States,
Holy See (Vatican City): Epiphany
Armenia: Armenian Christmas Day
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Orthodox Christmas Eve
Bolivia, Honduras, Peru, Uruguay,
Venezuela: The Three Wise Men Day
Bhutan: Traditional Day of Offerings
Iraq: Army Day
Montenegro, Macedonia: Christmas Eve (Orthodox)
US Virgin Islands: Three Kings Day

January 7
Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Belarus, Canada, Eritrea, Ethiopia,
Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan,
Moldova, Montenegro,
Macedonia, Republic of, Serbia,
Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom,
United States: Orthodox Christmas Day
Colombia: Epiphany
Egypt: Coptic Christmas Day
Spain: Epiphany (Observed)
Ghana: Constitution Day
Cambodia: Victory Over Genocide Day
Liberia: Pioneers Day
Panama: Day Off for Martyrs Day
Kosovo: Christmas Day
January 8
Moldova: Orthodox Christmas Day Holiday
Montenegro: Christmas Day, Day 2 (Orthodox)
Russia: New Year Holiday Week
Sudan: Coptic Christmas

January 9
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Day of the Republika Srpska
Panama: Martyr´s Day
South Sudan: Peace Agreement Day

January 10
Bangladesh: Bangabandhu Homecoming Day
Benin: Vodoun Festival
The Bahamas: Majority Rule Day
Falkland Islands: Margaret Thatcher Day

January 11
Micronesia: Kosrae Constitution Day
Morocco: Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto
Nepal: Prithvi Jayanti

January 12
Turkmenistan: Geok Tepe Memorial Day
Tanzania: Zanzibar Revolution Day

January 13
Cabo Verde: Democracy Day
India: Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
India: Lohri
Myanmar: Kayin New Year Day
Mongolia: Constitution Day
Togo: Liberation Day

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