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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 18 APR 2019 APRIL 18, 2019

Date 18 Apr 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

Regional

Today through Sunday, April 21, travelers visiting Latin America around the Semana Santa (Holy Week) holiday period should plan journeys accounting for significant travel disruption and heightened security. Semana Santa is a religious festival celebrated extensively across the Americas, drawing large numbers of travelers from within and outside the region to key religious sites and popular tourist attractions. Religious processions are traditionally held in major cities and towns, particularly on Easter Sunday, April 21. Travelers should continue to observe sensible security precautions and allow additional time to complete journeys during the holiday period.

United States

Today and tomorrow, travelers in midwest, southeast or southwest regions should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to stormy weather conditions. Poor weather is forecast to produce hailstorms, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, and tornadoes. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a warning for several locations including Mississippi, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New Mexico, as well as the Texas Panhandle region and southeastern parts of Kansas. The severe weather is liable to cause flight disruption and make driving conditions hazardous at short notice.

Ecuador

Travelers in Quito should anticipate and avoid further demonstrations against the government of President Lenin Moreno. On April 16, clashes occurred between demonstrators and police near the San Agustin Church during a rally to Palacio de Carondelet. At least five people were arrested. Yesterday, a related rally in Quito passed off peacefully. The protests were held to denounce unemployment and to demand education reforms, among other issues.

Nicaragua

Tomorrow, travelers should exercise caution and minimize non-essential movement on the anniversary of the beginning of the opposition campaign against President Daniel Ortega. While no demonstrations have been formally announced, the Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) coalition has ramped up its actions in recent days. As a precaution, the US Embassy has restricted staff movement in Managua. Security forces are liable to use lethal and non-lethal measures to intimidate and disperse protesters, posing incidental risks to bystanders.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Burkina Faso

At least three members of the ethnic-Fulani community were killed in communal clashes on April 16 in Diabatou village, located along Highway N6 in Komondjari province. A curfew from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM local time remains in place through May 12 in Est. The measure was imposed following attacks against military patrols. Non-essential travel to northern and eastern regions should be avoided due to the persistent risks posed by militancy and associated communal violence.

Cote d’Ivoire

Travelers in urban centers, including Abidjan, should avoid all demonstrations associated with a four-day nationwide strike by university professors from April 29 through May 2. Members of the CNEC union are demanding improved housing allowances. The move follows a month-long suspension of previous industrial action by teachers over working conditions, benefits, and wages. CNEC has criticized the government’s perceived refusal to negotiate during the period of suspension.

Guinea

Travelers in urban centers, including Conakry, should avoid all protests associated with a nationwide indefinite strike by higher education teachers beginning today. The teachers are demanding an improvement in working conditions and the payment of salary arrears. Police have forcibly dispersed several previous teachers’ demonstrations.

Kenya

Today through Monday, April 22, travelers visiting Kenya should plan journeys accounting for heightened security and associated travel disruption around the Easter holiday. Additional police officers will be stationed at religious sites and entertainment venues. Increased security patrols can also be expected along major highways and at airports, including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). Although the measures are not in response to a specific threat, travelers should continue to observe sensible precautions and minimize time spent around potential militant targets.

Lebanon

Travelers in Beirut and other urban centers should anticipate further demonstrations by public sector employees and retirees over possible wage cuts, pension reductions, and other austerity measures. Today, around 2,000 civil servants demonstrated outside Parliament in Beirut. On April 16, retired security force personnel used burning tires to block sections of the Beirut-Sidon Highway, while gatherings also took place in Chekka, Tyre, and Aley. Further demonstrations are likely, particularly if the government proceeds with the planned austerity measures. Travelers should avoid all gatherings as a precaution.

Niger

All travel to areas of Diffa region that border Nigeria should be avoided due to a recent increase in attacks by the Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. Curfew timings in the region were strengthened on April 10; no movement via motor vehicles is allowed between 7:00 PM and 5:00 AM local time, while all other movement, such as walking, is forbidden from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM local time. A State of Emergency in the regions of Diffa, Tahoua, and Tillaberi remains in place through June 18.

Somalia

Today, travelers in Mogadishu should avoid planned anti-government protests. One rally will begin at 8:00 AM local time at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and proceed to an unspecified location. A heightened security force presence has already been reported throughout the city. Police are liable to use forceful measures, including live ammunition, to disperse any gatherings.

South Africa

Today, travelers in Johannesburg should anticipate disruption in and around the central business district during a march starting at 10:00 AM local time from Mary Fitzgerald Square to the Constitutional Court. The march has been organized by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party against harassment of and violence towards women.

Sudan

Today, travelers in Khartoum should continue to minimize non-essential movement and avoid the vicinity of planned demonstrations. The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called on supporters to gather at Shambat Square at 4:00 PM local time and march along al-Ma Una Street to the Military Headquarters to join an ongoing sit-in. The march is anticipated to be well-attended. In addition, the SPA has called on mothers of protesters killed during demonstrations since December 2018 to join the sit-in at 4:00 PM local time. All such events should be avoided due to the credible risk of unrest.

Zimbabwe

Today, travelers in urban centers should anticipate heightened security and associated disruption during Independence Day events. In Harare, official celebrations will be held at the National Sports Stadium; President Emmerson Mnangagwa will attend the event. Related events are also planned at the following locations: White City Stadium in Bulawayo; Somhlolo Stadium in Lupane; Phelandaba Stadium in Gwanda; and Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo. Travelers should plan journeys avoiding all such gatherings to minimize delays.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Regional

An outbreak of measles centered around the Hong Kong International Airport continues. Authorities have established vaccination stations for airport staff. 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 travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.

India

Effective immediately, Jet Airways will be suspending all its domestic and international operations due to a lack of interim funding from lenders. Passengers ticketed on Jet Airways should make alternate arrangements. Travelers in India should continue to expect heightened security and avoid gatherings related to the General Election, which is being held in seven phases through May 19. The first phase on April 11 concluded with sporadic incidents of violence, mostly around polling booths. While widespread unrest is unlikely, such incidents highlight the need to avoid election-related gatherings and venues as a precaution. The other polling phases are scheduled for today, as well as April 23 and 29, followed by May 6, 12 and 19. The results are expected to be announced on May 23.

Indonesia

Tomorrow, travelers in Jakarta should anticipate traffic disruption and avoid a celebratory rally at the National Monument called by main opposition Presidential Candidate Prabowo Subianto. The event is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM local time after evening prayers and is likely to draw a substantial turnout. Prabowo has publicly claimed victory in yesterday’s Presidential Election, though official results have yet to be released. Cases of dengue are expected to increase through the end of the rainy season, which typically lasts through April. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes and is present throughout the country. The disease 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 traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.

Maldives

A surge in cases of dengue have been reported across the island, including in Male. 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 traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.

Nepal

Travelers in Jumla district should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights due to the closure of Jumla Airport (JUM) beginning today. The airport will close for 20 days for maintenance work on its only runway. Domestic flights operated by Tara Airlines, Sita Air, Summit Air, and Nepal Airlines will be impacted.

Taiwan

Travelers in Taiwan should plan journeys accounting for possible disruption and continue to follow official directives following a magnitude 6.1 earthquake at 1:01 PM local time today. According to the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau (CWB), the temblor struck around seven miles northwest of Hualien City. Tremors were felt throughout the country, including in Taipei, 67 miles north of the epicenter in Xiulin township. Train services, including the high-speed railway, were suspended throughout the country while train tracks were checked for damage, but are due to resume at around 4:00 PM local time.

EUROPE

France

Two metro stations have reopened in the vicinity of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, following the major fire on April 15 that caused the collapse of the building’s spire and roof. Cluny-La Sorbonne metro station is now completely open, while limited services are stopping at Saint-Michel-Notre-Dame station. Ile de la Cite, the island in the Seine River on which Notre-Dame sits, remains cordoned off, and Cite metro station is still closed. Travelers should continue to avoid the affected area and follow all official directives. Authorities say they will be continuing safety checks on the building for at least the next 48 hours.

Montenegro

Today, travelers in Podgorica should continue to anticipate and avoid anti-government demonstrations as a precaution. A related rally is due to be held outside the Public Prosecutors’ office at 7:00 PM local time, while protests are continuing to take place every Saturday at 6:00 PM local time at Trg Nezavisnosti. Participants are denouncing perceived poor governance and alleged corruption, and are demanding the resignation of President Milo Djukanovic.

Russia

On April 26, travelers in the North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia should avoid a planned rally in Magas. The demonstration, which is being held over a proposed land swap with the neighboring republic of Chechnya, has not been authorized by authorities. Today, authorities declared an unattended bag found at Yakutsk Airport (YKS) to be safe. The discovery of the bag had prompted the evacuation of the facility earlier in the day. Passengers have since been allowed back in the terminal and roads around the facility have reopened. Passengers transiting Yakutsk Airport should expect normal operations.

Ukraine

Today, passengers transiting Odessa International Airport (ODS) should anticipate residual disruption as services normalize following a hoax bomb threat. The airport was evacuated while security forces conducted a search, but no explosives were found.

On Sunday, April 21, Ukraine will hold a second and final round to determine the winner of its closely contested Presidential Election. Although voting is likely to pass off peacefully, there will be a heightened security force presence in high-profile public spaces and around polling stations. Ukraine’s security environment remains largely unchanged, though there is increased potential for unrest in the aftermath of the vote. Non-essential travel should be deferred tomorrow through Monday, April 22 as a precaution. Those in-country on Election Day should monitor developments, minimize movement and avoid potential flashpoints, such as polling stations, party offices, central squares and Russian-linked institutions.

United Kingdom

Travelers in the UK should continue to anticipate disruption during further protests by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmental activist group and avoid them where possible. The demonstrations, which are intended to prompt greater government action on climate change, are chiefly focused on London, but may periodically affect other urban centers. “Shut down London” protests are scheduled through April 29 around the city’s central locations, where participants intend to bring traffic to a standstill.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

April 17
American Samoa: Flag Day
Gabon: Women’s Rights Day
India: Mahavir Jayanti
Syria: Independence Day

April 18
Holy Thursday
Zimbabwe: Independence Day

April 20
Holy Saturday
Argentina, Australia, Canada,
Israel, United Kingdom, United
States: First Day of Passover
Philippines: Black Saturday
Pakistan: Shab e-Barat

April 21
Easter Sunday
Argentina: Second Day of Passover
Bangladesh: Shab e-Barat
Brazil: Tiradentes Day
Falkland Islands: Queen’s Birthday
Israel: Pesach II (Passover)
Iran: Imam Mahdi’s Birthday
Pakistan: Ridván
United States: San Jacinto Day

April 22
Easter Monday
Canada: St. George’s Day
Falkland Islands: Queen’s Birthday
(Observed)
Israel: Pesach III (Passover)
Serbia: Holocaust Remembrance

Day
United States: Confederate
Memorial Day
Uruguay: Landing of the 33
Orientals
South Africa: Family Day

April 23
Australia: Easter Tuesday
Colombia: Language Day
Spain: Day of Aragón
Spain: Castile and León Day
Israel: Pesach IV (Passover)
Nauru: Easter Tuesday
New Zealand: Southland
Anniversary Day

April 23
Turkey: National Sovereignty and
Children’s Day
United Kingdom: St. George’s Day
Holy See: St George’s Feast
Kosovo: Day of Turks

April 24
Armenia: Genocide Remembrance

Day
Argentina: Action Day for
Tolerance and Respect between
People
Israel: Pesach V (Passover)
Niger: Concord Day

April 25
Argentina: Sixth Day of Passover
Australia: ANZAC Day
Cook Islands: ANZAC Day
Egypt: Sinai Liberation Day
Faroe Islands: National Flag Day
Israel: Pesach VI (Passover)
Iceland: First Day of Summer
Italy: Liberation Day
Italy: The Feast of St Mark
North Korea: Chosun People’s
Army Foundation Day
New Zealand: ANZAC Day
Portugal: Liberty Day
eSwatini: National Flag Day
Tonga: ANZAC Day

April 26
Good Friday (Orthodox)
Argentina: Seventh Day of
Passover
Belarus: Day of Remembrance of
the Chernobyl Tragedy
Colombia: Secretaries’ Day
Israel: Pesach VII (Last Day of
Passover)
Mongolia: Intellectual Property

Day
Tanzania: Union Day
United States: Arbor Day

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