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.
Today, 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 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.
On Monday, April 22, travelers in Rio de Janeiro should plan routes bypassing protests associated with a 24-hour strike by municipal cleaners to minimize inconvenience. While details of specific related demonstrations are unclear, a gathering at City Hall is likely. The work stoppage has been called in connection with a wage dispute.
Travelers in Quebec province, including the cities of Montreal and Laval, should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due forecast heavy rainfall and floods. Authorities in Laval have declared a State of Emergency, while officials in the municipalities of Rigaud and Pointe-Fortune have urged residents to evacuate their homes in the next 24 hours. The severe weather is liable to cause short-notice flight disruption and make driving conditions hazardous. Travelers in affected areas should maintain flexible itineraries and follow all official directives.
Today, 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.
Travelers in Israel should expect increased security and associated disruption during the Jewish festival of Passover, which is set to begin today at sunset and end on the evening of April 27. Passover this year comes after the Israeli Parliamentary Elections, which saw the right-wing Likud Party of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu win the most seats in the Knesset. Related political gatherings are likely during the period, and travelers should avoid them as a precaution.
Travelers in Algiers and other urban centers should continue to avoid anti-government protests due to the disruption these cause and the potential for unrest. Further major demonstrations are expected today after Friday prayers; similar protests have brought traffic in Algiers to a standstill, and tight security should be expected. Demonstrators are calling for an overhaul of the entire political system, after the resignation of longstanding president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on April 2. A number of Bouteflika allies have since resigned under public pressure. Protests may also be buoyed by the anniversary of the 1980 “Berber Spring” tomorrow.
An outbreak of Ebola continues to grow in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Key response activities continue to be challenged but have progressively resumed despite ongoing security issues. Ebola is spread by contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of infected or dead people. Healthcare workers, household members, and people participating in traditional funeral practices are at high risk. Non-essential travel to affected areas should be deferred. Travelers should prevent infection by paying strict attention to hygiene and avoiding contact with blood and body fluids. Travelers should not participate in traditional funerals or go to health facilities where Ebola patients are being treated.
Today, travelers in urban centers, including Conakry, should avoid all protests associated with a nationwide indefinite strike by higher education teachers. Teachers are demanding an improvement in working conditions and the payment of salary arrears. Police have forcibly dispersed several previous teachers’ demonstrations.
On May 1, travelers in urban centers should avoid all rallies marking International Labor Day and anticipate related traffic disruption. COSATU, the country’s largest trade union federation, has organized a number of events, which are scheduled to begin simultaneously at 9:00 AM local time. In addition, SAFTU, the country’s second largest trade union, will hold concurrent rallies at 10:00 AM local time. Heightened security measures, potentially including road closures and police cordons, are likely near such events.
Travelers should anticipate disruption linked to rotating scheduled power outages, locally known as “load shedding,” by state-owned power provider Eskom. The intermittent outages have led to significant traffic congestion, while criminals take advantage of blackouts, particularly at night, to target residences and vehicles in traffic. The outages have also disrupted water supplies in Johannesburg, which could worsen if the load shedding remains frequent. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries, exercise increased caution, and ensure accommodations have features necessary to cope with outages.
Travelers in Kampala and Entebbe should anticipate and avoid protests around a concert on Monday, April 22 by opposition MP Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine). Wine has stated he intends to go ahead with the event despite not receiving official permission. Authorities blocked a concert by Wine in the Busabala area of Kampala on December 26, 2018, sparking protests at the venue and in Kampala. Protestors also blocked the A109 Road between Kampala and Entebbe. Security forces have previously used tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition to disperse such protests.
Today, police said that operations had resumed at Karratha Airport (KTA) following the end of a security operation. The airport was closed at around 11:20 AM local time following the discovery of a suspicious object. Passengers transiting the facility should reconfirm schedules due to the potential for residual delays.
Today, travelers in Dhaka should avoid a planned rally by the ruling Awami League-led alliance at Suhrawardy Udyan. The event has been organized to mark the formation of Bangladesh’s first government. Further details of the rally have yet to be confirmed.
Today and tomorrow, passengers transiting Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport (CAN) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flight schedules due to ongoing adverse weather conditions. The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has forecast heavy rainfall through tomorrow. The agency has issued a Yellow Warning (second-lowest level on a four-tier scale) for thunderstorms in Guangzhou. At least 174 flights at the airport have been canceled more than 90 others have been delayed. Train services in Guangzhou are also reportedly disrupted. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries.
Travelers should continue to expect heightened security and avoid gatherings related to the ongoing General Elections. The remaining five phases of the polls will be held on April 23 and 29, as well as May 6, 12 and 19; results will be announced on May 23. Sporadic incidents of violence, mostly around polling booths, were reported during the first two phases on April 11 and 18. While widespread unrest is unlikely, such incidents highlight the need to avoid election-related gatherings and venues as a precaution.
The domestic terminal of Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), which serves Denpasar, was evacuated today due to a fire. Details are emerging. Today, travelers in Jakarta should anticipate traffic disruption and avoid a celebratory gathering for main opposition Presidential Candidate Prabowo Subianto. The event has been moved to Prabowo’s residence on Jalan Kertanegara at 12:30 PM local time, after a permit was not granted for a gathering at the National Monument. A substantial turnout is still expected. Prabowo has claimed victory in the April 17 Presidential Election, though official results have yet to be released, and unofficial “quick counts” put incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in the lead.
Travelers in Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine should anticipate travel disruption and heightened security around Orthodox Palm Sunday and Easter celebrations from Sunday, April 21 through Monday, April 29. Celebratory processions are liable to affect road travel, while businesses and government offices in Georgia and Ukraine will be closed for public holidays during this period. Travelers in affected locations should confirm the status of routes before setting out.
Today through Sunday, April 21, travelers in Copenhagen and other urban centers should avoid further opposing demonstrations around the far-right Stram Kurs (SK) party. Four protests are planned, including in the suburbs of Copenhagen today. Police banned a protest planned for April 17 over concerns of violence, after a protest on April 14 descended into rioting and violence in several parts of the city. Counter-protests have also resulted in local disturbances.
Today, travelers in Rome should plan journeys bypassing a rally by climate activists at 10:30 AM local time at Piazza del Popolo. The “Fridays for Future” rally is part of a series of weekly gatherings by students demanding concrete action to combat climate change. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who inspired the creation of the student movement, will participate in the event. As such, the gathering is likely to be very well attended, causing local disruption.
On Tuesday, April 23, travelers in Irkutsk should avoid an anti-corruption rally as a precaution. Participants will gather from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM local time at Ploshchad Truda; authorities have approved the event. Organizers expect around 1,000 people to participate in the rally.
Today, travelers in Kiev should avoid the vicinity of the Olimpiyskiy Stadium during a scheduled debate between Presidential Candidates Petro Poroshenko and Vlodymyr Zelenskiy. According to authorities, 60,000 people are expected to attend, while around 10,000 security force personnel will be deployed in the area throughout the day. Movement restrictions will be in place around the stadium. Both politicians have called on their supporters to hold rallies during today’s debate, and there is potential for local scuffles between rival demonstrators.
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 today 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.
Today through Monday, April 22, as well as from May 4-6, rail travelers transiting London Euston Station should anticipate disruption and reconfirm schedules prior to setting out. The facility will be closed due to planned maintenance work. Travelers in Londonderry should continue to exercise caution following fatal clashes in the Creggan area last night. The violence was sparked by police raids in the Mulroy Gardens and Galliagh areas of the city earlier that day. Protesters hurled petrol bombs and fired shots at security forces; one bystander was killed. Authorities claim that dissident republicans are responsible for the episode, which they are treating as a terrorist incident.
Travelers should continue to anticipate disruption during protests by the Extinction Rebellion (XR) environmental activist group and avoid them where possible. The demonstrations are focused on London but may periodically affect other urban centers. Today, the group plans to protest at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) in an attempt to disrupt its operations; airport authorities stated they will work to operate as normal. “Shut down London” protests are scheduled through April 29 around the city’s central locations, where participants intend to bring traffic to a standstill.