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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 19 MAR 2019 MARCH 19, 2019

Date 19 Mar 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

United States

Ongoing clusters of measles cases have been reported in the borough of Brooklyn and Rockland County, NY. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in undervaccinated 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.

An outbreak of measles is ongoing in Clark County, WA. 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.

Colombia

Today and tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should anticipate and avoid rallies linked to a 48-hour nationwide strike by the Fecode teachers’ union. The union is demanding more funding for infrastructure and education in the government’s proposed National Development Plan. The strike will culminate with marches through Bogota and other urban centers tomorrow. All such gatherings should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience.

Nicaragua

Tomorrow, travelers in Managua should avoid protests called by the opposition Blue and White National Unity (UNAB) coalition. Demonstrators will gather at 6:00 PM local time at the city’s roundabouts, likely including Centroamerica, Ruben Dario, Jean Paul Genie, and Cristo Rey. Additional protest flashpoints include Metrocentro and the Pan-American Highway, as well as the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and Central American University (UCA) campuses. Travelers should anticipate a heavy police presence. There is a credible risk of clashes between police and protesters; demonstrations on March 16 resulted in significant disruption.

Venezuela

Today, travelers in Caracas should avoid demonstrations organized by the opposition “Frente Amplio” coalition due to the risk of unrest. At 9:00 AM local time, demonstrators calling for the approval of new labor legislation will march from Plaza Morelos to the National Assembly building. A separate rally denouncing the administration of President Nicolas Maduro will take place at 3:00 PM local time in front of the UN Development Program (PNUD) office. Frente Amplio is supportive of Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President, who has called for demonstrations demanding Maduro’s resignation.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Regional

Tomorrow and Thursday, March 21, travelers in Israel and the Palestinian Territories should anticipate heightened security and travel disruption around the Jewish festival of Purim. Caution should also be exercised near sensitive religious sites and large gatherings. Israeli authorities will prevent Palestinians from entering or leaving the West Bank, and seal all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, between 12:01 AM local time tomorrow and 11:59 PM local time on Saturday, March 23. Exemptions will only be made for humanitarian and medical reasons, as well as exceptional circumstances.

Travelers in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe should exercise caution and anticipate residual disruption linked to the passage of former Tropical Cyclone Idai. The storm, which made landfall on March 14-15 near Beira, brought heavy rain and strong winds that significantly damaged transportation infrastructure in parts of Mozambique, southern Malawi, and eastern Zimbabwe; at least 215 people have been killed, and 1.5 million people affected. The storm is expected to bring similar conditions to Zambia’s Central, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern and Southern provinces, as well as parts of Eastern province, through tomorrow.

Algeria

Travelers should continue to exercise caution and avoid all demonstrations after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from the Presidential Election on March 11. The poll, originally scheduled for April 18, has been postponed indefinitely. Although newly-appointed Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui announced further concessions to protesters on March 14, opposition groups have largely ruled out compromising with the government. Fresh nationwide demonstrations are scheduled for today, including rallies by doctors outside hospitals in urban centers. In Algiers, doctors will gather from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM local time outside the Mustapha Bacha Hospital.

Benin

Travelers in Benin should avoid all gatherings ahead of the April 28 Legislative Elections due to the potential for unrest. Heightened security measures can be expected in major cities in the run-up to Election Day.

Comoros

Travelers in Comoros should monitor developments and avoid all political gatherings ahead of the March 24 Presidential and Regional Elections as a precaution. A second round will occur on April 21 if no candidate secures 50% of the vote. Tensions have been high ahead of the polls, following an assassination attempt on President Azali Assoumani on March 7 during a campaign visit to Anjouan Island. All gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.

Egypt

Today, travelers using the Cairo-Alamein Desert Highway should confirm the route’s status prior to setting out and allow additional time for journeys due to of heavy fog and poor visibility. Authorities closed the highway, which connects Alamein and Marsa Matrouh to Cairo, at around 6:45 AM local time.

Ghana

Travelers in Winneba should plan routes bypassing the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) Campus, following unrest during recent demonstrations by UEW students. On March 13-14, security forces dispersed protesting students with tear gas and warning shots, injuring at least ten people. The demonstrators are calling for the reinstatement of recently terminated lecturers.

Iran

Non-essential travel to border areas with Iraq should be deferred after a border guard was killed in clashes with a group of bandits and smugglers on March 17 near Baneh. On March 15, clashes between Iranian border guards and an armed Kurdish group occurred in Marivan, around 37 miles south of Baneh; no casualties were reported.

Jordan

On Friday, March 22, travelers in Amman should avoid a demonstration at 12:30 PM local time outside the Grand Husseini Mosque. The rally is being held against a 2016 gas deal between Jordan and Israel. The protest is expected to pass off peacefully, though local disruption is possible.

Today, travelers in Amman should avoid a planned demonstration by regular taxi drivers outside Parliament as a precaution. The gathering was called in protest of alleged regulation violations and unfair competition by app-based ride-share services.

Kenya

Today through March 28, passengers transiting Kisumu International Airport (KIS) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights due to ongoing runway expansion work. The runway will be completely closed today; however, it will be operational from 6:45 AM to 7:00 PM local time tomorrow through March 28.

Mali

Today, travelers in Bamako should avoid demonstrations by police officers as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. Several police unions have called for sit-in protests over the non-implementation of a 2018 agreement on working conditions. A gathering will be held at the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection at an unspecified time. Participating unions have threatened further “coercive action” if their demands are not met.

Morocco

Travelers in urban centers should avoid demonstrations linked to nationwide teachers’ strikes as a precaution and to minimize inconvenience. Teachers’ unions and activist groups are protesting over contractual issues, working conditions, and salaries. The FNE union has called for nationwide strikes on March 26-28. In Rabat, flashpoints for associated protests include the Education Ministry and Parliament, as well as federal and regional government buildings. There is potential for local unrest during such gatherings, as well as travel disruption.

Mozambique

At least 13 people were killed, and 120 houses destroyed on March 14-15 after armed assailants attacked the villages of Ulo, Nabajo, and Maculo. Travelers in Cabo Delgado province should exercise increased vigilance.

Palestinian Territories

Travelers in the West Bank should exercise caution near the Ariel settlement during an ongoing security operation following a knife and gun attack. A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier at the settlement entrance before seizing the victim’s rifle and opening fire on passing vehicles on March 17. He then shot an Israeli man and stole his car, firing from the vehicle towards Israeli troops at the Ariel and Gitai Avishar junctions on Highway 5, before fleeing to a nearby village. At least one Israeli was killed, and two others injured.

South Africa

Today, travelers in Cape Town should avoid an ongoing protest by the South African Police and Allied Workers Union (SAPAWU) outside the Parliament building over pay and work conditions. Although the demonstration is likely to be peaceful, travelers should avoid it to minimize delays.

Sudan

Today, travelers should exercise caution during a planned day of civil disobedience. The Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) has called on public sector workers to stay away from work and for a boycott of government goods and services. The strike will likely be accompanied by demonstrations. Any attempt to block roads will provoke a forceful response from security forces. The level of participation is likely to differ across the country, with gatherings in Khartoum and Omdurman likely to be well attended.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Australia

Today through Thursday, March 21, travelers in the far north of Queensland state should plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Tropical Cyclone Trevor. According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the weather system is moving west, and is forecast to make landfall between Lockhart River and Coen as a Category 3 Tropical Cyclone (the third-highest on a five-tier scale) tonight.

Bangladesh

Protesting students have blocked the road in front of Jamuna Future Park in the Basundhara area of Dhaka after a student was killed by a bus earlier today. Traffic disruption has been reported on nearby roads, including Pragati Sarani Avenue, which leads to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC). Airport Road has not been affected. Travelers in Dhaka should plan journeys bypassing all related protests and reconfirm the status of routes before setting out.

China

Today, travelers in Hong Kong should expect continued disruption on the Tsuen Wan Line of the Mass Transit Railway following a train collision that occurred at 3:00 AM local time yesterday. Services between Central and Admiralty stations remain suspended, while services between Admiralty and Tsuen Wan stations are running at slower intervals. The collision occurred during a trial run for a new signaling system, leaving one driver injured. It is unclear when normal train services will resume amid difficulties clearing the wreckage. Travelers should plan alternative routes and allow additional travel time.

Fiji

An outbreak of leptospirosis has been declared in Central Division. The bacterial disease is mainly spread through contaminated water entering the body through the skin or mucous membranes. Symptoms are often mild and flu-like, but the infection can be severe. Untreated, it can cause organ failure which can be fatal. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding contact with contaminated waters.

Indonesia

Today, travelers in Surabaya should anticipate increased demand for alternative modes of transportation during a demonstration over working conditions by Go-Jek, Grab, and other drivers for app-based ride-hailing services. At least 3,000 drivers are expected to gather at 7:00 AM local time outside the Provincial Governor’s office. They will then march to the Go-Jek office and the Grab office before holding a rally at the Grahadi State Building.

New Caledonia

Travelers should anticipate disruption to travel and public services, particularly in Noumea, due to an ongoing indefinite strike by public sector workers, which began yesterday. Participants are demanding higher wages. Domestic carrier New Caledonie has canceled several domestic flights through tomorrow as firefighters at Noumea’s domestic Magenta Airport (GEA) are participating in the work stoppage. Additionally, several post offices have been closed.

Pakistan

Travelers in Islamabad should expect heightened security and associated travel disruption ahead of and during Pakistan Day on Saturday, March 23. Additional security personnel will be deployed around the Shakarparian Parade Ground to secure the annual military parade. Roads in the area will be closed on Saturday, March 23 and during parade rehearsals from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM local time on Thursday, March 21. Airspace over Islamabad will be closed from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM local time tomorrow, Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22 for parade rehearsals, and from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, March 23.

According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), partial airspace restrictions affecting over-flying flights will remain in effect through 3:00 PM local time today. Several airlines have rerouted affected flights. The airspace closure has been extended several times, and further extensions are possible. Limited operations have resumed at 11 airports in Pakistan since the airspace closure on February 27 amid increased tensions with India. Travelers should continue to expect disruption and reconfirm schedules until flight operations over Pakistan fully normalize.

EUROPE

Belgium

Police have cordoned off a large area near the British Embassy in Brussels after receiving a phone call saying that a bomb was going to explode. According to media reports, police, firefighters and medics are currently on the scene; however, it remains unclear if the Embassy has been evacuated.

France

Today, travelers should anticipate disruption during a nationwide strike called by major trade unions., While most forms of transportation should operate normally or with relatively minor disruption, flights may be delayed due to a partial strike by air traffic controllers. A related march from Boulevard Saint-Michel to Champ de Mars in Paris is due to take place at 1:00 PM local time; this and all strike-related gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.

Further transportation disruption can be expected at cross-channel hubs amid an indefinite strike by customs officials. The industrial action has affected major rail hubs, airports, and ports. In Calais, long queues of vehicles waiting to access the port or cross the Channel Tunnel have affected travel on the A16 and the A26 motorways. Yesterday, truck drivers began blocking the A16 Motorway between Ghyvelde and Teteghem-Rosendael. Eurostar has advised passengers to delay nonessential rail travel from Paris’ Gare du Nord station through tomorrow due to major delays and cancellations.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

March 19
Austria, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Holy See,
Venezeula: St Joseph’s Day Bolivia: Father Day Spain: San Jose Honduras: Father’s Day

March 20
Azerbaijan: Nowruz Congo (DRC): International Francophonie Day
Israel: Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther) Israel: Erev Purim India: Holika Dahana
Iran: Birthday of Imam Ali Sri Lanka: Madin Full Moon Poya Day
Turkmenistan: Nowruz Bayram (Spring Festival) Tunisia: Independence Day

March 21
Afghanistan: Naw Roz Australia, Canada, Israel,
United Kingdom, United States: Purim
Australia: Harmony Day Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka,
Myanmar, Mauritius, Malaysia, Pakistan, United Kingdom, United States,
South Africa: Holi Bangladesh: Doljatra Georgia: Nowruz India: Dolyatra
India: Hazarat Ali’s Birthday Iraq: Nowruz Japan: Spring Equinox
Kyrgyzstan: National Holiday “Nooruz” Kazakhstan: Nauryz Lebanon: Mother’s Day
Mexico: Benito Juárez’s Birthday Memorial Namibia: Independence Day
Pakistan: Dulhandi Suriname: Holi Phagwa Syria: Mothers’ Day
Uzbekistan: Nowruz South Africa: Human Rights Day
March 22
Albania: Nevruz Day
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday
Israel: Shushan Purim (Jerusalem)
Kazakhstan: Nauryz (Day 2)
Puerto Rico: Emancipation Day

March 23
Angola: Southern Africa Liberation Day
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday
Bolivia: Day of the Sea
Kazakhstan: Nauryz (Day 3)
Malaysia: Birthday of the Sultan of Johor
Pakistan: Pakistan Day

March 24
Argentina: Memorial Day
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday
Northern Mariana Islands: Commonwealth Covenant Day

March 25
Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday Colombia: Saint Joseph’s Day Cyprus: Greek Independence Day
Greece: 25th of March Greece, Lebanon: Annunciation of the Lord
Kazakhstan: Nauryz (Day 3) Observed New Zealand: Otago Anniversary Day United States: Seward’s Day

March 26 Azerbaijan: Nowruz/Spring Holiday Bangladesh: Independence Day
Mali: Martyrs’ Day El Salvador: National Day of Life, Peace and Justice
United States: Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day

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