An outbreak of mumps has been reported in Philadelphia, PA. Mumps is caused by a virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. It is highly contagious, and nearly all cases occur among unvaccinated people. Symptoms include fever, painful and swollen glands, pain when swallowing, and in men, inflammation of the testes. Serious complications can occur. All travelers should ensure they are fully vaccinated against mumps.
Today, travelers in urban centers, including Buenos Aires, should expect significant disruption and avoid demonstrations linked to a nationwide strike called by multiple public sector workers’ unions. Participating groups have said they will attempt to block access routes to Buenos Aires. Related rallies are also due to be held on main roads and at other key points across the country. The strike has been called to highlight various socio-economic grievances.
Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should avoid protests over the impeachment of a judge involved in corruption investigations. In Buenos Aires, activists will gather at 7:00 AM local time at Plaza Tribunales. The government has called for the removal of the judge, who is investigating allegations of corruption and espionage during the administration of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Travelers in southwestern departments of Cauca, Huila, Narino, and Valle de Cauca should continue to plan journeys anticipating roadblocks and avoiding ongoing protests by indigenous groups. Roadblocks have halted transportation along major roads including the Pan-American Highway between Cali and Popayan, as well as on Highway 24 to La Plata and Highway 20 to Pitalito. The roadblocks are affecting commercial transportation and have created shortages of goods and fuel.
Today, 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.
Today and tomorrow, 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 today and 11:59 PM local time on Saturday, March 23. Exemptions will only be made for humanitarian and medical reasons, as well as in exceptional circumstances.
Tomorrow, travelers in the Kurdistan Region and areas of federal Iraq with a significant Kurdish population should anticipate disruption to business activity during Newroz. A heightened security force presence, including pre-emptive security operations, is likely in the days preceding the holiday, as well as the deployment of additional personnel during celebrations. Due to the increased number of people on the roads, travelers should exercise enhanced caution while driving. There is an increased risk of militancy and unrest in northern provinces of federal Iraq. All gatherings should be avoided.
Non-essential travel to Manica, Zambezia and Sofala provinces, as well as several districts in Niassa, Gaza, Inhambane and Tete provinces, should be deferred until further notice following the passage of former Tropical Cyclone Idai. The Mozambique National Institute for Meteorology (INAM) has warned of severe thunderstorms and strong winds in these locations through tomorrow and residual rainfall until March 25. The adverse weather will exacerbate flooding and associated damage caused by Idai.
Travelers in the West Bank should exercise caution near the Ariel settlement and Nablus City following recent attacks. On March 17, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli soldier at the settlement entrance before shooting a civilian and another soldier. The assailant drove off while continuing to fire at Israeli troops. He was killed yesterday during a security operation by Israel Defense Forces. Today, clashes erupted in the Joseph’s Tomb area of Nablus; two Palestinians were fatally shot by Israeli troops.
Today, passengers transiting Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) should expect a heightened security force presence at the facility during a planned security drill. The exercise is scheduled to take place from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM local time; further details on what the drill will entail have not been announced. Operations will continue, and flight schedules will not be impacted.
Non-essential travel to the districts of Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare, and Nyanga should be deferred through March 26 after the passage of former Tropical Cyclone Idai. Authorities have declared a State of Disaster in these districts after at least 98 people were killed in storm-related incidents, and transportation infrastructure, communications networks, and electricity supplies were severely damaged or disrupted. Sporadic rain and thunderstorms will continue across affected provinces through Friday, March 22.
Travelers in Dhaka should anticipate and avoid potentially disruptive protests over the death of a student in a road accident yesterday. Students held protests and blocked roads in several areas, including Basundhara, Dhanmondi, Farmgate, Ray Shaheb Bazar, Shahbagh and the Tejgaon Industrial Area yesterday. Similar demonstrations were reported on March 18. Protesters were demanding better traffic safety measures, including pedestrian overbridges near educational institutions.
Normal services have resumed on the Tsuen Wan Line of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) between Central and Admiralty stations. A train collision on March 18 caused a two-day disruption of services. The line is now fully operational.
Today through Friday, March 22, travelers in the Kashmir Valley should avoid all protests related to the death of a school teacher allegedly while in police custody. The separatist Joint Resistance Leadership group has called for a bandh (shutdown strike) today, while protests are due to be held tomorrow and Friday, March 22. Gatherings on Friday, March 22 are likely to be held after midday prayers. There is a potential for violence during separatist gatherings, while the bandh is likely to cause disruption to transportation and commercial activities. Passengers of Jet Airways should anticipate disruption and reconfirm schedules due to the reduced number of flights. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, ongoing financial turmoil has forced Jet Airways to ground much of its fleet; only 41 of more than 100 aircraft are currently operating as of yesterday. Pilots have threatened to stage an indefinite strike if the carrier fails to pay delayed salaries by March 31.
Today, travelers in Astana should plan journeys avoiding the Parliament building due to the Inauguration of KassymJomart Tokayev as the acting President. The ceremony, which began at 12:00 PM local time, comes after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev yesterday. Heightened security measures and associated disruption are likely in the area.
Today, a magnitude 5.5 earthquake was reported ten miles south of Acipayam. The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of seven miles, was felt in neighboring Izmir and Antalya provinces. Travelers in these provinces, especially in Denizli, should exercise caution and anticipate disruption.
Business and travel disruption should be anticipated around Nowruz across Central Asia and in parts of eastern Europe. The spring festival, which is celebrated by Turkic and Persian communities across the region, will begin tomorrow and last several days. Nowruz is a national holiday in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Disruption to business activity is likely, as well as a heightened security force presence and possible traffic restrictions around celebratory events. Travelers should reconfirm appointments during this period, as many businesses, banks and government offices will be closed.
On March 18, police announced that they had arrested the main suspect in a shooting earlier in the day at 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht. The suspect, Turkish-born Gokmen Tanis, had earlier been named in connection with the incident. Authorities arrested two more men the following day. At least three people were killed, and three others injured during the shooting on a tram at 10:45 AM local time. An increased police presence is likely in the city in the aftermath of the incident; travelers should follow all official directives.
On Saturday, March 23, travelers in Barcelona should plan journeys avoiding a rally against the far-right Vox political party. Participants will gather at 5:00 PM local time at Jardinets de Gracia and march to Gran Via along Passeig de Gracia.