An outbreak of measles has been reported in Michigan’s Oakland and Wayne counties. 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. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.
Travelers in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Puebla states should reconfirm the status of routes, particularly Highways 200 and 190, due to likely disruption related to a “migrant caravan.” As of Monday, March 25, around 2,500 migrants from Central America and Cuba passed Huixtla on foot via Highway 200. They intend to walk to the Mexico-US border, though an exact route has not been specified. They are likely to follow the route of past caravans, the most recent of which departed in January, passing through Oaxaca and Puebla, before arriving in Mexico City.
Today, travelers in Montevideo should avoid all protests associated with a 24-hour teacher’s strike. Members of the ADES union have called the industrial action to denounce an alleged attack on teachers on Monday, March 25 at a school in the Colon area; two staff members were injured. Details of any specific demonstrations have not been announced, though they are likely to be well attended, causing local disruption.
Today, travelers in Tanzania and Kenya transiting the Namanga border crossing should exercise caution and reconfirm itineraries due to ongoing protests in the area. Residents on the Kenyan side of the border have blocked access to the border post with burning tires following the arrest of a Kenyan resident by Tanzanian authorities.
Travelers in Algeria should closely monitor developments after Army Chief of Staff Ahmed Gaid Salah called for the implementation of Article 102 of the Constitution yesterday, which would pave the way for the impeachment of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. This comes amid similar statements from members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) and National Rally for Democracy (RND) parties. Nationwide gatherings will continue on Friday, March 29 with activists calling on Bouteflika to step down before his mandate ends on April 28. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries and avoid all gatherings amid the political uncertainty.
Travelers should anticipate and avoid protests following the announcement of the provisional results of the March 24 Presidential Election. Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that President Azali Assoumani has won the election with 61% of votes, securing another term. His main rival, Mahamadou Ahamada from the opposition Juwa Party, as well as various opposition groups, have denounced the results. Related protests against Assoumani’s victory are therefore likely.
Normal movement can resume near Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem after the conclusion of a police investigation in the area. Two civilians were injured when they were hit by a car at around 12:25 AM local time. The incident is not terrorist related.
Travelers on Rodrigues Island should continue to anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries following the passage of Intense Tropical Cyclone Joaninha. While the storm has moved past Rodrigues, further heavy rainfall is forecast in the coming days. The Mauritius Meteorological Services has issued a Strong Wind Warning for the island. The adverse weather has caused road disruption, as well as power and communications outages across most of Rodrigues. At least 400 people have been displaced. While the island’s Sir Gaetan Duval Airport (RRG) re-opened today, Air Mauritius has yet to resume flights.
Cases of Lassa fever continue to be reported. Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Transmission to humans mostly occurs through ingestion or inhalation of excretions from infected rodents, especially rats. The disease can also spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection by observing strict hygiene and avoiding contact with sick people.
Instability continues in Yei River state. A group that is not party to the September 2018 ceasefire between the government and rebels, the National Salvation Front (NAS), has clashed with the government-backed South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and forces from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLMIO), who are ceasefire signatories. Local reports suggest that all of these groups are increasing soldier recruitment, contrary to the peace agreement’s de-escalation provisions.
Travelers in Kampala should anticipate and avoid further protests by taxi operators. Yesterday, related demonstrations occurred along the Namulanda section of Entebbe Road, which links Kampala to Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Demonstrators blocked taxis traveling along the road and forcibly removed passengers from them. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters; at least 15 participants were arrested. The operators are demanding that their current leadership resign.
On Friday, March 29, travelers in Chinhoyi should anticipate possible disruption from a planned rally by teachers from Chinhoyi Park to the local Public Service Commission offices. Members of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe are calling on the government to pay teachers in US dollars, among other issues. At least 200 people are expected to attend; their gathering point is adjacent to the A1 Highway, some five miles from the Chinhoyi Caves National Park.
Travelers in Dhaka should anticipate further sporadic and potentially disruptive demonstrations over recent fatal traffic accidents. Yesterday, protesters briefly blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway with burning tires after a student was killed in an accident on the highway earlier in the day. The death of a Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) student on March 19 in a traffic accident triggered large protests and blockades in several areas, including Basundhara, Dhanmondi, Farmgate, Mirpur, Ray Shaheb Bazar, Shahbagh, Tejgaon Industrial Area and Uttara. Further gatherings are also possible around university campuses.
Travelers should anticipate disruption to essential services during intermittent power outages. Electricite Du Cambodge recently announced outages for up to six hours during the day or night, as a power-saving measure during the dry season; however, the company has also promised there will be no blackouts in Phnom Penh on weekends and public holidays. While no end date for the measure has been announced, reports suggest the rolling outages will persist through May.
The World Health Organization has declared Indonesia a polio re-infected or “outbreak” country after cases were detected in Papua province. Indonesian authorities require all travelers into and out of Papua and West Papua provinces to have proof of having received a polio vaccination within the previous 12 months. Authorities of some other countries require proof of polio vaccination if entering from Indonesia. Polio is a contagious viral illness that can cause paralysis and death. It is spread through contaminated food or water, or directly from an infected person. To prevent polio infection, all travelers to Indonesia are recommended to have updated polio vaccinations.
According to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), partial airspace restrictions affecting overflying flights will remain in effect through 3:00 PM local time today. Several airlines have rerouted affected flights. The airspace closure has been extended on a daily basis, and further extensions are possible. Meanwhile, partial operations have resumed at 18 airports since the airspace closure began on February 27, amid increased tensions with India. Travelers should continue to expect disruption and reconfirm schedules until flight operations over Pakistan fully normalize.
An outbreak of measles is underway across the country. 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.
Today, approximately 500 people were evacuated from the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Scotts Road after a fire broke out in the building. No injuries were reported.
Travelers in urban centers, especially Bangkok, should continue to monitor developments related to the expected announcement of the March 24 General Election results. The Election Commission (EC) has until May 9 to announce the official results, though it intends to confirm the number of constituent seats each party has won on Friday, March 29. Political parties, including the military-backed Phalang Pracharat Party (PPRP) and the main opposition Pheu Thai Party (PTP), have separately entered talks to form coalitions as no party would be able to form a majority government. Travelers should continue to avoid all political gatherings due to the potential for clashes between rival party supporters and police.
Travelers in Turkey should exercise caution and avoid all gatherings related to the March 31 Local Elections. On Election Day, travelers should minimize movement as a precaution and to avoid inconvenience; there will likely be a heightened security force presence at major entry and exit points, as well as high-profile public spaces and polling stations. Although the election will likely pass off peacefully, there is a heightened potential for unrest and militant attack.
Today, passengers transiting Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights during a two-hour strike by air traffic controllers over working conditions. The industrial action will begin at 8:00 AM local time, during which all inbound and outbound flights are expected to be suspended. Similar strikes have caused disruption at several Belgian airports in recent weeks. As of yesterday, negotiations between the union representing the workers and management to resolve the issue are ongoing.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid weekly protests by supporters of the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the risk of local unrest. Fresh gatherings have been planned in Paris on Saturday, March 30; participants will gather at 12:00 PM local at Le Palais Royal, at 11:00 AM local time at Place de la Bastille, and at 2:00 PM local time at Place de la Republique. The group has also requested that authorities approve a demonstration planned for 11:00 AM local time on Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Travelers should expect a heightened security presence in the city.
Today, travelers in Madrid should avoid a rally at 10:30 AM local time at Plaza de Cibeles. Demonstrators have made several demands, including a 35-hour week for all public sector workers. The gathering coincides with a plenary session at the
nearby Madrid City Council. On Saturday, March 30, travelers in Barcelona should avoid a gathering by the far-right Vox political party. The protest has been called under the slogan “Catalonia for Spain,” and participants will gather at 12:00 PM local time at Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina. Vox is also protesting the City Council’s decision to conduct maintenance work at Palau Sant Jordi, where the rally was scheduled to hold a meeting on the same day. Gatherings around the area are also possible.
Today, travelers in Stockholm should avoid the Vallingby area after a large explosion. Several people were injured. The area has been cordoned off by police and emergency responders.