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LEGEND TRAVEL NEWS ALERT 5 FEB 2019 FEBRUARY 5, 2019

Date 5 Feb 2019 | Posted by admin

AMERICAS

United States

In the coming days, travelers in Albuquerque, New Mexico should continue to avoid the area around the Coors and Central shopping area following an explosion caused by a homemade device on February 4. One person, believed by police to be the maker of the device, was killed during the incident. The motive behind the explosion remains unknown, and authorities have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with it. The explosion is not being treated as terrorism, and there is no ongoing threat, according to the police.

Venezuela

All travel to Venezuela should be deferred through today due to the ongoing political crisis and associated unrest. Travelers in country should minimize movement. Major countrywide demonstrations in support of Juan Guaido, the National Assembly recognized interim President, took place on Saturday, February 2, while a rival pro-government rally was held on Avenida Bolivar in Caracas. Both events passed off peacefully, and Guaido has called for continued protests until President Nicolas Maduro steps down and sets a date for a new Presidential Election.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Benin

Additional cases of Lassa fever have been reported. Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic illness. 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 are advised to prevent infection through observing strict hygiene and avoiding contact with sick people.

Congo (DRC)

Additional cases of measles have been reported in 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. 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 Goma should avoid an ongoing protest in the Keshero district of the city. A police station has been set on fire after a police officer allegedly shot and killed a young girl.

Ghana

On Thursday, February 7, travelers in Accra should avoid a protest organized by the opposition Inter-Party Coalition for National Sovereignty (PCNS). The protest is being organized to condemn violence during Parliamentary By-Elections in Ayawaso West Wuogon district. At least seven people were injured when unidentified gunmen attacked a polling station at Bawaleshie Presby School on January 31. Travelers should exercise caution in Ayawaso West Wuogon.

Jordan

Travelers in Amman should anticipate and avoid further weekly sit-in protests at the Fourth Circle, the next of which is planned for Thursday, February 7. For several weeks, protesters have gathered outside Jordan Hospital on Thursday evenings in protest of a controversial income tax law that came into effect on January 1 and to demand wider political and economic reforms. The protests are usually held amid heightened security and pass off peacefully; however, traffic restrictions may be in place on Thursday evenings around the Fourth Circle, including near the Prime Minister’s office and Jordan Hospital.

Kenya

Beginning tomorrow, travelers due to transit Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) should reconfirm flights due to a planned indefinite strike by the Kenya Aviation Workers Union. The union, which has an estimated 10,000 members, called the strike to protest national carrier Kenya Airways’ proposal to take over management of the airport. Union members have been called to boycott their positions until their demands have been met; flight disruption is anticipated in the coming days.

There is an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Murang’a county. The disease can be transmitted to humans via contact with the blood, organs or bodily fluids of infected animals. Infection can also occur through the bite of an infected mosquito or other insects. Symptoms of RVF may include a mild flu-like illness; however, in some cases, the illness can be deadly. Travelers are advised to avoid contact with potentially infected animals and their fluids or organs, prevent mosquito and other insect bites, and avoid unpasteurized dairy products.

Travelers should anticipate and avoid all protests related to an ongoing indefinite strike by nurses. The work stoppage is currently affecting 11 counties, including ElgeyoMarakwet, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Taita-Taveta, Trans-Nzoia, Wajir and West Pokot. The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has threatened to expand the walkout to more counties tomorrow. Related gatherings were held today in Nyeri County.

Somalia

Today, travelers on business-critical travel in Mogadishu should ensure the feasibility of movement prior to setting out. Local sources indicate that there are ongoing security operations along various routes, such as the KM4 Road and Makkah al Mukkaramah Avenue, which have caused major travel delays, including to and from Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ). The operations come a day after a car bombing near Mogadishu Mallin. The Islamist extremist al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed at least 11 people and injured ten others.

South Africa

Travelers in Johannesburg should avoid the vicinity of the University of the Witwatersrand due to ongoing clashes between protesters and security personnel. Students are protesting against the university’s decision to forbid students with debts from re-registering for courses. The protests may potentially spill over onto neighboring roads, causing traffic disruption.

Tomorrow, travelers in Pretoria should avoid all gatherings related to a court hearing of controversial Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife. The timing of the hearing is not available. Bushiri’s supporters are expected to gather outside the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court (SCCC), where proceedings will take place, to demand the couple’s release.

Today through Thursday, February 7, travelers in Cape Town should plan journeys accounting for road closures in preparation for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Thursday, February 7. Road closures will mainly affect the Central Business District and the neighborhoods of Mowbray, Newlands, Observatory, Rondebosch, Salt River, and Woodstock. Travelers should consult the City of Cape Town website for detailed information on affected roads and timings, and allow additional time for journeys

United Arab Emirates

Today and tomorrow, travelers in Abu Dhabi should anticipate a heightened security force presence and travel disruption during an official visit by Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Although authorities are working to ensure minimal disruption, crowds and traffic restrictions can be expected in and around areas of the Pontiff’s itinerary. Travelers should follow all official directives and allow extra time for road journeys.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Afghanistan

Today, travelers transiting Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL) should reconfirm the status of flights due to potential disruption caused by heavy snowfall. Operations have previously been suspended at the facility following heavy snowfall. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes and the feasibility of essential movement prior to setting out due to the potential for road travel disruption.

China

Travelers should expect heightened demand for accommodations and transportation during the annual Lunar New Year holiday period, which takes place through Friday, February 8; Lunar New Year itself takes place today. Significant congestion can be expected at transportation hubs and along major routes due to a large volume of travelers, particularly at the beginning and the end of the holiday period. Travelers should reconfirm bookings and plan journeys accounting for potential travel disruption.

India

Poor air quality levels continue to affected cities across India, including Delhi; travelers are advised to limit exposure as much as possible. Since the beginning of October, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the National Capital Region (NCR) has been at “poor” to “very poor” levels and has dipped to “severe” levels intermittently. Northern and eastern states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, are also affected. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers are advised to reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.

Japan

A significant increase in rubella infections has been reported in Japan, mainly in the Kanto region. Rubella is caused by a virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets; symptoms include fever and rash. Serious complications can occur when pregnant women are infected. Travelers should ensure that they are immune to rubella prior to arrival in Japan.

Today, travelers due to transit Tokushima Awaodori Airport (TKS) should reconfirm flight schedules. The airport’s runway has been closed due to an aircraft incident. It is unclear when the runway will reopen.

Kyrgyzstan

Today, travelers due to transit Manas International Airport (FRU), which serves Bishkek, should follow all official directives and reconfirm flights due to the ongoing evacuation of the airport due to a bomb threat.

South Korea

Travelers visiting South Korea during the annual Lunar New Year holiday period should expect travel disruption and an increased demand for transportation and accommodations. The official holiday period will run through tomorrow, February 6, with Lunar New Year itself taking place today

Taiwan

Travelers in country during the upcoming annual Lunar New Year holiday period should plan itineraries accounting for significant delay. The official public holiday period runs through Friday, February 8, with Lunar New Year itself taking place today. An increased demand for accommodations and transportation can also be expected. Travelers should reconfirm bookings and plan journeys accounting for potential travel disruption.

Europe

France

Through tomorrow, travelers in France should plan journeys accounting for disruption during a nationwide strike called by the CGT labor union over wages, pensions, and tax reform. The walkout may be observed by employees of national rail operator SNCF and Paris’s public transportation operator RATP, disrupting services until 7:55 AM local time tomorrow. Today, a related march will take place in Paris, with participants scheduled to proceed from the Hotel de Ville to Place de la Concorde at 2:00 PM local time.

Germany

Berlin-based airline, Germania, has filed for bankruptcy after failing to cover a short-term liquidity problem. The airline has cancelled all flights, effective immediately

Italy

On February 8-9, travelers in Italy should plan itineraries accounting for disruption during a nationwide strike by railway workers. Train drivers will strike between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM local time on Friday, February 8, while sales staff will stage a walkout from 3:00 AM on Friday, February 8 through 2:00 AM local time on Saturday, February 9. The industrial action has been organized by the Orsa Ferrovie labor union in protest of hiring practices of national railway operator Trenitalia.

On Saturday, February 9, travelers in Rome should anticipate disruption during a rally by trade unions to denounce government labor policies. Participants will gather at 9:00 AM local time at Piazza della Repubblica and march to Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, where the event is due to conclude at 11:00 AM local time. The rally is likely to pass off peacefully and to be well attended, causing disruption along its route.

Spain

Travelers in Madrid should plan itineraries accounting for disruption in the coming days due to an ongoing taxi strike over regulations for app-based ride-share services. Travelers should also avoid a protest at Puerta del Sol today, as well as all other associated demonstrations. Although recent protests have passed off peacefully, they have caused significant traffic disruption in the city center

Russia

Travelers in urban centers should anticipate potential disruption and follow all official directives due to a series of hoax bomb threats. More than 130 buildings have been searched in Moscow, while around 250 buildings across the country have also been investigated. A number of schools, shopping centers, hospitals, administrative buildings, and homes of prominent officials have been evacuated.

On Sunday, February 10, travelers in in urban centers, including Moscow, should plan routes avoiding ‘March of Maternal Anger’ demonstrations. Participants will gather in most locations at around 1:00 PM local time and march to central locations in urban centers; the protests are to demand the release of several female anti-government opposition figures. The demonstrations have not been approved by local authorities, and there is a risk of local unrest, particularly if gatherings are well attended, as security forces are liable to use forceful crowd control measures.

NOTEWORTHY EVENTS

February 5
Burundi: Unity Day
China, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
South Korea, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
Taiwan: Chinese New Year
Macau: Lunar New Year (First Day)
Mauritius: Chinese Spring Festival
Mexico: Constitution Day
Nepal: Sonam Losar (Tamang New Year)
Pakistan: Kashmir Day
San Marino: Feast of St Agatha
Vietnam: Vietnamese New Year

February 6
Armenia: Translators’ Day
China: Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday
Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore,
Thailand: Second Day of Chinese Lunar New Year
South Korea: Seollal Holiday
Macau: Lunar New Year (Second Day)
New Zealand: Waitangi Day
Taiwan: Chinese New Year Holiday 1
Vietnam: Tet Holiday4

February 7
China: Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday
Grenada: Independence Day
Hong Kong: Third Day of Chinese Lunar New Year
Macau: Lunar New Year (Third Day)
Thailand: Third Day of Chinese Lunar New Year
Taiwan: Chinese New Year Holiday 2
Vietnam: Tet Holiday

February 8
China: Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday
Slovenia: Prešeren Day
Taiwan: Chinese New Year Holiday 3
Vietnam: Tet Holiday
February 9
China: Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday
Iran: Martyrdom of Fatima
Lebanon: St Maron’s Day
Liberia: Thanksgiving
Taiwan: Chinese New Year Holiday 4
Vietnam: Tet Holiday

February 10
Bangladesh: Saraswati Puja
China: Spring Festival Golden Week Holiday
India: Vasant Panchami
Malta: Feast of Saint Paul’s Shipwreck
Pakistan: Basant Panchami
Vietnam: Tet Holiday

February 11
Australia: Royal Hobart Regatta
Cameroon: Youth Day
Iran: Revolution Day
Japan: National Foundation Day
Liberia: Armed Forces Day
Holy See: Anniversary of the
foundation of Vatican City

February 12
Myanmar: Union Day
Qatar: National Sports Day
United States: Lincoln’s Birthday

February 14
Valentine’s Day

February 15
Serbia: Statehood Day of the
Republic of Serbia
Kosovo: Day of Ashakalia

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