Tomorrow, travelers in Sao Paolo should avoid a protest at 5:00 PM local time in front of the Municipal Theatre. The Free Pass Movement (FPM) group has organized the demonstration to denounce a recent bus fare increase. The protest is likely to be well attended and has the potential to turn unruly. In 2013, the FPM organized demonstrations against a similar increase in bus fares. These subsequently expanded into wider anti-corruption protests across the country, though there are no indications thus far that the latest increase will prompt a similar reaction.
On Saturday, January 12, travelers in Guatemala City should avoid a march against corruption and impunity to minimize disruption and exposure to potential unrest. The rally is due to start at 12:00 PM local time from Plaza Obelisco to the Constitutional Court via the main thoroughfare, 11 Avenida. The gathering follows a recent attempt by authorities to bar an international investigator’s entry into Guatemala. Small protests over the issue have occurred sporadically.
Travelers planning to undertake road travel in the coming days should anticipate disruption due to ongoing fuel shortages across the country. At least 13 states have been affected, particularly Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, Michoacan, and Queretaro. The shortages have been caused by the government’s efforts to curb fuel theft.
On Friday, January 11, travelers planning to undertake road travel between Los Santos and Herrera provinces should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out. Farmers plan to hold protests at bridges on the La Villa River, which separates the two provinces. The gatherings are being organized to highlight various grievances related to the agricultural sector. Clashes occurred between protesting farmers and police during a related demonstration on December 18 in the Divisa area.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers planning to undertake road travel between Gabon and Cameroon should reconfirm the status of border crossings before setting out. Authorities in Gabon closed all border crossings with Cameroon following a failed coup attempt early on Monday, January 7. It is unclear when the crossings will reopen.
Through Friday, January 18, all inbound travel to Congo (DRC) should be deferred. Incountry staff should minimize non-essential movement during the same period and be prepared to stand fast if required. Tensions remain high over the delayed publication of the provisional results of the December 30 elections. Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said the results would be announced in the “next 24-48 hours.”
Today, travelers in Kumasi should ensure routes are clear due to the potential for further disruptive protests by disgruntled customers of a gold dealership. Demonstrators gathered in the Amakom area and elsewhere in the city on Monday, January 7 and Tuesday, January 8 to demand a refund of their investments. Yesterday, police dispersed protesters who had blocked a road with burning tires and made three arrests. The dealership has said it will reimburse customers today; however, any failure to so is liable to trigger further demonstrations outside the premises.
On Friday, January 11, travelers should avoid a planned protest by Bidoon community groups to call for citizenship and improved civil and social rights. The gathering will be held in Taima after Friday prayers. Unrest is possible, particularly around the al-Shaabi Mosque, as the Ministry of Interior has forbidden the gathering. Security forces may use tough measures to break up any unruly or violent protests.
Today through Friday, January 11, travelers in urban centers should anticipate disruption and avoid all rallies during a labor-linked strike. The National Union of Workers of Mali will observe the nationwide industrial action over salaries, among several other issues. While most related rallies are likely to pass off peacefully, they should be avoided as a precaution and to minimize delays.
An outbreak of yellow fever has been ongoing since September 2017. Cases have been confirmed in 14 states. The disease is persistently present throughout the country. Authorities are implementing measures to prevent further spread. Yellow fever is a potentially severe viral illness, spread via mosquito bites. Vaccination and mosquito bite prevention can greatly reduce the chances of getting infected. Vaccination is recommended for all travelers over 9 months of age going to Nigeria. In addition, proof of vaccination is required from everyone over 1 year of age arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission.
All travel to Borno state should be deferred following an upsurge in activity by Islamist militants. Today, troops were reported to have closed the highway between Maiduguri and Damaturu following several recent militant attacks on the route. More incidents are expected ahead of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in February; however, authorities will seek to secure major urban centers through intensified security operations.
Travelers in Nigeria should monitor developments and avoid all political gatherings around the Presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for February 16, and Gubernatorial and state Assembly Elections on March 2. Outbreaks of political unrest are possible around both sets of polls. The main electoral challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is former VicePresident Atiku Abubakar, representing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). A visible security force presence should be expected in main urban centers.
Further protests by the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) are likely beginning January 23 if the government fails to submit a bill on new minimum wages to the National Assembly. Authorities have said that the bill will be submitted on or before that date; the National Assembly reconvenes on Wednesday, January 16. The NLC organized related nationwide protests yesterday, including in Abuja. Travelers should monitor developments and avoid all demonstrations.
On Friday, January 11, travelers in Dakar should avoid a sit-in protest by the opposition C25 coalition as a precaution. Participants will gather at 3:00 PM local time at Place de la Nation to denounce apparent discrepancies in the electoral process ahead of the February 24 Presidential Election. These include a recent Constitutional Court decision to reject the candidacy of 20 people during the verification of sponsorship requirements.
A cholera outbreak in Tanzania is ongoing. Cholera spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers staying in quality accommodations with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Travelers are advised to pay strict attention to hygiene and consider vaccination.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Travelers in Kabul are advised to ensure the feasibility of itineraries. Around a hundred people are staging an indefinite sit-in in Abdul Haq Square to demand compensation from the owner of a petrol station which caught fire on Friday, January 4. The fire killed three people, wounded 46 others, and damaged several buildings. Related protests may also take place at Massoud and Macroryan squares. Roads around Abdul Haq Square have been cordoned off by security forces; all gatherings should be avoided due to the potential for militant attack.
Investigations are ongoing after suspicious packages were delivered to at least ten consulates in Melbourne today. The affected diplomatic missions include the UK, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Korea, the US, Switzerland, and Turkey. These consulates are located on St Kilda Road in the Central Business District (CBD) and in the suburb of Ashwood. At least two consulates were evacuated. Travelers should continue to avoid areas around the affected consulates until investigations conclude.
Today, travelers should continue to avoid all protests and expect disruption as a nationwide shutdown strike against the federal government’s labor policies enters its second day. Kerala, Odisha, and West Bengal states have been the most affected, with protesters blocking roads and railway lines, clashing with police, and vandalizing property. Associated unrest is expected to continue, though protests are likely to remain small in scale and cause limited disruption. Any prolonged blockades or attempts by demonstrators to forcibly pass through security cordons around major government buildings are likely to attract a strong police response.
A tsunami struck the coastal areas in the Sunda Strait region on December 22. The western coast of Banten province, including Pandeglang and Serang regencies, and the coast of South Lampung Regency, are the worst-affected areas. Additionally, volcanic eruptions in Anak Krakatau intensified in late December. Authorities advised the public to stay at least 0.3 miles away from the coastline of the Sunda Strait. Emergency response is underway. In addition to the limited ability to treat medical conditions, there is an increased risk of disease outbreaks, and potential food and water shortages. Travelers should avoid coastal areas, remain alert, and follow the advice of local authorities.
A higher-than-usual number of meningococcal infections have been reported in the country. Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that can be rapidly life-threatening. Anyone can be affected, although it is more common in infants, teenagers and young adults. It spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Symptoms usually include fever, intense headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to light, vomiting, confusion, and a characteristic rash. It must be urgently treated with antibiotics. People who have been in close contact with meningitis patients must also be promptly treated with antibiotics. Travelers should consider vaccination and pay close attention to hygiene.
Today, travelers in Manila should expect significant disruption during the Feast of the Black Nazarene, when a statue of Jesus Christ is carried in a procession through the city’s streets. More than 5 million Roman Catholics from across the country are expected to attend the traditional procession from Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park to the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or the Quiapo Church. Several smaller processions will also be held throughout the city. Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries for journeys through Metro Manila today.
Today, travelers in Istanbul should avoid the vicinity of the US Consulate in the Sariyer district, following the discovery of a suspicious package. Roads leading to the facility have been closed, and bomb disposal experts are at the building.
The Gudauri-Kobi section of the Georgian Military Highway, which connects Tbilisi with Vladikavkaz, has been indefinitely closed due to the threat of avalanches. Travelers should make alternative arrangements and reconfirm the status of the route before setting out.
Today, travelers should expect disruption at the border crossing between southern Italy and France in Ventimiglia due to a planned truck drivers’ protest around the checkpoint. Drivers are concerned that changes to European regulations could lead to unwelcome changes in rest periods. A related 24-hour strike across Italy by the Filt-Cgil and Fit-Cisl e Uiltrasporti unions on Monday, January 14 is not expected to cause major disruption.
Travelers in urban centers should exercise caution and avoid further protests by supporters of the populist “Yellow Vests” movement. Related demonstrations have been planned for Saturday, January 12 in Bourges, Paris, and other cities. Authorities will deploy around 80,000 police officers nationwide, including 5,000 in Paris. There is a potential for unrest during such gatherings, which may be forcibly dispersed by authorities.
Today, authorities at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) have warned of likely delays and cancellations due to unfavorable wind conditions. Flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines canceled 159 European flights yesterday and warned that disruption may continue today. Gusts of up to 60 miles per hour are forecast.
Moldova: Orthodox Christmas Day Holiday
Montenegro: Christmas Day, Day 2 (Orthodox)
Russia: New Year Holiday Week
Sudan: Coptic Christmas
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Day of the Republika Srpska
Panama: Martyr´s Day
South Sudan: Peace Agreement Day
Bangladesh: Bangabandhu Homecoming Day
Benin: Vodoun Festival
The Bahamas: Majority Rule Day
Falkland Islands: Margaret Thatcher Day
Micronesia: Kosrae Constitution Day
Morocco: Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto
Nepal: Prithvi Jayanti
Turkmenistan: Geok Tepe Memorial Day
Tanzania: Zanzibar Revolution Day
Cabo Verde: Democracy Day
India: Guru Govind Singh Jayanti
Myanmar: Kayin New Year Day
Mongolia: Constitution Day
Togo: Liberation Day
Australia, Canada, Serbia, Ukraine,
United Kingdom, United States: Orthodox New Year
India: Makar Sankranti
Japan: Coming of Age Day
Malaysia: Birthday of Yang diPertuan Besar
Tunisia: Revolution and Youth Day
Uzbekistan: Defenders of the Motherland Day
Sri Lanka: Tamil Thai Pongal Day
Malawi: John Chilembwe Day
Nepal: Maghe Sankranti
Congo (DRC): Anniversary of President Laurent Kabila’s Assassination
El Salvador: Signing of the Peace Accords
Congo (DRC): Anniversary of Prime Minister Patrice Emery
United States: Lee-Jackson Day
Georgia: Orthodox Epiphany
Macedonia: Epiphany (Orthodox)
United States: Robert E. Lee’s Birthday
United States: Confederate Heroes’ Day
Azerbaijan: Martyrs’ Day
Cabo Verde: Heroes’ Day
Guinea-Bissau: Heroes Day
Sri Lanka: Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
American Samoa, Guam, Northern
Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico,
United States, US Virgin Islands:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Australia, Canada, Israel, United
Kingdom, United States: Tu
B’Shevat (Arbor Day)
Azerbaijan: Martyrs’ Day (Observed)
Barbados: Errol Barrow Day
Dominican Republic: Our Lady of Altagracia
Mauritius: Thaipoosam Cavadee
New Zealand: Wellington Anniversary Day
United States: Robert E. Lee’s Birthday
United States: Idaho Human Rights Day
United States: Civil Rights Day