Travelers should avoid all demonstrations related to a port workers’ strike due to the risk of unrest. Protests have largely been centered on the port city of Valparaiso, where security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators blocking roads yesterday; however, the strike has spread to other cities, such as Antofagasta, San Antonio, and Puerto Montt. Protests, roadblocks, and associated clashes between protesters and security forces will cause disruption and pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Today, travelers in Cusco and Puno should anticipate disruption related to an ongoing 72-hour strike by environmental activists. Protests are likely to include roadblocks. On Monday, December 17, protesters in Ayaviri blocked the 3S Highway between Puno and Cusco. Demonstrations in Peru can become violent, with security forces using tear gas to disperse protesters and remove roadblocks.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Today, travelers in Kinshasa should avoid a rally to be held by Martin Fayulu, the Presidential candidate for the Lamuka opposition coalition. His supporters will march at 2:00 PM local time from the Maluku area to Sainte Therese Square along the N1 Road, which leads to Ndjili International Airport (FIH). Travelers should plan journeys to the airport bypassing the protest. Earlier today, police dispersed Fayulu supporters in Masi-Manimba using tear gas and firing live ammunition into the air.
Today, travelers in Abidjan should avoid a march called by the Actions for the Restoration of Human Dignity movement to denounce “injustices and political abuses.” Participants will wear orange vests, inspired by the “Yellow Vests” protests in France, while marching along Boulevard de I’Indenie to the Palais de Justice. Although the march is expected to be peaceful, it should be avoided as a precaution.
Tomorrow, travelers in Amman should avoid a protest set to begin at 5:00 PM local time in the Fourth Circle in Zahran district. The protest, organized under the slogan “Thursday is for the people,” is a continuation of demonstrations over a tax reform bill that have been ongoing since late November. The bill is due to come into effect on January 1, 2019. Around 2,000 people participated in a related protest on Thursday, December 13, which degenerated into clashes with security forces. A heightened security force presence and traffic disruption should be expected in the area.
Travelers in urban centers, including Beirut, should anticipate and avoid further antigovernment protests due to the risk of unrest. The demonstrations are linked to the recent death of a Palestinian refugee baby and the perceived poor state of the country’s economy. A related demonstration will take place at 12:00 PM local time on Sunday, December 23 at Martyr’s Square in Beirut.
Travelers should continue to avoid all political gatherings around the Presidential Election, due to the risk of unrest. After no candidate secured 50% of the vote required to win the first round, a run-off will be held today between former Presidents Andry Rajoelina and Marc Ravalomanana. Following a legal challenge, the Constitutional Court confirmed that Rajoelina had taken 39.2% in the first round, while Ravalomanana took 35.3%. The 15-day official campaign period for the run-off began on December 3.
Today, travelers in Lagos should plan routes bypassing the A5 Highway following a pipeline explosion at around 3:30 AM local time in the Abule Egba neighborhood. The explosion, caused by attempted oil theft, started a fire that engulfed several buildings along the A5 near Abule Egba Bus Station. Traffic disruption can be expected in the vicinity, potentially impacting travel to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), located around 11 miles south of Abule Egba.
Today, travelers in South West state should avoid all gatherings related to the State Presidential Elections. Violence broke out in Baidoa on Thursday, December 13 when federal authorities arrested former deputy leader of the Islamist extremist al-Shabab group, Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur, and transferred him to Mogadishu; Robow had intended to run for the presidency. At least 12 people were killed in clashes between his supporters and security forces; more than 200 others were arrested.
Today, travelers in Khartoum and Omdurman should exercise caution and avoid gatherings linked to the scheduled arrival of National Umma Party leader Sadiq alMahdi. Al-Mahdi is returning to Sudan after ten months in self-imposed exile. There will be two days of events commemorating his return, including a reception at Khartoum International Airport, followed by a rally near the Abdul Gayoom Gate and the tomb of Imam al-Mahdi in Omdurman.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, passengers transiting Sydney Airport (SYD) should reconfirm travel plans as an electrical storm has led to the temporary suspension of flights at the airport. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has issued a warning for heavy rainfall and hail at the airport.
Papua New Guinea
Passengers transiting Buka Airport (BUA) should reconfirm flights after airport operator, National Airports Corporation (NAC), announced the closure of the facility for an indefinite period beginning Saturday, December 22. The last day of operations at the airport will be Friday, December 21. The airport is being closed due to concerns over the physical safety and security of the airfield perimeter and the general absence of law and order in the area. It is not currently known when the airport will reopen.
Today, travelers in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh should plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Cyclone Phethai. Phethai made landfall around 1:30 PM local time yesterday near Katrenikona, causing disruption to rail, road and air travel. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the storm was forecast to weaken into a deep depression last night as it moved northeast.
Tomorrow, travelers in Seoul should anticipate disruption and increased demand for alternative modes of transportation during a planned strike and protest by taxi drivers. Up to 100,000 protesters are expected to gather at the National Assembly at 2:00 PM local time and march to Mapo Bridge at 4:00 PM local time. The action is being organized against ride-sharing app Kakao T, which taxi drivers say threatens their jobs. While the protest is expected to pass off peacefully, large crowds and attendant security measures, including traffic restrictions, are likely to cause disruption near the affected areas.
Travelers in Paris should plan journeys bypassing separate protests organized by the CGT union confederation, police officers, and students. The CGT protest will take place at 10:00 AM local time today outside the Beaugrenelle Shopping Center. Tomorrow, police officers will march from their station in Place Clemenceau towards Avenue des Champs-Elysees at 9:30 PM local time. On Friday, December 21, civil servants will rally at Place Saint-Gervais at 12:00 PM local time. In addition, students have occupied Paris Nanterre and Pantheon-Sorbonne universities, and plan to continue their protest through Friday, December 21.
Travelers should continue to avoid anti-government rallies, as protests by the United National Movement (UNM)-led opposition alliance spread. A sit-in protest has been under way outside Parliament on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi since Sunday, December 16, after security forces blocked UNM supporters from gathering during the Presidential Inauguration in Telavi; supporters then blocked the Telavi-Gurjaani Highway in protest. Today, another demonstration was ongoing outside the District Court in Gurjaani to demand the release of UNM leader Davit Kirkitadze. The UNM rejects the result of the November 28 Presidential Run-off Election and plans to legally challenge it.
Yellow fever has been confirmed in a traveler from the Netherlands who visited Gambia and Senegal between early and mid-November. The risk of further spread of the disease in the Netherlands is considered negligible, while yellow fever is consistently present in both Gambia and Senegal. The disease is a potentially severe viral illness spread via mosquito bites. Yellow fever can be prevented through vaccination and by avoiding mosquito bites. Vaccination is recommended for all travelers 9 months of age and older entering Gambia or Senegal and should be administered at least 10 days prior to arrival. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may also be required for onward travel
Today, the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it had killed suspected members of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group during a security operation in Stavropol krai, near the North Caucasus region. Travelers should remain alert to their surroundings and report any suspicious items or persons to authorities.
Anguilla: Separation Day
Ukraine: St. Nicholas Day
Macau: Macau S.A.R. Establishment Day
Reunion: Abolition of Slavery
Macedonia: Turkish Language Day
Sri Lanka: Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day
Nigeria: Sambisa Memorial Day
Ukraine: Special Working Day
Zimbabwe: Unity Day
Germany, Norway, Sweden: Fourth Advent Sunday
Japan: Emperor’s Birthday
Argentina: Bridge Public Holiday
Micronesia: Yap Constitution Day
Japan: Emperor’s Birthday (Observed)
North Korea: Birth Date of Kim Jong Suk
Libya: Independence Day
Philippines: Additional Special Non-Working Day
Ukraine: Catholic Christmas Holiday
United States: Washington’s Birthday
Pakistan: Quaid-e-Azam Day
Taiwan: Constitution Day
Solomon Islands: National Day of Thanksgiving
Slovenia: Independence and Unity Day
South Africa: Day of Goodwill
North Korea: Constitution Day
South Sudan: Republic Day
eSwatini: Incwala Day
Kazakhstan: Special Working Day
Mongolia: Independence Day
Ukraine: Special Working Day
Spain: Feast of the Holy Family
Philippines: Rizal Day
New Year’s Eve
Argentina: Bridge Public Holiday
Azerbaijan: World Azerbaijanis Solidarity Day
Switzerland: Restoration Day
Japan: December 31 Bank Holiday
Kazakhstan: New Year (Extra Holiday)
Russia: Extra Holiday in lieu of
New Year’s Day
Cameroon: Independence Day
Cuba: Liberation Day
Czech Republic: Restoration of the
Czech Independence Day
Egypt: January 1 Bank Holiday
Pakistan: January 1 Bank Holiday
Sudan: Independence Day
Slovakia: Republic Day