032918 – World Status Report

Avoid Nonessential Travel

  • Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border – U.S. Department of State.  Reconsider travel due to armed conflict.
  • Cameroon – GOV.UK.  The FCO now advise against all travel to within 40km of the Cameroon/Nigeria border and Ndian division, and against all but essential travel to the rest of the North West and most of the South West regions.
  • Ecuador – GOV.UK.  Safety and security section (Local travel) and Terrorism section – addition of information on bomb attack in Mataje on 20 March; this attack occurred within 20km of the Colombian border, an area where the FCO advise against all travel.

Take Enhanced Precautions

Natural Disasters and Road Safety

  • Dominica  – U.S. Department of State.  Exercise Increased Caution in Dominica due to the aftermath of a natural disaster.  Dominica continues to rebuild following Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Electricity is restored to the capital and other populated areas, but many areas remain without electricity. Roads are clear with ongoing repairs. Hotel accommodations are limited and conditions at some hotels are below comfort level. Travelers should verify whether their hotel has hot water, air conditioning, and or other amenities they consider necessary.
  • Puerto Rico – Government of Canada.  Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept Puerto Rico as major hurricanes on September 6 and 19, 2017, respectively. Both storms caused significant damage and recovery efforts are ongoing in some areas. The situation in the capital of San Juan is back to normal but there are still major disruptions on the rest of the island to essential services. Be particularly cautious if travelling to the affected areas. Contact your travel agent to determine whether the situation could disrupt travel plans.
  • Thailand – Government of Canada. Travel by road can be dangerous. Hazardous road conditions, local disregard for traffic laws and drunk driving result in frequent accidents, particularly in Bangkok, Koh Samui, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket. Drunk driving and accidents are much more frequent around the Western New Year (early January) and Thai New Year (Songkran, in early April). Be particularly vigilant when driving during these holiday periods.

Terrorism and Kidnapping

  • Cameroon – Government of Canada.  Since late November 2016, demonstrations, general strikes and clashes stemming from local tensions have led to casualties in the North-West and South-West regions. Kidnappings have occurred and foreigners have been targeted. A curfew is in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. At any time, local authorities could impose movement restrictions. Telecommunications could be disrupted.
  • Yemen – GOV.UK. Terrorism section (Kidnaps) – update to existing information on the risk of kidnap; any international presence (including UN, NGOs, oil and gas workers, journalists, teachers, students, tourists, long-term residents, and westerners of Yemeni origin) are viewed as legitimate targets if an opportunity arises; if you’re kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release.
  • Kenya – GOV.UK.  Terrorism section and summary – on 14 March 2018, the Inspector General of the Kenyan Police reported that a major terrorist attack, targeting Nairobi, had been prevented by Kenyan police in February 2018; Terrorism section (Kidnaps) – update to existing information on the threat from kidnapping in the areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County, in coastal areas north of Pate Island, and at the Dadaab refugee camp in north-east Kenya.
  • Saudi Arabia – GOV.UK.  Update to information and advice on missile attacks in Saudi Arabia; on 25 March 2018, 7 missiles were intercepted and destroyed, 3 over north-east Riyadh near King Khalid International Airport and 4 fired towards the cities of Najran, Jizan, Abha and Khamis Mushait in southern Saudi Arabia; one person was killed in Riyadh by falling debris; in the event of a missile attack, you should stay indoors, monitor local media reports and follow the advice of the local authorities.
  • Ecuador – GOV.UK. Express kidnappings – short-term opportunistic abductions, aimed at extracting cash from the victim – also occur, particularly in Quito and Guayaquil. Victims can be targeted or selected at random and held while criminals empty their bank accounts with stolen cash cards. This type of crime can involve illegitimate and registered taxis. Ecuadoreans and foreign visitors are targets.

Demonstrations and Protests

  • Sierra Leone  – GOV.UK.  Safety and security section and summary – addition of information about the presidential run-off election scheduled to take place on Saturday 31 March; you should avoid any political rallies.
  • Sierra Leone – Government of Canada. The second round of presidential elections has been postponed from March 27 to March 31, 2018. Demonstrations and political rallies are planned between now and elections day.  Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place. Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor local media for the latest information.
  • Chile – GOV.UK. Thursday 29 March is the commemoration of the “Day of the Young Combatant” in Chile; demonstrations may take place in certain areas; you should follow the advice of the police and local authorities and avoid any demonstrations
  • The Occupied Palestinian Territories  – GOV.UK.  A mass march of Palestinians will take place throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 30 March; Easter and Passover holidays will take place between 30 March and 9 April; there is a risk of increased tension in Jerusalem and at check points in and around the West Bank and Gaza during this period; you should avoid demonstrations and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Israel  – GOV.UK.  A mass march of Palestinians will take place throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 30 March; Easter and Passover holidays will take place between 30 March and 9 April; there is a risk of increased tension in Jerusalem and at check points in and around the West Bank and Gaza during this period; you should avoid demonstrations and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Nigeria – GOV.UK.  President Buhari will make a state visit to Lagos on 29 and 30 March; Lagos state government have declared a public holiday on 29 March; delays are expected at domestic and intenational airports on both days; there will be street closures, particularly around the airport, Ikeja, Victoria Island and Ikoyi; you should expect delays to flights and additional traffic congestion; leave plenty of time for travel and monitor media updates.
  • France  – GOV.UK.  There are planned strikes at Air France and its subsidiaries on 30 March, 3 April and 7 April, SNCF trains between 3 April and 28 June, and the Port of Calais on 5 April; you should check with your transport before traveling.

Other

  • Zimbabwe  – GOV.UK.  Health section – following an outbreak first reported in October 2017, there are continuing reports of typhoid fever in a number of areas; you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.
  • Netherlands – GOV.UK.  As from 26 March, Amsterdam public transport service (GVB) do not accept cash for buying tickets on trams, buses or metro trains in Amsterdam; tickets can be bought by credit card (not American Express) on buses, trams or at payment points at main bus and tram stops, Amsterdam Central Station and Schiphol airport.
  • Russia  – GOV.UK. International SOS.  With the current global tensions around Russia, business travelers planning to visit the region need to be aware of the potential impacts and plan accordingly.

The risk information in this report is retrieved from U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and other professional sources as listed in the post. It provides general guidance for UT Dallas travelers. Please note the revision date (mmddyy) of this report, printed on the title of the post, and go to the direct sources listed for the most up-to-date information.  The information in this report may change without prior notice.