042319 – World Status Report

When traveling on behalf of UT Dallas, set up your institutional safety net and prepare for an emergency as a standard step of all your travels.  Find more information in the Traveler Best Practices webpage.

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.

Avoid Nonessential Travel

Conflict and Terrorism

  • LebanonGOV.AU. Reconsider your need to travel to Beirut’s southern suburbs (including Dahiyeh). This includes the area south of the Camille Chamoun Sports Stadium, east of the main airport road including the suburbs of Chiyah, Ghobeire, Haret Hreik, Bir el Abed, Borj el Barajne, Mraije, Roueiss, Lailake, Hay el Sellom, Tahouitit el Ghadir and Bir Hassan. It also includes west of the airport road and the area west of the airport highway to the coast, south from Adnon El Hakim Road to Abbas El Mousawi Road. This does not include the airport road itself.
  • MyanmarGOV.AU. Due to armed conflict between the Arakan Army and Myanmar military do not travel to townships of Maungdaw, Buthidaung or, Rathedaung, Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun, Mrauk-U in Rakhine State and Palewta in southern Chin State.
  • TurkeyU.S. Department of State. Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Do not travel to areas near the Syria and Iraq borders due to terrorism and kidnapping. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • YemenU.S. Department of State. Do not travel to Yemen due to terrorism, civil unrest, health risks, kidnapping, and armed conflict. Terrorist groups continue to plot and conduct attacks in Yemen. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting public sites, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities. Additionally, there is a continuing threat of kidnapping/detention by terrorists, criminal elements, and/or non-government actors. Employees of western organizations may be targeted for attack or kidnapping. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Crime and Social Unrest

  • UkraineU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in Ukraine due to crime, civil unrest and elections. Some areas have increased risk. Do not travel to Crimea due to arbitrary detentions and other abuses by Russian occupation authorities; or to the eastern parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, especially the non-government-controlled areas, due to armed conflict and kidnapping. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • VenezuelaU.S. Department of State. Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Take Enhanced Precautions

Conflict and Terrorism

  • PakistanGC.CA. Exercise a high degree of caution in Islamabad due to the threat of terrorism.
  • United KingdomGOV.AU. On 18 April 2019, violent clashes occurred in Londonderry during a police operation at a housing estate. One person was killed in an attack that police are treating as a terrorist act. Avoid all protests, monitor the media for latest information and follow instructions of local authorities
  • United KingdomU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in the United Kingdom due to terrorism. Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in the United Kingdom. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. There is also a risk of isolated violence by dissident groups in Northern Ireland, focused primarily on police and military targets. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • Venezuela and BrazilGOV.AU. The Venezuelan government has closed its land border with Brazil. There’s an increased risk of violent protest and unrest occurring in this border region.
  • Sri Lanka – GC.CA, GOV.AU, GOV.UK, U.S. Department of State. On April 21, 2019, several explosions occurred at different locations in the greater Colombo area and Batticaloa. Three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka were attacked, in central Colombo, and in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade, and roughly twenty miles north of Colombo in Negombo and in the east of the country in Batticaloa. These attacks have resulted in more than 290 deaths and 500 injured. The situation remains volatile. Other attacks could occur throughout the country. Local authorities temporarily blocked access to some social media. A nationwide police curfew has been declared from 8pm on Monday 22 April 2019 to 4am on Tuesday 23 April 2019. If you are in Sri Lanka avoid the affected areas, remain extremely cautious, limit your movements as much as possible, allow extra time for increased security measures at airports, be aware of your surroundings at all times, follow the instructions of local authorities, and monitor local media to stay informed of the evolving situation. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Crime and Social Unrest

  • Dominican RepublicU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime. Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo. The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • JamaicaU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in Jamaica due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. Emergency services vary throughout the island, and response times may vary from U.S. standards. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to areas listed in the advisory, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • PeruGOV.UK. Street crime, including muggings and thefts, is a significant problem in Lima, Cusco, Arequipa and other major cities. Be vigilant in public places and when withdrawing cash from ATMs. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night.
  • Republic of the CongoU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in the Republic of the Congo due to crime and civil unrest. Reconsider Travel to the southern and western districts of the Pool Region due to potential civil unrest.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • The BahamasU.S. Department of State. Exercise increased caution in The Bahamas due to crime. Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, occurs even during the day and in tourist areas. Although the family islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to visit the area known by many visitors as the Sand Trap area in Nassau due to crime. Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Demonstrations

  • BeninGC.CA. Legislative elections are due to take place on April 28, 2019. Demonstrations could occur before, during and after the elections.
  • BeninGOV.UK. Legislative elections will take place on 28 April 2019. Protests may be scheduled ahead of the elections and on election day. You should remain vigilant during this period, avoid crowds and demonstrations, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • CyprusGOV.AU. You can only legally enter Cyprus through airports and seaports in the Republic of Cyprus government-controlled areas. You can be refused entry if immigration officials have concerns about previous or planned travel to, accommodation or activities (including but not limited to commercial, academic or employment) in the Turkish-controlled north.

Health

  • BrazilWHO. In Brazil, seasonal increases of yellow fever have historically occurred between December and May. During the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons, the number of yellow fever cases was much larger than in previous years. The increase in cases was partly due to a geographical expansion of the areas affected by yellow fever to include areas previously considered risk-free. In the current 2018- 2019 season (July 2018 to March 2019), a total of 75 confirmed human cases, including 17 deaths, have been reported in Brazil in the states of São Paulo (62), Paraná (12), and Santa Catarina (1).
  • KenyaGOV.UK. Due to a current cluster of cases of cholera at the Nairobi Hospital in April 2019, you should consider the need for urgent treatment and use the Nairobi Hospital if travelling to other emergency departments would cause delay in reaching appropriate medical care.
  • MexicoCDC. Some US residents returning from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, have been diagnosed with infections caused by an antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. All of the travelers with this particular infection had surgery performed in Tijuana. Most (but not all) of them had weight-loss surgery. Over half of those infected had their procedure at the Grand View Hospital. CDC is working with US state and local health departments to determine if any additional US residents were infected with the antibiotic-resistant form of Pseudomonas aeruginosa following surgery at Grand View Hospital. Until the investigation is complete, CDC recommends that travelers to Tijuana, Mexico, not have surgery (or other invasive medical procedures) at Grand View Hospital.

Natural Disasters and Climate

  • Angola, Botswana, Congo, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe GDACS. The drought has lasted for 6 months. Drought indicators suggest anomalies typical of severe to extreme events.
  • Australia GDACS. The drought has lasted for 4 months. Drought indicators suggest anomalies typical of severe to extreme events.
  • Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador GDACS. The drought has lasted for 2 months. Drought indicators suggest anomalies typical of severe to extreme events.
  • Ethiopia, South Sudan GDACS. The drought has lasted for 2 months. Drought indicators suggest anomalies typical of severe to extreme events.
  • IranGOV.UK. Since the end of March, Iran has been affected by a prolonged period of unusually heavy rainfall. This has led to severe flooding across the country, damaging some infrastructure and roads. Most provinces have been affected, particularly Golestan, Mazandaran, Khuzestan, Ilam, Fars (including Shiraz) and Lorestan. More rainfall is forecast.
  • MozambiqueGC.CA. In March 2019, severe flooding occurred in parts of Mozambique, especially in the provinces of Sofala and Zambezia and in the districts of Cuamba and Madimba in the province of Niassa. Reconstruction efforts are underway in the affected areas and could affect the essential services transportation, power distribution, water and food supply, telecommunications networks, emergency services and medical care. If you are currently in an affected area exercise caution, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • MalawiGC.CA. In March 2019, parts of southern Malawi experienced severe flooding. Reconstruction efforts are underway in affected areas. It could disturb transportation and the delivery of some essential services. If you are in an affected area exercise caution, monitor local media, and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • PhilippinesGDACS, GOV.UK On 4/22/2019 9:11:11 AM, an earthquake occurred in Philippines potentially affecting 31240000 people within 100km.  Follow the advice of local security authorities and monitor local media reports.
  • TaiwanGC.CA. On April 18, 2019, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan. The most affected areas are Hualien county, Nantou County, Yilan County, Taichung city and New Taipei city. If you are in Taiwan monitor local news and earthquake reports, follow the advice of local authorities, and contact your travel agent or tour operator to determine if the situation could affect your travel plans.
  • United StatesGC.CA. Several states in the Midwest continue to experience severe flooding due to the melting of a significant amount of snow that fell in 2019. Local authorities have issued states of emergency and evacuation orders in some areas. Some roads and bridges are impassable. Affected states include Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. If you are in the Midwest stay away from flooded areas, follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders, and monitor local news, weather reports and social media to stay up-to-date on the current situation.

Other

  • IndiaGOV.AU. General elections will take place from 11 April to 23 May 2019. Exercise caution and avoid large gatherings.
  • IndiaGOV.UKGOV.AU. On 17 April, Jet Airways announced the cancellation of all flights, domestic and international. If you have an existing booking, you should contact your travel agent or ticket provider (in the case of Qantas codeshare bookings) for information on refunds and alternate travel options (Local travel).
  • PortugalGOV.UK. Strike action by Portuguese fuel tank drivers ended on 18 April. Until the availability of fuel returns to normal, travel within Portugal may be affected.
  • ThailandGC.CA. Only undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining and rock climbing, with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance. Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, refrain from using them. Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance. If engaging in adventure tourism never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company, buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation, ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity, ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may  pose a hazard, inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, and obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails.

Ebola News

  • Democratic Republic of the CongoCDC. There is an outbreak of Ebola in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) and Ituri provinces in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids. Travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, rash, or red eyes during or after travel. CDC has provided recommendations to ensure workers with potential occupational exposure to Ebola are healthy when they return to the United States.
  • Democratic Republic of the CongoWHO. The incidence of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued to increase this week; however, it remained confined to a limited geographical area within North Kivu and Ituri provinces. This recent trend is likely attributable, in part, to past and ongoing security issues, unrest amongst certain local populations, and lingering community mistrust towards outbreak response teams. Improved case detection and response activities have been observed in previously inaccessible hotspots. In the 21 days between 27 March and 16 April 2019, 55 health areas within 11 health zones reported new cases; 39% of the 143 health areas affected to date. During this period, a total of 249 confirmed cases were reported from Katwa (124), Vuhovi (40), Mandima (28), Butembo (24), Beni (16), Oicha (6), Mabalako (5), Kalunguta (2), Masereka (2), Musienene (1), and Lubero (1).

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.