Travel

Control Risks

You can contact the following Alarm Centres:

Americas: (1) (215) 942 8226
Asia & the Pacific: (65) 6338 7800
Europe & Africa: (44) (20) 8762 8008
Paris, France: (33) 155 633 155

Adviced provided in these alerts represents the best judgment of AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd. Adice in these alerts does not however provide a warranty of future results nor a guarantee against risk.

2011 AEA International Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Control Risks Groups Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction (other than for authorised internal purposes) is prohibited except with the prior written consent of the copyright owners.

Travel Alerts

 

23 Sep 2014

Special Advisory – Pakistan: Peshawar: Expect heightened security, associated disruption following fatal explosion on Saddar Road (Revised 07.09 GMT)

Heightened security and associated disruption should be expected in Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) in the coming days after at least three people were killed and 13 others injured on 23 September in an explosion targeting a senior army official travelling in a security convoy on Saddar Road. Reports indicate that the explosive device was planted in a vehicle; gunfire also occurred in the area shortly after the blast, which damaged nearby buildings and vehicles. The army official survived the attack. The authorities have cordoned off the area while investigations continue.

Travel Briefing

Members on essential travel to Peshawar should minimise movement in the city and anticipate stringent movement restrictions, particularly in the immediate vicinity of the explosion. Travellers should allow additional time for journeys and carry relevant identification to ease passage through security checks.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, though a variety of Islamist extremist groups – including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP, the Pakistani Taliban) – maintain a presence in Peshawar and are capable of such attacks. The attack underlines the EXTREME risks associated with travel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in comparison with the country’s overall HIGH rating. Members should avoid non-essential travel to Peshawar; business-critical trips should only be undertaken after seeking expert advice and professional security support.

Travel Advice Summary

  • Avoid all non-essential travel to Peshawar due to the risks posed by insurgency and any related military operations. If travel is essential, seek expert advice and professional security support prior to deployment.
  • Anticipate heightened security, including more stringent procedures at security checkpoints, and associated disruption across Peshawar over the coming days. Allow additional time for essential journeys in the Saddar Road area and carry identification documents at all times to ease passage through checkpoints.
  • Avoid all travel to Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Travel to all other areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be for essential purposes only due to the risks posed by military operations and insurgency. If travel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is essential, seek expert advice and professional security support prior to deployment.
  • There is a significant risk of terrorist attack by Islamist militants in Pakistan. Foreigners, in particular Westerners, may be directly targeted. Likely targets include government and military personnel, Shia Muslim and Christian religious gatherings, densely populated unsecured areas such as markets, Western embassies, and places where Westerners and the Pakistani elite are known to congregate. Maintain awareness at all times, minimise your exposure to likely targets and report suspicious behaviour to the authorities.
  • Ensure you are confident in your accommodation and transport arrangements, are fully briefed on the prevailing threats prior to deployment in Pakistan, and that you know what to do in the event of a major security incident or medical emergency. The above advice is not exhaustive; consult the Standing Travel Advice for Pakistan and seek itinerary- and profile-specific advice prior to travel to the country.

 

21 Sep 2014

Special Advisory – Egypt: Cairo: Fatal bombing near foreign ministry building underscores persistent risks posed by militancy (Revised 10.21 GMT)

At least four people, including security personnel, were killed on 21 September and several others injured in an explosion near the foreign ministry building in the Boulaq Abu El-Ela district of the capital Cairo. The authorities have heightened security in the area following the explosion, which was caused by a roadside bomb and apparently targeted police personnel deployed to a crowded street in the area. The incident underscores the continued threat posed by militant attacks and the need for travellers to observe security precautions and to minimise exposure to potential militant targets, including security personnel and facilities.

Travel Briefing

Militancy has increased nationwide since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi (2012-13). Most attacks comprise of small bombings and drive-by shootings by radicalised individuals or small militant cells, many of which are believed to be primarily composed of Morsi supporters. While the authorities routinely blame the banned Muslim Brotherhood movement, extremist groups such as the Sinai-based Ansar Beit-al-Maqdis and Ajnad Misr (Soldiers of Egypt) have also claimed responsibility for several previous attacks.

Most militant attacks target the security forces and government personnel and facilities, and we expect this trend to continue. However, sporadic attacks against civilian targets are also possible, and public transport has notably been targeted in recent months, with both trains and train stations being targeted by small-scale bomb attacks. While foreigners are unlikely to be deliberately targeted, anyone in the vicinity of attacks would face significant incidental risks. Travellers should maintain awareness of trouble spots and minimise time spent in the vicinity of potential targets, including police stations, government buildings, and security force personnel and convoys.

Travel Advice Summary

  • Travel to Egypt can continue with additional security precautions. The following additional precautions may be currently necessary in view of the potential for a further deterioration in the security environment:
    • Ensure that travellers receive pre-travel briefings on the current situation and prevailing threats, and are confident in how to react to security incidents.
    • Ensure that a meet-and-greet service is pre-arranged with a trusted source, such as a local partner, agent or established hotel. Carry reliable communication at all times and be sure to know who to call if assistance is required (for instance, the International SOS Dubai Assistance Centre at +971 (0) 4 601 8777).
  • Expect heightened security measures near the foreign ministry building in Cairo in the coming hours; these may include road closures, a heightened police presence and additional checkpoints. Carry personal identification documents to facilitate smooth passage.
  • Minimise exposure to potential militant targets such as police stations, government buildings, security force personnel, checkpoints and convoys. Exercise caution in the vicinity of known trouble spots and sensitive locations such as key public squares, university campuses, major mosques, government institutions, police stations and political party offices and report any suspicious behaviour or suspect packages to the authorities.

 

18 Sep 2014

Special Advisory – Yemen: Sanaa: Ongoing fighting reported near al-Iman University; stand fast until situation clarifiesHeavy clashes are reported to be ongoing between members of the Zaydi Shia Muslim Houthi movement and elements of the military loyal to former general Ali Mohsen near the al-Iman University campus in the capital Sanaa. Preliminary reports indicate that the fighting started after Houthi rebels attacked any army post in the area. Details are still emerging.

Travel Advice

  • Account for personnel.
  • Members in Sanaa should stand fast until further notice.
  • Staff in the vicinity of the clashes should return to their accomodation immediately.
  • Monitor our alerts for further information.

 

16 Sep 2014

Special Advisory – Afghanistan: Kabul: Suicide attack targeting international troop convoy underscores significant travel security risks (Revised 7.21 GMT)A suicide vehicle bombing targeted an international troop convoy as it was travelling along Airport Road in the capital Kabul early on 16 September. The attack, which took place in the vicinity of the New Kabul Compound and Supreme Court, killed at least three foreign soldiers and injured 18 other people, including five troops. A Taliban spokesman subsequently stated that the group was responsible for the attack.

Members should seek professional security support and ensure they are fully briefed on the prevailing threats prior to deployment to Afghanistan, which is rated an EXTREME travel risk location.

Travel Briefing

Convoys of security personnel are frequently targeted across the country, and civilians are occasionally caught up in attacks aimed at them. Most such attacks take place as convoys are entering or leaving military bases, though as this incident underlines can occur in crowded areas of cities. Major routes to and through Kabul such as Airport, Darulaman and Jalalabad roads are particularly vulnerable to suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attacks given their heavy usage by security force, government and international community convoys.

Travel Advice Summary

Travellers and expatriates

  • Routinely minimise movement outside secure premises and the time spent around likely targets for insurgent attack, both static and in transit.
  • Armoured vehicles are recommended for all road movement; soft-skin vehicles may be practical in northern or western provinces, subject to a specific assessment and within city limits of urban centres.
  • Members should seek professional security support and ensure they are fully briefed on the prevailing threats prior to deployment to Afghanistan.

For managers

  • The requirement for short-duration business trips to the country should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and should be strictly for essential purposes only.
  • If travel to Afghanistan is essential, companies should undertake a thorough review of physical and procedural security at all sites and staff accommodation against current security threats and likely militant tactics. Minimum requirements are a solid perimeter, sufficient stand-off from public spaces, tight access control, armed security and safe rooms.
  • Managers must be able to locate and communicate with all in-country travellers, including expatriate employees, throughout this period to account for them in case of a security incident. While communication networks in urban centres are reliable, use multiple providers and have satellite telephones available as back-up.

 

31 Aug 2014

Special Advisory – Pakistan: Minimise non-essential movement throughout Punjab, Sindh provinces amid violent opposition protests

Clashes are continuing early on 31 August between supporters of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) parties and the police in the government ‘Red Zone’ area of the capital Islamabad. Violence broke out after thousands of protesters attempted to remove security barricades in front of the prime minister’s house, to which the police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Protesters have also breached security barricades outside the National Assembly building. More than 300 people have been injured so far, and at least five people killed.Access from Islamabad and Rawalpindi (Punjab province) to Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB) is viable, though difficult. Margalla Road is closed near the Red Zone in Sector F-6, while IJP Road, Faisabad Interchange and Khanna Pul Interchange are blocked.In Lahore (Punjab), the police fired tear gas to disperse PTI activists who had blocked Ghazi Road and Liberty Chowk late on 30 August, and have since blocked access to all government buildings in the city. The PTI has called for protesters to march to the prime minister’s house, on Raiwind Road on the south-western outskirts of Lahore; the road has been blocked.

Reports are also emerging of protests in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur (all Sindh province), and Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Sialkot (all Punjab). PTI protesters have blocked the Hyderabad-Karachi Super Highway and called for supporters to block Shahr-e Faisal Road between Jinnah International Airport (KHI) and central Karachi. The PTI has also called for a nationwide strike on 31 August, which has been supported by the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) party, whose stronghold is in Karachi.

Travel Briefing

The situation is unpredictable and further violence and large protests are expected on 31 August throughout Sindh and Punjab provinces. Members should minimise non-essential movement in Punjab and Sindh provinces, including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi, until the situation stabilises. Travel between urban centres in these provinces, as well as to and from airports, will be difficult due to security restrictions as well as protests and associated roadblocks.

Within Islamabad, the vicinity of the Red Zone (Sectors F-5 and G-5) should be strictly avoided. A large contingent of soldiers is stationed outside state buildings in this area, though the security response is currently being led by the police, not military personnel. The risk of army intervention – both physically and politically – will increase if protests continue to grow in scale and intensity around the country.

There have been no reports of protests in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan provinces so far, though members in these areas should not be complacent; the situation is fast-moving and heightened awareness is required.

Background

The PAT and PTI parties staged a ‘long march’ on 14-15 August from Lahore to Islamabad, where they have remained since; both are calling for the prime minister’s resignation. PAT leader Tahirul Qadri is also calling for the resignation of the prime minister’s brother Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab, over clashes between PAT supporters and the police in Lahore in June in which 11 people were killed. Khan is demanding a judicial enquiry into the 2013 elections, which he claims were fraudulent, and fresh polls.

Travel Advice Summary

For travellers or expatriate residents

  • Defer non-essential travel to Islamabad until the situation stabilises. Members already in the city should minimise non-essential movement and strictly avoid the government Red Zone.
  • Non-essential movement should also be minimised throughout Punjab and Sindh provinces, including Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi, on 31 August.
  • In the event of encountering protesters, relocate to a secure location and stand fast. Once safe, establish communications and alert your organisation following established protocols.
  • Allow additional time for transit to and from Islamabad and Karachi airports; a robust journey management plan, including contingency plans in the event that the primary route is blocked, is essential.
  • Members with appointments at diplomatic missions in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi should reschedule these due to likely access restrictions and reduced consular services.

For managers

  • Those with local offices in Punjab and Sindh should review business continuity plans and consider allowing staff to work from home while the protests are ongoing.
  • Ensure that staff observe appropriate journey management protocols.
  • Confirm and test means to locate and communicate with staff, and refresh plans to enforce working from home or a stand fast in the event of a deterioration in the security situation.

 

31 Aug 2014

Special Advisory – Somalia: Mogadishu: Fatal militant attack on intelligence facility in Bondhere district underlines EXTREME travel risks (Revised 15.45 GMT)At least 11 people, including three soldiers, were killed on 31 August when members of the Islamist extremist group al-Shabab assaulted an intelligence facility – which also houses a prison – in the Bondhere district of the capital Mogadishu. The assailants, who were allegedly attempting to free detained militants, detonated a suicide car bomb at the entrance to the facility before engaging in a gun battle with the security forces in which all the attackers were killed. The incident underlines the overall EXTREME risks associated with travel to the country due to persistent militancy.Travel Briefing

Such violence is not uncommon in the capital; 12 people were killed on 8 July when gunmen detained a car bomb and stormed Villa Somalia (presidential palace). The al-Shabab group claimed responsibility for the attack, which followed a previous car bombing by the group outside the nearby parliament in Mogadishu on 5 July, in which four people were killed. Such developments serve as a reminder that travel to Mogadishu should be for essential purposes only and limited to the secure airport area.

Similar security incidents are likely to persist in the coming months, with government and security force personnel and assets remaining the primary targets, though attacks have previously also occurred at sites where foreigners gather, thereby posing significant direct and indirect risks to travellers. In the event of an attack, members should liaise with their security provider regarding the incident and feasibility of movement. Long-range and indirect-fire weapons can also target well-protected areas of Mogadishu. Travellers staying in accommodation outside the airport areas should review their security arrangements with their security provider.

Travel Advice Summary

  • Travel to Mogadishu should be for essential purposes only and limited to the secure airport area.
  • Movement outside the airport perimeter requires a specific pre-travel threat assessment and a comprehensive and fully co-ordinated security programme, using providers with good local knowledge and solid response capabilities. The use of an expatriate security co-ordinator is recommended; independent travel is inadvisable.
  • Further attacks are possible in the short term. Travellers staying in accommodation outside the airport areas should review their security arrangements with their security provider to ensure availability of means of communication, and security escorts with quick response capabilities.
  • In the event of an attack, liaise with your security provider regarding the incident and feasibility of movement.
  • This advice is not exhaustive. For additional advice on travel to Somalia, consult our Standing Travel Advice.

 

30 Aug 2014

Special Advisory – Lesotho: Defer non-essential travel following apparent military coup, seizure of government buildings (Revised 10.24 GMT)

Members should defer non-essential travel to the country following reports on 30 August that the military has seized several government buildings in the capital Maseru, including the State House and the police headquarters, in an apparent coup attempt. Unconfirmed reports indicate that gunfire was heard from around 04.00 (local time) in a number of areas in the city.Local sources indicate that the situation on the streets is generally calm, though there is an increased military presence around the government quarter and radio and communications networks had previously been jammed.Travel Briefing

There is potential for a deterioration in security in the coming hours and days. Rivalries between political leaders and prominent figures in the police and military could lead to localised clashes around key infrastructure in the near term as rival factions jostle for control. This could be accompanied by curfews, movement restrictions and the closure of key transport hubs or border crossings to South Africa. Additionally, political uncertainty may manifest in outbreaks of localised unrest and/or some instances of targeted political violence, though we consider the latter highly unlikely to affect business travellers.

Outlook

Security concerns will be highest in Maseru, where public support for Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is greatest, and it is unlikely that there will be any major incidents in areas outside the capital. Nevertheless, a sudden change in the security environment should not be ruled out; a disputed election in 1998 led to riots across the country during which at least 66 people were killed. During that political crisis South Africa deployed peacekeepers in an effort to secure strategic water resources, a scenario that cannot be discounted if the current crisis escalates.

Background

Lesotho has a history of political turbulence, having experienced at least three successful coups since 1986. The peaceful formation of a coalition government following tightly contested elections in June 2012 was a positive development. However the alliance suffered from inter-party rivalries and criticism of Prime Minister Thabane’s authoritarian tendencies. The fragility of the coalition was laid bare when Thabane in June suspended the National Assembly in a bid to avoid a vote of no confidence orchestrated by coalition partners.

Travel Advice Summary

International travellers

  • Defer non-essential travel to Lesotho as a precaution due to the potential for a deterioration in the travel security environment in the near term.

Members in Maseru

  • Minimise movement and remain in secure accommodation until the situation stabilises. Contact your management as per pre-established procedures. Identify and avoid areas vulnerable to violence, including key government buildings, public broadcasting offices, military and police barracks, and low-income areas more generally.
  • Precedent indicates that operations at airports and borders can be suspended without notice following an unconstitutional takeover of power. Do not attempt to travel to airports – including Moshoeshoe I International Airport (MSU) – and land border crossings without confirming that they are in operation, routes are open and that it is safe to travel. Print a copy of your ticket to facilitate access to the airport.
  • Avoid unnecessary interactions with members of the security forces. Do not cross military or police cordons without the express permission of the authorities and treat members of the security forces you encounter with patience and respect. Carry photographic identification to facilitate ease of passage through checkpoints.
  • It is possible that the authorities may implement curfews in the coming hours and days; keep abreast of curfew hours and factor them into itineraries.

 

30 Aug 2014

Special Advisory – Afghanistan: Jalalabad: Minimise movement due to militant attack on security building in Joi Haft area (Revised 04.39 GMT)

At least six people on 30 August were killed and more than 40 others injured in a militant attack at around 05.00 (local time) on the National Directorate of Security building in the Joi Haft area of Jalalabad (Nangarhar province). The attack commenced with a suicide car bombing, following which an unspecified number of militants engaged in a gunfight with the security forces; it is unclear whether the fighting has ended. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which serves as a reminder that the security risks in Nangarhar are among the most acute in the country.Travel BriefingIncreased security can be expected in Jalalabad, particularly in Joi Haft, as the security forces attempt to contain the situation. Members should avoid the vicinity of the affected area and minimise movement until the situation stabilises. The country’s strongest anti-government elements as well as foreign militants, particularly Pakistanis, maintain a significant presence in Nangarhar. The mountainous terrain, sparse police presence, and the fact that the province is situated on major transit route between Pakistan and the capital Kabul means that the area is susceptible to high levels of insurgent activity.

Most of the violence occurs within the province’s southern and eastern districts of Dur Baba, Lal Pur, Goshta, Achin, Nazyan, Khogyani, Pachir Aw Agam and Dih Bala, which border Pakistan. However, the large security force presence and number of government buildings in the provincial capital Jalalabad renders it vulnerable to attacks, particularly against high-profile targets. The Jalalabad-Kabul road is also particularly susceptible to security incidents, due to the high level of international military traffic along the route. Members on essential travel to the country should seek professional security support and ensure they are fully briefed on the prevailing threats prior to deployment.

Travel Advice Summary

  • Avoid the vicinity of the attack and minimise movement in Jalalabad until the situation stabilises.
  • Liaise with your security provider regarding the incident and feasibility of movement.
  • Increased spot-checks are likely even after the attack concludes. Allow additional travel time and carry relevant personal identification to ease movement through checkpoints.
  • Monitor our travel security alerts on Afghanistan for further updates.

 

29 Aug 2014

Iceland: Authorities reduce alert level for Bardarbunga volcano; reconfirm itineraries with airlinesThe Icelandic meteorological office on 29 August lowered the aviation alert level for the Bardarbunga volcano to orange, the second-highest in a four-tier rating, after raising it to red earlier in the day in response to reports of a fissure eruption north of the Dynjujökull glacier. The airspace around the volcano has been reopened to traffic below 5,000 feet (1,524 metres) in a radius of ten nautical miles (18.5km).No emissions of volcanic ash have yet been reported. However, a three-nautical-mile (5.5km) radius and restricted flight area above 5,000 feet around the volcano remain in place as a precaution. Constant fluctuations in seismic activity at the volcano means that short-notice flight restrictions and cancellations may affect aircraft using Iceland’s airspace.Travel Advice

  • Monitor our travel security alerts on Iceland for related updates.
  • In the event of an eruption in the coming days, maintain flexible travel plans and be prepared for air travel disruption to last for several days.

 

29 Aug 2014

Iceland: Flight disruption possible as authorities raise alert level for Bardarbunga volcano; reconfirm itineraries with airlinesThe Icelandic meteorological office on 29 August raised the alert level for the Bardarbunga volcano to red, the highest in a four-tier rating, following reports of a fissure eruption north of the Dynjujökull glacier just after midnight (local time). The airspace around the volcano has been closed up to 18,000 feet (5,486 metres). While no emissions of volcanic ash have yet been detected, the current level of seismic activity at the volcano and precedents show that flight restrictions and cancellations are possible at short notice for aircraft using Iceland’s airspace.Travel Advice

  • We do not hold information on specific flights. Members should reconfirm the status of their flight with the relevant airline or airport.
  • Maintain flexible travel plans and consider alternative options for travel around Europe by road and rail.
  • Be prepared for disruption to air travel lasting for several days.
  • Monitor our Iceland security alerts for related updates.

 

24 Aug 2014

Iceland: Alert level lowered for Bardarbunga volcano; continue to monitor developmentsThe Icelandic meteorological office on 24 August lowered the alert level for the Bardarbunga volcano to Orange, the second-highest in a four-scale rating, after it concluded there were no signs an eruption was imminent. On the previous day the alert was raised to Red, the highest level, after the erroneous announcement of an eruption under the Dyngjujökull glacier.The current level of seismic activity at the volcano means flight disruption in Iceland’s airspace may still occur at short notice if an eruption and associated ash emission occurred.Travel Advice

  • Monitor our travel security alerts on Iceland for related updates.
  • In the event of an eruption in the coming days, maintain flexible travel plans and be prepared for air travel disruption to last for several days.

 

22 Aug 2014

Guinea: EVACUATE: NON-ESSENTIAL STAFF: Evacuation level raised due to Ebola-related travel bans, possible further reduction of evacuation options

We have increased our evacuation level from Stand-by to EVACUATE: NON-ESSENTIAL STAFF as South Africa and Senegal on 21 August announced that they would deny entry to travellers coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia due to the ongoing Ebola virus epidemic.Travel BriefingOur decision to raise the evacuation level is not driven by a deterioration of the security or medical situation in the country. It is a precautionary measure that reflects a further and significant reduction, over the past 24 hours, of options for air travel from Guinea. The Senegal ban in particular – which comes after Senegal Airlines on 19 August stopped serving Guinea, further reducing commercial flight availability out of the country – removes a key regional option for both medically- and security-driven charter evacuations.A raft of travel bans affecting Ebola-hit countries announced over the past 48 hours confirms increasing sensitivity to the outbreak worldwide and suggests that further travel restrictions could be announced in the coming days, thereby placing further limitations on evacuation options. Managers should assess these new logistical limitations, as well as the associated health and access-to-care risks related to the Ebola outbreak, in relation to their staff.We advise the evacuation of non-essential staff using commercial airlines, wherever possible. Monitor the situation closely and maintain regular contact with external support providers (including International SOS) to track the availability of assets and the feasibility of movement plans. If further constraints on commercial and charter air movement are identified, we would be likely to increase our evacuation level to EVACUATE: ALL STAFF. Similarly, increased levels of unrest and/or animosity towards foreign personnel linked to the social, economic or human consequences of the Ebola outbreak would constitute another trigger for such a move.Travel Advice Summary

International travellers

  • Defer non-essential travel to Guinea.
  • Do not travel if you are sick. Illnesses, including potentially life-threatening conditions, cannot be managed adequately. Less serious illnesses may become life-threatening. International evacuation for medical reasons is highly challenging and may not be achievable.
  • Contact International SOS for advice before travelling.
  • If undertaking essential travel, monitor the situation closely. Note that screening is being carried out at border control and other checkpoints. Allow additional time during arrival and departure to pass through medical screening.
  • Persons with fever or other Ebola-like symptoms may be taken to designated centres or have entry/exit denied.
  • Carry a first-aid kit.

In-country staff

  • Avoid high-risk activities, such as contact with ill people. For further detail, visit www.internationalsos.com/ebola.
  • Avoid facilities treating Ebola cases.
  • Liaise with local contacts and monitor local media to keep abreast of quarantine measures and restrictions to internal movement. Treat the local security forces and medical staff with caution and respect.
  • Avoid public gatherings as a basic security precaution due to credible risk of localised unrest over public health response to the epidemic.
  • Follow local developments closely and know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Security managers

  • We advise evacuating non-essential staff, using commercial air options when possible. Consider approaching international air carriers, charter companies and external support providers (including International SOS) accordingly. Stay alert to the changing availability and willingness of providers to fly into Ebola-affected countries.
  • Notify staff of the increased level of evacuation preparedness.
  • Conduct an evacuation briefing for key management staff (at a country, regional and global level, where applicable).
  • Check that all potential evacuees and dependents have up-to-date passports and visas, and that manifests are up-to-date and on-hand.
  • Ensure business continuity measures and manage any potential shutdown procedures as required.
  • Continue to monitor the health and security situation closely and ensure quick and effective dissemination of time-sensitive information among local staff.

 

Bardarbunga Volcano

The Icelandic Met Office has recently warned the aviation industry of potential disruption from volcanic ash, raising the alert level for the Barðarbunga volcano to orange, the fourth of five possible alert levels. This means that “the volcano shows heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption”.

Travellers should be aware that an eruption in 2010 resulted in significant disruption to travel due to the closure of large areas of European airspace. Information on the likely effects of such an eruption can be found here: http://nats.aero/blog/2014/08/happens-bardarbunga-erupts/

UMAL will monitor the situation closely but, at the time of writing, no eruption has been reported and no flight restrictions are in place.

21/08/2014 2:43 pm

20 Aug 2014

Africa: Anticipate regional travel disruption due to Ebola-related flight bans, health screening measures

The authorities in several countries have implemented flight bans due to the spread of Ebola. Other individual carriers have also restricted flights or modified schedules. Health screening has also been implemented at ports of entry and departure in various countries across the region. Details are listed in the Travel Briefing below.Specific details of restrictions are often difficult to verify and flight operations are subject to change at short notice. Travellers should check with their airline regarding possible suspensions, reconfirm the status of flights before setting out and allow additional time during arrival and departure to pass through enhanced medical screening.Travel BriefingEntry restrictionsThe authorities in Kenya on 19 August temporarily suspended entry into that country of passengers travelling from and through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. While the measure applies to all ports of entry in Kenya, it will exclude health professionals supporting efforts to contain the outbreak as well as Kenyan citizens returning from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, though they will be subject to extensive medical screening.FlightsCountries that have implemented Ebola-related flight restrictions:

  • Chad has banned entry to any travellers originating or transiting through Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria or Sierra Leone; airlines serving the country have rerouted flights accordingly.
  • Cameroon has banned flights from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
  • Côte d’Ivoire and Gambia have banned all passenger flights from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Nigeria has suspended flights to the country operated by Gambian national carrier Gambia Bird.
  • South Sudan has suspended all flights to and from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Details of airlines that have restricted flights to Ebola-affected countries:

  • Asky Airlines has suspended flights to and from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Arik Air, Gambia Bird and Kenya Airways have suspended services to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • British Airways has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone until at least 31 August.
  • Ceiba Intercontinental, the national airline of Equatorial Guinea, has reportedly suspended flights to West African countries.
  • Emirates Airlines has suspended flights to Guinea.
  • Korean Air suspended flights to and from Kenya from 20 August.

Other airlines have modified their routes but are still operating regular scheduled services. These include:

  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Brussels Airlines

Medical screening

Entry and exit health screening is now in place in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Sierra Leone. This list is not exhaustive and other countries in the region may implement similar measures, which can include the partial closure of land borders, ports and river crossings in an effort to restrict cross-border travel. Members should allow additional time to pass through medical screening and not travel if they are sick. Staff should continue to monitor local media and our Ebola website for developments.

Travel Advice Summary

  • Defer non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Reconfirm bookings on all regional routes as increased demand is likely. We do not hold information on specific flights.
  • Allow additional time during arrival and departure to pass through enhanced medical screening.
  • Do not travel if you are sick. Persons with fever or other Ebola-like symptoms may be taken to designated centres or have entry/exit denied.
  • For further detail and latest information refer to our dedicated Ebola website.

 

 

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