Travel Safety Round-Up: 30/7/2018

This week’s summary of advice and updates from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) includes natural disasters, important notes on local laws and customs, areas currently under a state of emergency, and lots more. 

 

Country Date  
     
Indonesia 29 July 2018; 8:06am

On 29 July, the North East of the island of Lombok experienced a series of earthquakes. Search and rescue operations are on-going. If you are in the area, you should monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.

China 27 July 2018; 4:07pm

Factual update on explosion outside the US Embassy compound in Beijing; reports suggest an individual set off a firecracker type device; no-one else was injured.

Peru 27 July 2018; 3:07pm

Safety and security section (Local travel) – revised information; list of areas under state of emergency.

Malawi 27 July 2018; 2:39pm

In the period since 24 July there have been reports of possible incidents of unrest and violence in rural areas of Mulanje, linked to rumours of bloodsuckers; you should exercise caution if travelling in these areas, especially after dark, avoid any demonstrations or large groups of people and follow local security advice.

Togo 27 July 2018; 1:38pm

Updated information; the government has banned protests, but it is possible that opposition groups may schedule further protests.

Japan 27 July 2018; 11:26am

Addition of information on heatwave; removal of information on volcanic activity in Kyushu; update of information on North Korea.

Safety and security section (Road travel) – where to obtain an International Driving Permit.

Local laws and customs section – addition of information about laws in Japan.

Djibouti 27 July 2018; 10:53am

Safety and security section (Rail travel) revised information; a passenger service operates between Djibouti and Addis Ababa; there have been no reported safety incidents.

Money section – revised information; use of Mastercard credit cards is difficult in Djibouti; you should ensure you have sufficient hard currency.

Latvia 27 July 2018; 9:34am

Forest fires are affecting the Valdgale parish in the municipality of Talsi; you are advised not to go near the fires or nearby forests; you should follow local advice when travelling in this region.

Mali 26 July 2018; 6:41pm

Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on 29 July 2018.

Slovakia 26 July 2018; 5:21pm

Safety and security section (Crime) – additional information; if you are, or think you have been a victim of crime in Slovakia, you should report the incident to local police prior to leaving the country; you should ask for a statement or confirmation of the incident.

Eritrea 26 July 2018; 5:02pm

Summary and Safety and security section (Local travel) – there has been a recent improvement in relations between Eritrea and Ethopia, which has led to an official end to the state of war between the 2 countries; however, the border remains closed and heavily mined.

The FCO advise against all travel to within 25km of Eritrea’s land borders, with the exception of the towns of Senafe and Tessenei.

Pakistan 26 July 2018; 1:19pm

Summary and Safety and security section (Political situation) – updated information on terrorist attacks during the elections on 25 July; you should avoid demonstrations, large crowds of people and public events.

Guatemala 26 July 2018; 12:02pm

Revised information on volcanos; before climbing volcanos you should follow the advice of local authorities; additional information is available on the websites of the Guatemalan Meteorological Office, “INSIVUMEH”, and the disaster agency “CONRED”

Jamaica 26 July 2018; 11:31am

Revised information; a state of emergency in the Parish of St James, which includes Montego Bay, has been extended until 31 October 2018.

An additional state of emergency in St Catherine north state (Spanish Town, Linstead and Bog Walk) has also been extended until 2 October 2018.

The Jamaican government has also extended Zones of Special Operations in certain neighbourhoods in Kingston (Denham town and other areas in West Kingston).

Nigeria 26 July 2018; 9:09am

The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos state will be closed for repairs from 24 to 26 August; you should allow plenty of time for travel and monitor local media.

Canada 25 July 2018; 6:33pm

Entry requirements section (Visas) – effective from 31 July 2018, you may need to give your fingerprints and photos (biometrics) at a visa application centre when applying for a study or work permit, or permanent residence.

British Virgin Islands 25 July 2018; 4:36pm

UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are processed by the BHC in Barbados (not valid for travel through the United States of America without a valid US visa).

Safety and security section (Sea travel) – revised contact information for Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR).

Local laws and customs section – addition of information; a grounded vessel that has sustained material damage affecting seaworthiness must notify the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry within 24 hours of the accident.

Democratic Republic of the Congo 25 July 2018; 3:52pm

On 24 July, the DRC Government and the World Health Organization declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province. The latest updates can be found on WHO’s website.

Egypt 25 July 2018; 3:51pm

Local laws and customs section – addition of information about publicising strongly negative opinions about Egypt or making political comments, including on social media; updated dates for Ramadan in 2019.

Kenya 25 July 2018; 2:28pm

Summary and Terrorism section – updated information on threats.

Entry requirements section – updated information on the e-permit process.

Health section – removal of information on health screening measures at some airports and border crossings due to Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Zimbabwe 25 July 2018; 1:31pm

Updated information on the political situation; elections have been announced for 30 July 2018; during the election period you should expect increased political activity, including political rallies and demonstrations, in all parts of Zimbabwe; you’re advised to avoid any rallies or demonstrations.

Somalia 25 July 2018; 11:47am

Entry requirements section (Dual nationality) – addition of information; the Government of Somalia and the authorities in Somaliland will consider anyone of Somali or Somaliland descent to hold dual-British and Somali or Somaliland nationality; the British Government is limited in the consular support it can offer in such circumstances.

South Sudan 25 July 2018; 11:07am

Further deterioration in the security situation remains a real possibility and could be prompted by a number of factors including developments in the ongoing region-led peace process and the fragile economy.

Cambodia 25 July 2018; 5:10am

Addition of information on flood alerts in southern Laos; you should be aware of a heightened risk of flooding in Stueng Traeng province in north-eastern Cambodia. The Cambodian Ministry of Water Resources has issued a warning to residents of Stueng Traeng province to prepare to evacuate. You should follow all guidance issued by the local authorities.

Large political rallies are planned for Phnom Penh on Friday 27 July from around 6am; there may be traffic disruption and delays in Phnom Penh on Friday; you should avoid large gatherings, demonstrations and political meetings.

USA 25 July 2018; 3:28am

The Ferguson wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park in the state of California has prompted the temporary closure of Yosemite Valley. The National Park Service is asking visitors to leave.

Wildfires can spread swiftly, so if you are in the area you should remain vigilant, monitor local media reports, and follow the instructions issued by local authorities, including obeying any evacuation orders. Further information on the Ferguson wildfire can be found at www.nps.gov/yose.

If you have been affected by the wildfire and need consular assistance, you can call the British Consulate in San Francisco on +1 415 617 1300; if you’re in the UK and worried about a British national visiting the Yosemite region, you can call the FCO on 020 7008 1500

Nigeria 24 July 2018; 3:11pm

The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos state will be closed from midnight Thursday 26 July to midnight Sunday 29 July, to assess repairs needed; you should allow plenty of time for travel and monitor the local media for updates.

India 24 July 2018; 12:32pm

Addition of information; following heavy monsoon rains and with more forecasted, the state government of Odisha issued a flood alert on 23 July for 6 districts including Puri; you should check local conditions before travelling to Odisha.

Japan 24 July 2018; 12:24pm

Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula due to a series of DPRK nuclear and missile tests; there remains a risk of further missile and nuclear tests, which could lead to a further increase in regional tensions, and may affect Japan; monitor developments and follow instructions from local authorities.

Greece 24 July 2018; 10:04am

On 23 and 24 July, there have been wildfires in a number of areas in southern Greece, including close to Athens; they have been confined to limited areas, but within those the impact has been high, with significant loss of life.

Most visits to Greece, including to Athens, are unaffected; you should keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of the Greek authorities in affected areas.

If you’ve been affected by the wildfires and need consular assistance, you can call the British Embassy in Athens on +30 210 7272 600; if you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Greece, call the FCO on 020 7008 1500

Nepal 23 July 2018; 2:03pm

Entry requirements section – revised information on visas; overstaying a visa can result in a fine of up to 50,000 Nepali Rupees and/or deportation.

Local laws and customs section – addition of information; the import of precious metals is strictly regulated; foreign nationals are permitted to carry gold ornaments up to 50 grams and silver ornaments up to 100 grams.

     

Remember that this information is subject to change at any time, so it’s a good idea to check the FCO website and local news for your travel route and destination before you book – and before you depart. 

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