Summer isn’t over yet, and whether you’re travelling for work or leisure, we hope you’ll make safety a top priority.
We’re bringing you a weekly round-up of a selection of the latest alerts on terrorism and other safety factors from around the world to help you make informed decisions.
Please note: when we refer to FCO advice against travel, this means that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued advice against all travel, or against all but essential travel, to a particular area or destination. In either case, it’s not a good idea to go there!
Turkey suffered yet another tragedy over the weekend when a suicide bomber targeted a wedding party in Gaziantep – a town near the Syrian border - killing 50 people and injuring 90 or more. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families affected by this attack.
The majority of recent attacks have targeted Istanbul, Ankara, and government/military centres, and although the situation seems to have calmed since July’s attempted coup, the FCO says that the security environment remains “volatile”.
Anyone in Turkey is advised to “be vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities, closely monitor travel advice... “ Take sensible precautions if you’re near any military or security forces, and carry a copy of your passport as regular checks are taking place.
Following the bombings in Thailand on 11 and 12 August, the threat from terrorism is considered to be high and the FCO recommends exercising caution and following the instructions of local authorities. There is increased security presence in many popular tourist areas.
Advice against travel has not been issued for areas affected by these bombings, however advice remains in place against travel to Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla on the Thai-Malaysia border.
Dangerous weather conditions have also been reported by the FCO, and caution is advised to ensure safety when travelling:
On 16 and 17 August, severe rains caused flooding in the north of Thailand. There are warnings of strong winds and 2-4 meter high waves in the Andaman Sea and the upper Gulf of Thailand. Always follow local authorities’ advice and check local weather reports to ensure your safety if you’re travelling in the region.
Although the Olympics are drawing to a close, Rio is still filled with travellers and athletes who are enjoying a well-earned break, and the city shows no sign of slowing down! Preparations are also underway for September’s Paralympic games, so expect a continued security presence and remain vigilant wherever you go.
Delays are expected at airports today (22 August) with the closing of the Olympic Games. If you’re travelling in the area, please allow extra time for transport and check-in.
Further incidents of theft and pick-pocketing have been reported, and anyone visiting Brazil – and Rio in particular – should take extra care. Keep valuables safely hidden or locked in your hotel room.
The FCO reports that political tensions remain high following legal action taken against the leader of the CNRP party.
There is a possibility of demonstrations which could become violent, so caution is advised.
Cambodia has a low terror threat and the majority of visits (around 154 000 Brits in 2015) happen without incident. There have been some reports of robberies and assaults against foreigners, so it’s important to be cautious – as you should be when visiting any unfamiliar place!
Monsoons & Flooding
There has been large-scale flooding in a large portion of central and southern Louisiana, and a state of emergency has been declared.
Monsoon rains continue to affect a large part of India and all travellers should remain cautions.
There are warnings of “hazardous sea and weather conditions” due to Tropical Storm Mindulle.
Flooding is also possible in areas of Laos, Burma and Thailand, so please check with airlines and tour operators before you travel.
Wherever you go, go safely
As always, we wish you a productive week and a safe journey!
Be prepared, not scared, and remain alert wherever you are in the world. Make sure you have the appropriate travel insurance for your trip - including comprehensive cover in case of terrorism. You can find out more about travelling with extra peace of mind here.
These details were correct at the time of publication but as we know all too well, can change at any time. If we haven’t covered the area you’re travelling to, please check with the FCO and your travel provider. It’s important to check the FCO’s website for updates before you book and before you travel, and ensure that you have the appropriate travel insurance for your entire trip.
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