Perpetual Traveller - Travel Warnings 2017 - Week 22

Tragedy occurred in London this week, with yet another extraordinary Terrorism event that caused the loss of 7 lives. Brutal in nature and crude in methodology, this incident serves as a timely reminder that Terrorism within the major cities of the West is something we may need to get used to. Our hearts and minds go out to the families and loves ones of the victims.

At Perpetual Traveller we remain committed to providing this intelligence report on a weekly basis to support our PT Readers with the risk management of their travel.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Indonesia; Terrorist groups have the capacity and intent to carry out attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. Type of attacks have included suicide bombings and small-arms fire, targeting public and crowded places. The threat from Islamist extremism remains high, though the Indonesian authorities continue to disrupt attack planning, including arresting alleged terrorists reportedly in the advanced stages of preparation. On 24 May 2017 there were bomb explosions at the Kampung Melayu bus station in east Jakarta. 3 police officers were killed.

Rallies and protests may take place in the lead up to, during and after elections; Take special care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance. Monitor local and international media and keep up to date with this travel advice.

Civil disturbances reported across the country following a security operation in the vicinity of Diraz on 23 May; follow the advice of the local authorities and if you encounter a large demonstration, protest or any civil disturbances, leave the area immediately. No tourists or cruisers have ever been impacted in Bahrain.

A series of demonstrations has taken place since October 2016 in northern Morocco; mainly around the town of Al Hoceima, but with other areas including the cities of Tangier and Nador also affected, there have been some reports of limited violence during these protests as of 30 May 2017, the demonstrations are occurring on an almost daily basis, more demonstrations are planned and a heavy security presence remains in place.

A general election will be held on 3 June 2017; there's a risk of minor disruption to public transport, some main roads in built up areas and shop opening hours during the election period due to gatherings of party supporters.

A second brutal Terrorism event occurred on 3 June in London, a short space of time from the Manchester bombing. The threat level is critical in the UK at present, especially so for crowded areas major cities. There means involved vans hitting pedestrians and men armed with machetes carrying out full scale attacks. The situation could be further escalated by the UK election on 8 June and if travel to the UK can be avoided during this coming week, it would be advisable, at least until things settle down. 

BA cabin crew to strike over 16-20 June
According to union Unite, British Airways (BA) cabin crew voted to strike from 16-20 June as part of a long-running dispute over pay and benefits. The union has said the strike action was called to protest a failure to reinstate benefits for crew who took part in an earlier protest. BA officials said the strike was unnecessary but noted that in previous industrial action it had minimised delays and disruption. The strike is not expected to be as disruptive as a major IT systems failure that forced the airline to cancel over 800 flights in late May.

Airport staff to strike until October SITAVA. The Portuguese aviation and airport union, announced its members would strike over pay and working conditions from 3 June until 1 October 2017. The strike will include staff responsible for security and baggage handling. The action will likely cause disruption at the country’s airports at the height of the tourist season. Potential impact to passengers and crew arriving to Portugal to embark ships or for those departing from Portuguese airports to other global embarkations ports.

Increased risk of terrorist attacks, disruption during Ramadan; There is a heightened threat of terrorist activity during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will end on 24 June. In a 26 May video posted on social media, the Islamic State (IS) group called for its supporters to step up attacks on the West during the period. Two IS suicide bombers in Baghdad on 30 May killed more than 30 people at the start of Ramadan and in 2016, IS claimed major attacks in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia that left more than 400 dead and 700 wounded. Notable 2016 attacks include the 28 June attack on the Istanbul airport and the 3 July Baghdad truck bombing that killed more than 200 people. In addition to the potential for violence, there is typically a slowdown in business activity during the period, which could affect commercial operations and government services.