AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 20 February 2019, a powerful winter storm is affecting the United States’ Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Several major cities — including Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. — are forecast to receive heavy snow, sleet and ice. The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm warnings and advisories across these areas, and travel disruptions and hazardous road conditions are likely throughout the day. More than 1,350 flights have been canceled nationwide on 20 February; the airports with the highest number of cancellations include Washington, D.C.’s Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA/DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD/IAD), Baltimore-Washington International Airport (KBWI/BWI), and Chicago Midway International Airport (KMDW/MDW).
China (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 20 February 2019, Chinese authorities have banned foreign travelers from visiting Tibet until 1 April ahead of the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising on 10 March and the 11th anniversary of the 2008 anti-government riots in Lhasa on 14 March. Officials typically restrict travel to Tibet each year during these anniversaries, and normally foreigners are required to obtain an additional permit to travel to Tibet. Security is also very heavy within Tibet during this time, and authorities usually restrict journalist and diplomat access.
Italy (Security threat level – 3): As of 20 February 2019, all operations at Rome’s Ciampino International Airport (LIRA/CIA) are currently being routed through nearby Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino International Airport (LIRF/FCO), following a fire that broke out in Ciampino Airport’s basement on 19 February. Airport authorities are providing a free shuttle service between the two airports. The cause of the fire remains unknown, although officials believe that it was started deliberately.
Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 20 February 2019, Mount Etna — Europe’s most active volcano located on the island of Sicily — erupted, causing flight disruptions at Sicily’s Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (LICC/CTA). Airport authorities have restricted arrivals due to a cloud of ash, causing delays; however, departures have not been affected by the volcanic activity. Airport authorities have advised that further disruptions, including flight delays and cancellations, are likely throughout the day; disruptions also remain possible in the coming days if volcanic activity persists.
Slovakia (Security threat level – 2): According to reports on 20 February 2019, protests are expected across Slovakia on 21 February to mark the one year anniversary of the murder of a prominent anti-corruption investigative journalist. Thus far, the “For a Decent Slovakia” anti-corruption movement has announced that protests will be held in the following cities: Bratislava, Banovce nad Bebravou, Banska Bystrica, Banska Stiavnice, Bytca, Kezmarok, Kosice, Levice, Liptovsky Mikulas, Lucenec, Michalovce, Namestovo, Piestany, Povazska Bystrica, Presove, Prievidza, Rimavska Sobota, Roznava, Ruzomberok, Spisska Nova Ves, Trebisov, Ziar nad Hronom and Zilina. All of the protests are scheduled to begin between 1700 and 1900 local time (1600 and 1800 UTC). Travelers should avoid all demonstrations as a general precaution.
Spain (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 19 February 2019, several minority unions have called for a general strike in the Catalan region of Spain on 21 February. The Intersindical-Confederació Sindical Catalana (CSC) called for the strike in response to the ongoing trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders accused of misusing public funds and engaging in rebellion and sedition during Catalonia’s independence referendum in 2017; the union is also advocating for other issues, including an increase in the minimum wage. It is currently unclear how many people will adhere to the strike, as the larger Catalan unions have not endorsed the civil action. Nevertheless, disruptions are possible, particularly in the transportation and education sectors. Minimum services, including 33 percent of regional trains and 50 percent of Barcelona metro routes during peak hours, will be guaranteed during the strike.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On the morning of 20 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows:
Moldova (Security threat level – 3): On 20 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 20 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon issued a Health Alert that reads in part as follows:
Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 20 February 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Senegal, which reads in part as follows:
Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.