Recent World Wide Alerts

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09.08.19  /  High  /  Spain – Security Alert in Regards to Common Criminal Techniques

High

09.08.19 Spain Security Alert in Regards to Common Criminal Techniques

On 7 August 2019, the U.S. Mission in Spain issued a Security Alert in regards to common criminal techniques used throughout the country, which reads in part as follows: “Event: U.S. citizens should remain vigilant to the risk of theft and criminal schemes – including pickpocketing in major urban centers and flat tire or pull-over scams on roadways – across Spain.
  • Distraction scams: In one common scheme, thieves may wave your vehicle over to the side of the road to assist with a flat tire or other mechanical issues. While you exit the car to examine the purported flat tire, one of the thieves makes off with your valuables from your unlocked car. In another common scheme, while walking in a tourist area, a stranger may approach and offer to wipe a spill off your clothing, while removing your wallet or other valuables from your pocket or bag. In both of these distraction scams, thieves work in teams to divert your attention from your belongings.
  • Rental cars: We have received numerous reports from U.S. citizen tourists whose rental cars, which in many parts of Spain are identified with a large sticker on the back of the vehicle, were robbed of all valuables while parked at scenic overlooks and other tourist locations.
  • Vacation rentals: Spanish authorities have reported that thieves may be targeting tourists staying in vacation rentals. Thieves use the calendars included for each property listing on online rental platforms to identify the days when the properties are booked. Then, they surveil the properties, waiting for guests to depart so they can steal your passports, cash, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables.
“Citing the frequency of these crimes, Spanish authorities have assigned more law enforcement officers to popular tourist areas during the summer months."

08.08.19  /  High  /  China – DFAT Updated Travel Advice

High

08.08.19 China DFAT Updated Travel Advice

On 6 August 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) upgraded its travel advice for Hong Kong to read in part as follows: “We have raised our advice level for Hong Kong: we now recommend you 'exercise a high degree of caution'. Protests have become more unpredictable and are expected to continue. Tourist areas have been affected. There is a risk of violent confrontation between protestors and police, or criminally-linked individuals, particularly at unauthorised protests. The risk is greater at night and on weekends. We strongly recommend you avoid large public gatherings. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.”

07.08.19  /  High  /  France – Travel Advice - G7 Summit

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07.08.19 France Travel Advice - G7 Summit

On 6 August 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for France, which reads in part as follows: “France will host the G7 Summit in Biarritz from 24 to 26 August 2019. Traffic measures will be put in place to manage traffic demands in the local area during and in the run up to this period. The authorities will prohibit road traffic in the centre of Biarritz, redirecting traffic to the A63 motorway. They will extend national restrictions on the movement of heavy goods vehicles in the local area, particularly those carrying especially heavy or Class 1 dangerous goods.”

25.07.19  /  High  /  Costa Rica – Health Alert

High

25.07.19 Costa Rica Health Alert

On 23 July 2019, the U.S. Embassy in San Jose issued a Health Alert that reads in part as follows: “Location: San Jose, Costa Rica “Event: The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is aware of the reports regarding recent deaths in Costa Rica associated with the consumption of tainted alcohol. At this time, we are not aware of any U.S. citizen illness or death due to consuming adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica. The deaths have reportedly occurred throughout the country including seven cases in San Jose, four cases in Cartago, one case in Heredia, three cases in the Limón area and two cases in Guanacaste. Out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Costa Rica has issued a national alert and confiscated 30,000 bottles of alcohol from six brands: Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Aguardiente Molotov. Please see below a link to the Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning. Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning “Actions to Take: The Embassy strongly recommends all persons avoid consuming alcohol from these brands. The Government of Costa Rica is investigating the situation and the Embassy remains in contact Costa Rica authorities regarding the ongoing investigation.”

19.07.19  /  Extreme  /  Congo, Democratic Republic of the – Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Extreme

19.07.19 Congo, Democratic Republic of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern

 On 17 July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).” A WHO official stated that the declaration should not prompt the implementation of restrictions on trade or travel, and that authorities should not begin to screen passengers at airports or other ports of entry outside the immediate region. WHO voted to declare the epidemic a global health emergency following the detection of the first Ebola case in Goma, a major commercial and transport hub. At least 1,600 people have died in the outbreak, which began in August 2018.

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