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Canada Has Issued Travel Advisories For These 9 Countries

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Before you zip your suitcase and head off to the airport, you might want to take a quick detour through Canada’s latest travel advisories. They’re like looking both ways before crossing the street but for globe-trotting.

After all, that safari you’re planning might share space with safety concerns, your next beach holiday could have you dodging unexpected waves of political unrest, and that view of the Aurora you’re dreaming about may be dimmed by disaster warnings.

A quick check of Canada’s travel advisories could be the difference between a trip to remember and one to forget. So, here are some of the latest countries that could use a closer look, each with its own set of reminders and warnings to consider before you finalize your plans:

Iceland

Lava flowing during a volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland.

Sigurbjornragnarsson | Dreamstime

Risk level: Take normal security precautions

Why: On January 14, 2024, a volcanic eruption occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula near Grindavík, southwest Iceland, prompting evacuations of the area, including Grindavík and the Blue Lagoon, due to dangerous lava flows. Icelandic authorities have closed all access to the eruption site and are monitoring the potential for volcanic gas clouds to affect Reykjavik’s air quality. Those in areas possibly impacted by volcanic gases should keep windows closed, avoid using ventilation systems, and stay away from low-lying areas prone to gas accumulation. Fortunately, Keflavik International Airport remains unaffected, and flights are operating as normal.

More at travel.gc.ca

Argentina

\u200bPeople shop in the colourful La Boca area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

People shop in the colourful La Boca area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Diego Grandi | Dreamstime

Risk level: Take normal security precautions

Why: A nationwide strike scheduled for January 24, 2024, by the General Confederation of Labour Unions is expected to cause significant disruptions across Argentina. Public transportation, public services, and both domestic and international flights may be affected, with potential roadblocks complicating travel.

Travellers to the Greater Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Rosario should exercise a high degree of caution due to heightened risks of petty crime, such as theft and muggings, as well as organized and drug-related crime and violence. Visitors are advised to check their travel plans for January 24, monitor local news for updates on the strike and demonstrations, and follow the advice of local authorities to ensure safety.

More at travel.gc.ca

Equador

\u200bCyclists and pedestrians on a street in Quito facing the Basilica del Voto Nacional.

Cyclists and pedestrians on a street in Quito facing the Basilica del Voto Nacional.

Diego Grandi | Dreamstime

Risk level: Exercise a high degree of caution

Why: Ecuador’s government declared a nationwide state of “internal armed conflict” on January 9, 2024, after escalating gang violence, in Guayaquil and Quito. The declaration, following a state of emergency announced on January 8, aimed to empower security forces to tackle the surge in violence, marked by small explosions, attacks on businesses, and car burnings.

A nationwide curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. has also been instituted. During curfew hours, individuals are required to remain indoors, except for travellers heading to or from the airport for scheduled flights. Those caught travelling during curfew hours should be prepared to present ID and flight details to authorities.

The state of emergency grants security forces enhanced powers, including the ability to restrict gatherings, enter homes without warrants, and monitor prisoners’ communications. Despite these security concerns, airports remain operational, though some flights have been affected. Travelers should contact their airlines to check for any potential delays or changes to their flights. Bus travel may also face disruptions; thus, verifying itineraries and schedules at bus terminals is advised.

For those currently in Ecuador, expect to see a heightened security presence, particularly near prisons. It’s crucial to carry identification at all times and adhere strictly to the directives of local authorities.

More at travel.gc.ca

Guatemala

\u200bPeople sit around a fountain in front of a cathedral in Plaza de la Constitucion Constitution Square in Guatemala City.

Plaza de la Constitucion Constitution Square in Guatemala City.

Diego Grandi | Dreamstime

Risk level: Exercise a high degree of caution

Why: Following the presidential transition in Guatemala on January 14, 2024, there’s a heightened possibility of demonstrations across the country, notably in Zone 1 of Guatemala City. These demonstrations could disrupt travel, affecting access to major roads and possibly leading to safety concerns for travellers. Foreign participants in any demonstrations risk detention, deportation, or being barred from future entry into Guatemala.

Due to very high levels of violent crime, non-essential travel is also discouraged to specific parts of Guatemala City (Zones 3, 18, 19, and 21) and certain municipalities including Amatitlán, Chinautla, Escuintla, San José del Golfo, San Raymundo, and Villa Nueva. The advisory extends to the departments of Chiquimula, Jutiapa, and Zacapa, along with highways RN-7E, CA-11, CA-12, CA-13, and PET-13, where safety concerns are significant.

More at travel.gc.ca

Kenya

\u200bAn Eastleigh street with merchants in Nairobi, Kenya.

An Eastleigh street with merchants in Nairobi, Kenya.

Antony Trivet | Dreamstime

Risk level: Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories)

Why: In Nairobi, travellers should be cautious in neighbourhoods like Eastleigh, Kibera, and Pangani due to high crime rates. Along the coast, areas within 50 km of the Tana River County coast and the coast in Kilifi County pose a heightened risk for kidnapping and attacks.

Counties bordering Somalia, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu, are no-go zones due to the threat of kidnapping and terrorist activities. Likewise, Turkana and Marsabit counties, adjacent to South Sudan and Ethiopia, pose risks of armed banditry and cross-border violence.

For those planning to view wildlife, use a reputable safari service and keep a safe distance from the animals. Kenya’s rainy seasons, running typically from late March to mid-June and from October to November, often cause flooding and mudslides, potentially disrupting travel plans and access to essential services.

More at travel.gc.ca

Comoros

\u200bBoats in the harbour of Moroni on the Island of Comoros.

Boats in the harbour of Moroni on the Island of Comoros.

Presse750 | Dreamstime

Risk level: Exercise a high degree of caution

Why: After the presidential elections on January 14, 2024, Moroni experienced a series of demonstrations characterized by vandalism, clashes between protesters and police, and disruptions to telecommunications. To manage the unrest, authorities imposed a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting January 17, 2024, with stricter measures in the Moroni area, where the curfew runs from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

It’s important to remember that even peaceful demonstrations have the potential to escalate into violence unexpectedly and can disrupt traffic and public transportation. Travellers are advised to steer clear of areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are occurring to ensure their safety.

More at travel.gc.ca

​Réunion

Cars on Tamarin Road along the coastal town of Saint Paul, R\u00e9union Island at dusk.

Cars on Tamarin Road in Saint Paul, Réunion Island.

Zamir Popat | Dreamstime

Risk level: Take normal security precautions

Why: Tropical Cyclone Belal recently swept through Réunion, causing disruptions to transportation, power, water and food supplies, as well as telecommunications. Travellers heading to the affected area should reach out to their airlines or tour operators to assess how disruptions could impact their plans.

The situation underscores the broader risks associated with the cyclone season, which lasts from November to April in Réunion. During that period, even minor tropical storms can escalate rapidly into major cyclones, posing significant safety risks and potentially affecting essential services.

If you’re considering traveling to Réunion during cyclone season, be ready to adjust your travel plans, including possibly cutting your trip short or canceling altogether, based on the latest weather forecasts and local advisories.

More at travel.gc.ca

South Africa

\u200bView of Cape Town from Voetboog Road.

View of Cape Town from Voetboog Road.

Onlyfabrizio | Dreamstime

Risk level: Exercise a high degree of caution

Why: Certain areas near Cape Town International Airport have been identified as less secure, with an increased risk of attacks on secondary roads. To mitigate risks, it’s recommended travellers stay on highways and main roads, avoid shortcuts, plan trips in advance, verify travel itineraries with trusted local sources, and consider arranging for an airport transfer.

In addition to crime concerns, South Africa is grappling with nationwide power shortages, which occur regularly multiple times a day, often stretching over several hours. The outages are expected to persist into 2024. While the chance of a complete nationwide blackout remains low, the consequences of such an event would be severe. South Africa has already faced blackouts lasting up to 12 hours within a single 24-hour period. With increased power demand during the winter months of June and July, blackouts may become even more prolonged, leading to expectations of a particularly dark and cold season.

More at travel.gc.ca

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