Safety Updates: November 2017

November 27

Individuals traveling in Western Europe from 27 November 2017 to 02 January 2018 should expect heightened security, particularly at large public gatherings. It is important to exercise heightened vigilance due to continued threats by extremist groups. Transport hubs, crowded entertainment venues, including shopping malls and Christmas markets, and religious sites can be "attractive targets" to individuals or groups wanting to cause panic and harm. Several countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy and Spain have announced reinforced security measures in public… Read more

November 13

U.S. nationals planning travel to Cuba should reconfirm their itineraries and consult government guidelines following the implementation of further restrictions by the U.S. government on 09 November 2017. These measures, originally announced in June as part of a memorandum by the U.S. president, largely restrict allowances for personal travel and commerce opened up under the former Administration. These restrictions will limit the ability of U.S. citizens to undertake mostly personal travel to Cuba unless part of a licensed group. The new measures also bar U.S. citizens from using 180… Read more

November 9

Urban air pollution has grown in India to alarming proportions. Almost all cities face severe pollution from particulates and gases. Rapid industrial development, constructions and smoke from motor vehicles have been major contributors. The situation worsens during winter months, especially in the northern parts of the country. (International SOS) On November 08, 2017, New Delhi declared a public health emergency due to a thick blanket of toxic smog. Pollution trackers suggest the smog has reached the worst level so far this year. (Al Jazeera) In New Delhi, smog levels reached levels of PM 2… Read more

November 2

On 01 October, the Catalan government introduced an independence referendum, which was declared illegal under Spain's constitution. Nearly 2.3 million people voted in the referendum, which led Spain's interior ministry to deploy 10,000 national and paramilitary police from various regions of Spain to Catalonia. Since the referendum, nearly 1600 companies, including the banks Caixa and Sabadell, have moved their legal headquarters out of Catalonia. As a result of the referendum, the Catalan parliament formally declared independence on Friday, 27 October.  Following this declaration, the… Read more