Johannesburg Airport, Mexico (Alcohol), and Israel

July 27, 2017, 7:00 am

Johannesburg Airport

The U.S. Mission to South Africa is advising U.S. citizens to exercise caution when arranging ground transportation from the Johannesburg (OR Tambo) Airport. A number of U.S. citizens and other travelers have been robbed at gun point while traveling from the airport to their place of lodging. In some instances, individuals have been injured or shot during these robberies.  

It is advised to avoid nighttime arrivals to the OR Tambo Airport; while this helps alleviate some risk, it does not guarantee daytime travel is completely secure. Travelers should exercise caution when departing the airport. Criminals have followed, attacked and robbed victims upon arrival at their destination. Any residence or hotel’s most vulnerable area is the driveway or entrance gate, as criminals attack when victims are waiting for the vehicle gate to open or close. If you think you are being followed, drive to the nearest safe area (police station, hospital, store, or any area that is populated or normally covered by security personnel or cameras).

Advice

  • Try to avoid changing money or utilizing ATMs at the airport.
  • Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, watches, or luggage when traveling.
  • Communicate an exact location to meet your driver, and verify the driver’s credentials.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • If confronted by a criminal, surrender the requested items and do not resist.
  • Please see the following information from the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in South Africa on what to do if you’re a victim of crime: https://za.usembassy.gov/us-citizen-services/victims-of-crime/

 

Mexico’s Tainted Alcohol

The U.S. State Department is cautioning American citizens visiting Mexico to be cautious of the alcohol they consume. There have been recent reports that the alcohol consumed can be tainted or substandard and result in illness or “blacking out.”

From the U.S. State Department, Mexico content page, “There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.”

Advice

  • Travelers should be cautious when consuming alcohol abroad, not just in Mexico.
  • Designate someone in your party to be sober (rotate to a different person each night/day). This person should avoid drinking when they are the designated person for the day/night.
  • Watch the bartender make your drink. Try to order drinks that do not mix multiple types of liquor.
  • It is advised to drink in moderation and make sure you’re staying hydrated while consuming alcohol.

 

Israel

Over the past few weeks, clashes near the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex have left tensions high.  On 27 July 2017, clashes between police and Palestinian protestors broke out at the complex resulting in the use of tear gas by the security forces. Local sources suggest the tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse the crowds and left several people injured.

Advice

  • Avoid travel to the Old City, especially Lions' Gate and the wider Temple Mount area, in the coming days due to a credible risk of further unrest.
  • Exercise caution, expect increased security measures and carry photographic identification at all times to ease passage through security checkpoints and spot-checks; comply with all instructions issued by the security forces.

 

As always, if you are abroad and in need of immediate assistance (medical or security related) please call International SOS at 215-942-8059 (collect calls accepted) or UTPD at 512-471-4441.