This week’s update includes several topics that each have the potential to significantly impact travelers.
As many are aware, this weekend tragically saw another violent attack that targeted two areas popular with travelers, the London Bridge and Borough Market. Our deepest condolences go out to those affected. With the increase in small-scale attacks involving vehicles and knives, it is important to consider basic safety precautions in crowded places.
Recommendations for crowded areas
- Exercise caution at all times in crowded public areas, including, but not limited to, concert venues, sporting events, public transit stations, popular tourist sites and large festivals.
- Minimize time spent in the very middle of large crowds, and also try to avoid standing at the edge of a crowd with your back facing a street or thoroughfare.
- Be cognizant of your surroundings, if something seems suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable, leave the area quickly.
- If walking around a city, try to avoid using headphones and keep your eyes on your surroundings rather than your electronic device(s).
- If you notice any suspicious behavior or suspect packages, remove yourself from the area and then immediately report it to the authorities.
- If attending an event, it is advised to wait a few minutes for the crowd to disburse before leaving the area.
- Be aware of emergency exits – the way in is not always the best way out.
- Adhere to official directives at all times.
- Security hoaxes tend to proliferate in the aftermath of high-profile terrorist attacks, especially via Web-based social networks.
- Security alerts or hoaxes can trigger the short-notice evacuation of transport hubs or public locations, which can cause disruption. Follow all directives issued by the authorities during any security operations and do not act on the basis of unverified information.
Arab States Cut Diplomatic Ties with Qatar
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 5 June announced they had severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed all land, sea, and air ports to and from Qatar. On 5 June, Saudi Arabian Airlines announced on the suspension of all flights to Qatar, while Qatar Airlines followed by suspending all flights to Saudi Arabia. In addition, starting on 6 June, the following airlines announced they will suspend flights to and from Hamad International Airport (DOH), which serves Qatar's capital, Doha. Flights on 5 June will operate as normal.
- The last flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to DOH will depart as EY399 at 02.45 on 6 June.
- The last flight from DOH to AUH will depart as EY390 at 04.00 on 6 June.
- The last flight from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to DOH will depart as EK847 at 02.30 on June 6.
- The last flight from DOH to DXB will depart as EK848 at 03.50 on June 6.
- The last flight from DXB to DOH will depart as FZ019 at 21.25 on 5 June.
- The last flight from DOH to DXB will depart as FZ020 at 22.40 on 5 June.
There have been no official announcements from Gulf Air (Bahrain) or EgyptAir, though flights are likely to soon be suspended as well.
- Individuals planning to travel between Qatar and one of the affected countries should reconfirm flights with their airlines, monitor related developments closely and maintain flexible itineraries.
- Anticipate a lack of consular services at Bahraini, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and the UAE missions in Qatar, as well as at Qatari diplomatic missions in Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Russia Accommodation Registration Requirement
A presidential decree issued on 10 May, has placed a special regime in Russia in connection with the country hosting the FIFA Confederation Cup soccer tournament. The regime will take place from June 01 – July 12, 2017, and affects ALL foreigners arriving in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, no matter what the documentation type or purpose of travel.
Anyone arriving within the six-week special regime period to the affected cities should be aware of the following points:
- Registration must now be applied for within 24 hours of arrival.
- Registration may be applied for at the local FMS office or the local police office.
- Registration may NOT be processed through a tourist company or an inviting business entity, as was common before.
- ALL registrations must be where the foreigner will actually live and must be taken care of by the owner of the property.
If you will be arriving to one of the affected Russian cities listed above and will stay at a hotel, you will likely see no change in your experience. The hotel will register you as usual. Hotels have always had to register guests within 24 hours under similar conditions.
If you will be staying at a hostel, you should check with the hostel to make sure the hostel will provide you with registration. You should be aware that you are expected to be registered within 24 hours of arrival, no matter your hostel's policy.
Private Home/Home Stay/Airbnb
If you will be staying at a private home, home stay, or Airbnb, you should make sure well in advance that your host will provide registration. Some hosts will resist providing the service and some may charge extra fees for the service.
Be aware, different cities and even districts are likely to have some variation in enforcement, requirements, and implementation. For more information, please see details from the School of Russian and Asian Studies.