Risk and Safety Updates

Global Risk and Safety will send a message to the IOC mailing list any time a Safety Update is posted, as well as when there are updates to the Restricted Regions list. This mailing list is a resource for university travelers and travel planners for faculty, staff, and students.

We welcome you to sign up for our listserv or contact us at IOC@austin.utexas.edu


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.

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.

October 25


Beginning Thursday, October 26, 2017, new security measures will be put in place for an U.S. bound flights. Incoming flights will have to comply with government-imposed security measures, which has the potential to cause delays for passengers. These new security measures can include short interviews of passengers at check-in or at the gate.

October 13

China’s top officials with gather in Beijing 18 – 31 October for the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  New members of the country’s most important decision-making body—the Politburo Standing Committee—will be announced, including a possible candidate to replace party leader Xi Jinping in 2022 (At the last gathering in November 2012, Xi Jinping established himself as China’s leader).  

September 20

In the past two weeks Mexico has experienced two large earthquakes. Late Thursday, 07 September 2017, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Chiapas. The earthquake caused more than 90 deaths and severe damage to buildings (homes, business, hospitals, etc.) within many areas. (New York Times)

September 19


Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Taxify have been introduced to South Africa over the last several years. Drivers for these companies have been met with hostility, such as threats and protests, from taxi drivers who claim these ride-sharing businesses have an unfair advantage because they are not held to the same operating requirements and regulations as the taxi drivers and taxi companies resulting in lower fares for customers.

September 5

Hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico will last through November 2017, with most storms developing between May and October.  

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, 2017 at the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm. This was the strongest hurricane to make landfall in 12 years; causing significant structural damage, severe flooding and recent reports state 66 deaths (1 in Guyana).

September 2

As you are likely aware, North Korea’s state-run news agency on 9 August said that the military was examining plans to strike areas around Guam (US) with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles. The threat was allegedly made in reaction to maneuvers on 8 August by US B-1B bombers and Japanese and South Korean aircraft over the Korean peninsula; the bombers flew from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.