Canada issues flight warnings to these popular travel destinations

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Published November 25, 2023 at 2:38 pm

As frigid weather envelops Mississauga, Brampton, and the surrounding areas with windy conditions, sub-zero temperatures and snow, individuals seeking a respite to a warmer climate may find the following travel advisories issued by the Canadian government helpful.


Cambodia

Frequent clashes between Thailand and Cambodia over a border dispute near Preah Vihear have resulted in gunfire, artillery exchanges, and civilian evacuations, causing numerous fatalities.

Despite the 2013 ruling by the International Court of Justice granting Cambodia sovereignty over the Preah Vihear temple territory, tensions persist.

Risks: Increase in thefts, robberies and opportunistic crimes.

Reasons: Street crime targeting foreigners, including pick-pocketing and assaults, are common in urban areas.

In Sihanoukville, Penh, Siem Reap, and Boeung Keng Kang, criminals engage in activities such as drug and human trafficking and employment scams. Travellers to these areas are advised to exercise extreme caution, follow local authorities’ instructions, and keep personal belongings, including passports and travel documents, secure at all times.


Thailand

In the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala, separatist insurgents intermittently carry out criminally and politically motivated attacks. These incidents, often involving shootings, bombings, and arson, are typically targeted at military, government, and security facilities and personnel. Attacks have also occurred in various public spaces. Notably, martial law and intensified security measures are currently enforced in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Sadao District in Songkhla.

Risks: Ongoing political tensions and sporadic demonstrations in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.

Reasons: Tourists in these provinces pose a risk of being an unintended victim of an attack.

Visitors should exercise caution when travelling to Thailand–Myanmar border areas in Mae Hong Son and Tak provinces due to occasional violence, banditry, and clashes between government forces and drug traffickers.

The Thailand-Cambodia border dispute in the region also poses risks, with reports of landmines near the Preah Vihear temple.

Travellers are advised of the following:

  • Keep bags attended
  • Secure personal belongings, including passports and travel documents, especially in tourist spots, crowded markets, and transportation stations
  • Avoid walking in dark or isolated areas

Nicaragua

The country faces ongoing political volatility since April 2018, marked by unrest and significant repression following the 2021 Presidential elections.

Government actions include arbitrary arrests, media censorship, travel restrictions, property seizures, and politically motivated charges. For those visiting Nicaragua, it’s advised to avoid discussing politics publicly or online, refrain from political activities, and be cautious on social media. Consular assistance from the Embassy of Canada may have limitations in certain situations.

Risks: The potential for civil unrest and crime.

Reasons: Thefts commonly occur in tourist areas, bus terminals, train stations, airports, hotel lobbies, and restaurants, including patios.

Crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is prevalent in various cities which include:

  • Bluefields
  • Ciudad Sandino
  • León
  • Managua
  • Masaya
  • Matagalpa
  • Tipitapa

High levels of assault and robbery incidents are reported in specific Managua neighbourhoods which include:

  • Mercado oriental
  • Reparto Shick
  • Jorge Dimitrov
  • Ciudad Belén
  • Américas 1 y Américas 2
  • Barrio Camilo Ortega
  • in remote areas such as beach communities on the Pacific coast
  • in the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region

Travellers are advised with the following:

  • Ensure the security of your belongings, including passports and travel documents, at all times.
  • Keep passports and other forms of ID in separate places and carry photocopies instead of originals, including the Nicaraguan entry stamp.
  • Stay vigilant in crowded and tourist areas, refrain from displaying signs of affluence or wearing expensive jewelry, and avoid carrying large sums of cash or unnecessary valuables.
  • Exercise caution in deserted areas and refrain from walking alone at night. Opt for well-secured accommodation.

Dominican Republic

As of October 30, the Government of the Dominican Republic has resumed air travel with Haiti, while land and sea borders between the two nations remain closed.

Canadian citizens arriving from Haiti can only access the Dominican Republic by air.

It’s essential to be aware that the Embassy of Canada in Santo Domingo cannot assist in crossing into the Dominican Republic from Haiti through land or sea routes.

Risks: Petty and violent crime.

Reasons: Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag-snatching are common, with tourists often being the targets. These incidents tend to increase during holiday periods.

Thefts can happen in various locations including resorts, beaches, airports, bus stations, and on public transportation. Even all-inclusive hotel rooms and hotel room safes are not immune to theft. Rental cars are also frequent targets.

There are instances of drive-by robberies, where thieves on motorcycles, scooters, or bicycles snatch bags and valuables from pedestrians. They may also reach into vehicles, including taxis, stopped at red lights to steal belongings.


Brazil

Starting Jan. 10, 2024, Canadian passport holders are required to obtain a visa for travel to Brazil. Notably, this visa mandate applies even if the travel commences before this date but extends beyond January 10.

Here’s a breakdown of visa requirements for different purposes:

  • Tourist visa: Not necessary for stays of up to 90 days.
  • Business visa: Not mandatory for stays of up to 90 days without remuneration.
  • Student visa: No requirement for stays lasting up to 90 days.

According to the Canadian government, every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Canadian government, says they cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

Risks: High crime rates and regular incidents of gang-related and other violence in urban areas.

Reasons: Foreigners are often targeted for theft, and there have been incidents of violent crime due to the widespread presence of firearms and a tendency for both criminals and police to resort to violence

Crime is a significant issue across Brazil, especially in urban centers near impoverished neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Recife, and Salvador.

Visitors to the country are cautioned to:

  • Ensure the security of personal belongings, including passports and travel documents.
  • Stay alert when at tourist spots like beaches, outdoor markets, hotel grounds, bars, nightclubs, airports, and bus stations.
  • Avoid displaying signs of affluence, such as expensive jewelry, watches, clothing, and bags.
  • Carry only small amounts of cash.
  • Conceal cameras and portable electronic devices.

Cuba

Risks: Petty crime such as pickpocketing, assaults and thefts from hotel rooms are common occurrences.

These incidents often occur in crowded places like tourist areas, markets, public buses, nightclubs, and beaches. Additionally, isolated areas are not immune to such theft.

Reasons: A chronic shortage of basic necessities including food, medicine and fuel.

To minimize the risk, travellers are advised of the following:

  • Ensure the security of personal belongings, including passports and travel documents, at all times.
  • Refrain from packing valuables in checked luggage.
  • Avoid displaying signs of affluence.
  • Keep electronic devices discreet.
  • Carry valid identification continuously.
  • Maintain digital and hard copies of ID and travel documents.
  • Steer clear of carrying large sums of cash.
  • Never leave belongings unattended in a vehicle, even in the trunk.

Additionally, hotels and resorts often dependent on generators during power outages, may encounter difficulties in maintaining services, potentially affecting the overall tourist experience.

Individuals visiting the following resorts should practice safety precautions as they would in Canada:

  • Cayo Coco
  • Cayo Largo del Sur
  • Cayo Santa Maria
  • Guardalavaca
  • Varadero
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