Securewest | News
11 Oct 2019

How Civil Unrest Affects Travel

Across the globe in 2019 we have seen increasing levels of civil unrest. From the Yellow Jackets in France to the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong. These incidents have a widespread and knock on affect to daily travel, from road closures to the disruption of international airports. Keeping abreast of these fluid situations in today’s hectic world can be difficult without professional help. However, here at Securewest we monitor all risks to global travel and provide ongoing updates via the SPHERE platform.


  • Political demonstrations
  • Strikes
  • Activists
  • Revolution
  • Riot
  • Rebellion
  • Sectarian violence

Effects on Travel

  • Travellers become cautious/ anxious towards travel during periods of unrest
  • Communication and social media blackouts
  • Civil unrest is not typically covered by travel insurance
  • Traffic congestion
  • Curfews can be implemented in certain locations
  • Travel restrictions can be imposed  
  • Local law enforcement may react in a heavy-handed manor, causing injury to by-standers
  • Operational impacts such as missed meetings, deadlines and contracts
  • Damage to key infrastructure airports, roads etc.

Hong Kong

Ongoing protests have predominantly targeted Chinese businesses, government buildings and the MTR rail network. These protests have had a huge effect on travel to the region, the airport has been subject to widespread disruption and hundreds of flights delayed. Transportation throughout the city has been affected on an almost daily basis, with the MTR rail network implementing a complete closure at times to avoid further vandalism to the rail network. Prolonged periods of unrest such as these present various challenges to travellers, due to their unpredictable and continuously evolving nature.

Securewest top tips:

  1. Pre-trip training and awareness
  2. Be prepared
  3. Have an emergency / crisis plan
  4. Keep up to date with the latest regional news 
  5. Follow the advice of local authorities and your travel risk management provider


Securewest Global Alerts keep you informed of any protests and demonstrations in regions you are travelling to. If you would like to find out more information about these or our other services please contact the team on:


t. +44 (0)1548 856001 e.