Smartraveller gives updates on NZ, Syria, Turkey, Taiwan

Smartraveller gives updates on NZ, Syria, Turkey, Taiwan

Smartraveller has given an overview of four key world events that travellers should be wary of before taking off to any of these destinations. 

New Zealand – Auckland and the Thames-Coromandel district have been ravaged by persistent rain and severe flooding that caused airport to close briefly last week.

Smartraveller has advised travellers to exercise ‘normal safety precautions in New Zealand and that “a state of emergency remains in place for Auckland and the Thames-Coromandel district due to severe flooding.

“Check the National Emergency Management Agency website for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities.

“Auckland Airport is now open, and international and domestic flight operations have fully resumed. Contact your airline or tour operator for the latest flight information and the New Zealand Transport Agency for road traffic updates,” the website wrote.

Syria – A recent earthquake in Turkey has had flow on effects in Syria, with initial tremor and aftershocks being felt in the country. Smartraveller also warned of the dangerous security situation due to a current armed conflict in the country, mentioning, “airstrikes, kidnappings and terrorist attacks.”

“On 6 February, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Nurdagi, central Türkiye, close to the city of Gaziantep. The earthquake was felt in neighbouring countries, including Syria. A 7.7 magnitude earthquake followed in Elbistan, Kahramanmaras.

“Be prepared for aftershocks. Monitor local media for advice and follow directions of local authorities. Contact your friends and family as soon as possible to let them know you’re safe. If you have significant concerns for your welfare, or that of another Australian, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.

“Entry and exit measures for Syria may change without notice. You don’t need a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to enter. If you’re planning to cross to Lebanon, contact Lebanese authorities for requirements. The security situation remains extremely volatile. If you’re in Syria, leave as soon as possible.”

Turkey– The country is reeling after being struck by what is said to be the biggest earthquake disaster of the decade, covered here. There is also concern about terrorist activity following Quran burning incidents in Europe.

“Exercise a high degree of caution in Türkiye overall due to the high threat of terrorist attack. Higher levels apply,” the website noted.

“On 6 February, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Nurdagi, central Türkiye, close to the city of Gaziantep. A 7.7 magnitude earthquake followed in Elbistan, Kahramanmaras.

“Be prepared for aftershocks. Monitor local media for advice and follow directions of local authorities. Contact your friends and family as soon as possible to let them know you’re safe. If you have significant concerns for your welfare, or that of another Australian, contact the Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 in Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 outside Australia.“Following recent Quran-burning incidents in Europe, retaliatory attacks by terrorists targeting places of worship or areas frequented by Westerners are likely. Remain vigilant and where possible avoid places frequented by Westerners, including diplomatic premises and places of worship. There’s an ongoing high threat of terrorist attacks in Türkiye, including in Ankara and Istanbul (especially in the Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim, and Istiklal areas). Terrorists could attack with little or no warning.”

Taiwan – COVID tests are now a thing of the past for those entering Taiwan from selected airports, with Smartraveller advising people exercise “normal safety precautions in Taiwan.”

“If you’re entering Taiwan on a direct flight from China or transiting through Hong Kong or Macau, you no longer need to provide evidence of COVID-19 tests before departure or on arrival. You’ll still need to undertake 7 days of Self-initiated Epidemic Prevention (SEP).

“The SEP period can take place in a private residence, provided it meets the criteria. You’ll only need to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) if you develop COVID-19 symptoms during the 7-day SEP. If you’re travelling from locations other than China, you don’t need to complete any tests or quarantine, but you’ll need to undertake SEP.”

Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Taiwan

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