February 5, 2019
Carnival is a festive season that occurs in various countries and regions across the world before the season of Lent. It traditionally takes place during February or early March and involves public events and celebrations such as parades, street parties, and other forms of entertainment.
Travelers are advised to exercise caution and situational awareness during Carnival-related celebrations, as they attract a large number of people who can become targeted environments for pickpocketing and other crimes. Additionally, significant traffic, road closures, and public transportation disruption can be expected.
• Let someone know what your daily plans are and the best way to reach you.
• Avoid displaying any signs of wealth such as jewelry, purses, wallets, electronics, or other items that might attract the attention of thieves.
• Do not keep your wallet or cell phone in a visible location.
• Always travel in groups and remain with your group for the duration of the event. Never leave any person alone in a large crowd, even if you make plans to meet up later.
• Determine a meeting place and time to meet at the end of the event in case your group does become separated.
• Never accept drinks from strangers – they could be laced with drugs intended to incapacitate victims, even if drinks are in closed containers.
• Avoid any kind of confrontation and quickly move away from any incident of violence or overzealous behavior.
• Always be aware of your best route of escape and be prepared to move in that direction.
• Register with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important updates from the U.S. Embassy in your country.
UT travelers are encouraged to enroll with International SOS (ISOS) to get alerts for global security, safety, and health concerns for the countries they are traveling to. Simply go to the UT Global Risk and Safety (GRS) page and follow the directions under “Before You Leave”, and click on “Email Subscriptions” at the left of the ISOS website.
If you are abroad and need immediate assistance, you can always call International SOS at 001-215-942-8059 (consult www.howtocallabroad.com if you have difficulties) or text them through their Assistance App. You can also call UTPD at 001-512-471-4441.