Security Message for U.S. Citizens:
Vehicle Ban and Possible Protests on Election Day, Sunday, May 14
The Government of Nepal will prohibit almost all vehicles from traveling on roads in Provinces 3, 4, and 6 – an area that includes the Kathmandu valley – during the local elections scheduled for Sunday, May 14, 2017. The ban will run from midnight Saturday through midnight Sunday and applies to cars, taxis, trucks, buses, motorcycles, scooters, rickshaws, etc. It is not yet clear if the ban will also apply to bicycles. The Ministry of Home Affairs will grant limited exceptions to certain vehicles.
We recommend that U.S. citizens stay off the streets on Sunday. Protests may occur throughout Nepal, particularly near polling stations, political party offices, and government buildings. Protesters may take to the streets and move about the city. Avoid areas of protest and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or demonstrations. Protests may be met with force from security patrols, which will be out in large numbers. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and quickly escalate into violence.
If you do decide to walk on the streets:
· Be aware of your surroundings and use good judgment.
· If you encounter a security roadblock, please keep in mind that they may not have received complete information on what is permissible, may act on their own accord, and may be short-tempered.
· Do not engage in argumentative or combative behavior if challenged or told that you cannot access a certain area.
· Review your personal security plans and monitor local news stations for updates.
· Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
The U.S. Embassy will be closed over the weekend of May 13-14. We will open for regular business on Monday, May 15. In the event of an emergency on Election Day, please contact the Embassy at (+977)1-400-7266 or (+977)1-400-7269 and ask for the Duty Officer.
· See the State Department’s travel website (http://travel.state.gov/) for the Worldwide Caution (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html) , Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings.html) , and Nepal Country Specific Information (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/nepal.html) .
· We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Nepal enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (https://step.state.gov/step/) (STEP (https://step.state.gov/step/) ) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. If you have received this message, you are successfully enrolled. If friends and family have not received this message, their STEP enrollment may not be up-to-date.
· The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu (https://np.usembassy.gov/) is located on Maharajgunj and is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except U.S. and Nepali holidays posted on the Embassy website. During working hours the telephone number for the Embassy is (+977)1-423-4000.
· If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours numbers for the Embassy are (+977)1-400-7266 and (+977)1-400-7269. From the United States or Canada, call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free or 1-202-501-4444 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).