As of Wednesday, November 21, tensions remain high across Réunion due to ongoing protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement. Clashes broke out between security forces and protesters overnight November 20-21; at least 16 police officers were injured. Many roads throughout Réunion remain blocked and schools and universities have been closed until further notice. All bus services have also been suspended until further notice. Furthermore, passenger services and flight operations at Roland Garros International Airport (RUN) were again suspended from 16:00 (local time) on Wednesday; as of Wednesday evening, airport operations were scheduled to resume on Thursday morning at 06:15. However, further disruptions to flight operations remain possible in the event of continuing unrest.
A nightly curfew implemented on November 20 - from 21:00 to 06:00 - is currently scheduled to remain in place at least until the morning of Friday, November 23, in the communities of Saint-Denis, Le Port, Saint-Pierre, Saint-Joseph, Saint-Leu, Saint-Louis, Saint-Paul, La Possession, Sainte-Marie, Sainte-Suzanne, Saint-Benoît, Le Tampon, Bras-Panon, and Saint-André. Despite an announcement on Tuesday night that the proposed fuel tax increase would be postponed, additional protests are possible over the coming days.
Demonstrations denouncing rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax began on November 17 throughout France. The government had planned a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices.
Demonstrators have set up roadblocks throughout Réunion, burned tires on roads, set fire to some buildings, and ransacked shops. An increased police reinforcement was deployed overnight November 19-20 to quell the violence.
Individuals in Réunion are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to the curfew and any other instructions issued by the local authorities, allow for extra time to reach their destinations, and avoid all protests as a precaution.
Individuals traveling via RUN are advised to confirm the status of their flights prior to departure for the airport and contact their airlines for further information.
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