Website lists Y2K destinations to avoid
It’s less than 100 days to the millennium, and while one discount travel service is listing Canada (along with Australia and the South Pacific) as a cheap Y2K destination, those who are still considering the possibility of a New Year’s getaway should consider some advice emerging from the U.K. Britain has released a comprehensive Y2K travel report on its Foreign Office website that evaluates Y2K compliance in key areas, including transport, the economy, health, water, energy and communications. The guide evaluates the progress of 50 countries in dealing with the Y2K problem, and warns travellers about potential “black holes.”
Some key points:
Avoid the Ukraine. The former Soviet republic and home of Chernobyl is not well-prepared, with a quarter of government computer systems possibly non-Y2K compliant and finance, banking, transport, power, defence and social sectors possibly vulnerable.
Russia has a “high likelihood” of widespread communications failures, and 400 of its 600 airports are “sure to have some Y2K difficulties.”
Travellers to Egypt should be prepared for temporary disruptions, and should “check their insurance coverage and have enough cash tcover contingencies.”
Spain could possibly face temporary problems with water distribution, while a lack of Y2K awareness in smaller French companies (they may think Y2K doesn’t apply to them) is a concern of the French government, which is closing the Channel Tunnel on New Year’s Eve.
British Foreign Office Minister John Battle said the report was impartial, not judgmental, and aimed to give “the most reliable and impartial information about Y2K preparedness worldwide. It should be an occasion for celebration, not a time for unnecessary fear and worry.”