ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 1 April 2021, Bolivian authorities imposed new entry restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Under the restrictions, inbound travelers are now required to present a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure for Bolivia and must have health insurance with coverage for COVID-19. Additionally, travelers are required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival and must be tested for COVID-19 on day seven of isolation.
Meanwhile, President Luis Arce announced the closure of Bolivia’s land borders with Brazil due to concerns regarding the Brazilian variant of COVID-19. The borders will remain closed from 2-9 April. Arce also stated that border towns where the Brazilian variant is discovered will be quarantined for as long as necessary to prevent outbreaks.
Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 1 April 2021, officials imposed a temporary ban on foreign travel for Chileans as well as a ban on non-resident foreigners attempting to enter Chile during 5-30 April. As part of the restrictions — which are aimed at limiting the spread of known COVID-19 variants — Chileans will be allowed to request a permit from the government for foreign travel; however, specified reasons for allowed travel have not been released. Authorities announced that truck drivers crossing Chile’s land border will be required to present a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Additionally, health officials will administer random antigen tests to drivers entering the country. This measure will take effect at 0500 local time (0800 UTC) on 5 April.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 1 April 2021, gunbattles occurred between rival gangs in multiple districts in the capital Port-au-Prince, including the impoverished Bél’Air neighborhood. Suspected members of the G9 gang raided Bél’Air to reportedly attack members of other gangs who refused to switch allegiances. Residents reported hearing heavy gunfire from automatic firearms for several hours. Additional clashes also occurred in the Delmas 2 and Delmas 6 neighborhoods. The gang violence in Port-au-Prince has been ongoing since 30 March, during which at least one person has been killed and several others have been injured. Several houses in the city were set on fire during the fighting. The G9 gang has conducted three violent incursions into Bél’Air since October 2019.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 2 April 2021, authorities in Maharashtra state announced that a nightly curfew during 1800-0600 local time (1230-0030 UTC) will be in effect in Pune district, beginning on 3 April, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. The measure will remain in effect until at least 9 April when officials will review the order. Additionally, bars, hotels and places of worship will be closed, and public gatherings of more than four people will be banned. Essential services and food delivery are exempt from the curfew. Weddings and funerals will be allowed to have up to 50 and 20 attendees, respectively.
Taiwan (Security threat level – 1): At approximately 0930 local time (0130 UTC) on 2 April 2021, a passenger train with nearly 500 people on board derailed near the Taroko Gorge scenic area in Hualien county, located approximately 30 km (20 mi) north of the town of Hualien. The accident occurred when the eight-carriage train was exiting the Daqingshui Tunnel and collided with an unoccupied construction vehicle that had rolled onto the tracks. The accident caused extensive damage to five of the eight train carriages. At least 51 people, including a French national, were killed in the accident and 146 others suffered injuries. The Taroko No. 408 express train was en route to the eastern city of Taitung from the capital Taipei.
Belgium (Security threat level – 3): In the late afternoon hours of 1 April 2021, police officers clashed with approximately 2,000 people who had gathered in Bois de la Cambre park, located in the capital Brussels, for a concert called “La Boum,” which had been announced on social media platforms but was later revealed as an April Fools’ Day prank. Hundreds of police officers, including some on horseback, deployed to the park and used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the partygoers. Several individuals threw water bottles and other projectiles at the officers. Three police officers and eight attendees were injured in the violence. Authorities arrested 22 people. The gathering violated the government’s coronavirus-related ban on outdoor meetings of more than four people; a countrywide lockdown has been in place since 27 March — which includes a 2200 to 0500 local time (2100 to 0400 UTC) nightly curfew in Brussels — and is currently scheduled to last until 24 April.
A similar gathering is expected to occur at the park later on 2 April in response to calls on social media. The event was initially scheduled to occur at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, but organizers reportedly switched the location due to the violence on the previous day. Travelers and expatriates in Brussels should avoid the vicinity of Bois de la Cambre park.
Norway (Security threat level – 2): On 2 April 2021, the government of Norway extended existing coronavirus-related restrictions at the request of local officials. Restrictions in the municipalities of Holmestrand, Horten, Tønsberg, Færder, Sandefjord and Larvik will remain in effect until 11 April, while measures in the municipalities of Bamble, Porsgrunn, Skien and Siljan have been extended until 8 April. Restrictions include a ban on events outside the home, both indoors and outdoors, with the exception of funerals, weddings and baptisms. Most shops and department stores are required to close. Restaurants are only allowed to provide takeout and delivery services.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 2 April 2021, the U.K. Department for Transport added Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines to England’s entry ban list in an effort to slow the spread of new coronavirus variants. Subsequently, as of 0400 local time (0300 UTC) on 9 April, travelers from the four countries and individuals who have visited those countries in the previous 10 days will be prohibited from entering England. U.K. citizens, Irish citizens and individuals with residency rights in the U.K. are exempt from the entry ban and will be required to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine at government-approved hotels at their own expense upon arrival in England. A full list of countries subjected to England’s entry ban is available here.
Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 2 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Butembo, North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
“Event: Armed groups may target NGOs in the city of Butembo (North Kivu province.) We advise U.S. citizens to not travel to North Kivu province in the Travel Advisory for the DRC.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 1 April 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Grenada, which reads in part as follows: “The Government of Grenada’s entry health protocols mean that all travellers must pre-book approved accommodation for quarantine on arrival, pre-pay for COVID test, apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate and obtain a negative COVID PCR test result within 3 days of travel. Link to full details is on Ministry of Health website. These rules are subject to change and should be checked regularly. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.”