ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Chile (Security threat level – 2) : On 26 April 2021, officials extended existing bans on foreign travel — aimed at limiting the spread of known variants of COVID-19 — for Chileans as well as non-resident foreigners attempting to enter Chile. Chileans are allowed to request a permit from the government for foreign travel to conduct “fundamental” business for the country, for humanitarian activities and for unspecified health-related activities. Additionally, individuals who will not return to Chile will be allowed to travel. 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. These measures have been extended through 31 May.
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 27 April 2021, authorities in the city of Cali announced a new citywide lockdown due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. The lockdown will remain in effect from 2000 local time on 28 April (0100 UTC on 29 April) to 0500 local time (1000 UTC) on 2 May. During this time, residents will be required to remain at home, except for essential purposes, while the sale of alcohol and all social gatherings will be banned.
Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): Beginning on 27 April 2021, stricter nightly coronavirus-related driving restrictions will be in effect from 2100 to 0500 local time (0300 to 1100 UTC) in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases. Only vehicles with license plates ending with an even number can circulate on Saturdays, while those with license plates ending with an odd number can only circulate on Sundays. The measure will be in effect until 16 May. The minister of health warned that the strain on Costa Rica’s health care system may affect the availability of care for both coronavirus- and non-coronavirus-related medical issues. Costa Rica’s hospital system is expected to be overwhelmed by excess demand during the first week of May if COVID-19 cases continue to increase at current rates, according to the Central American Population Center of the University of Costa Rica.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): As of the morning of 27 April 2021, student protesters gathered at Oaxaca International Airport (MMOX/OAX), located in the southwestern state of Oaxaca, continue to block access to the air terminal. More than 30 flights have been canceled since the blockade began on 25 April. The protesters, primarily college students studying to become teachers, are demanding that the government provide jobs for recent graduates. Oaxaca authorities stated that they have already redressed the protesters’ demands, but will not use force to clear the demonstrators.
United States (Security threat level – 2): According to reports on 27 April 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to postpone the upcoming requirement for U.S. residents to present a Real ID-compliant form of identification in order to board commercial aircraft. The requirement — currently set to go into effect on 1 October — is being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused difficulties for residents attempting to obtain an updated identification card from state licensing departments. The federal Real ID Act in 2005 mandated that anyone seeking to travel aboard commercial aircraft or to access federal premises must obtain Real ID-compliant cards, which are issued after state governments verify documents that validate an applicant’s name, birth date and residence. The updated identification cards comprise new security features and possess a star on the upper right-hand corner.
Cambodia (Security threat level – 3): On 26 April 2021, authorities extended existing lockdowns in the capital Phnom Penh and the neighboring city of Takmao for at least one week. Health officials also established three color-coded zones, with categorization contingent upon the number of local COVID-19 cases. In red zones – the highest level – residents are required to remain at home except for emergencies; medical workers are exempt from the order. In dark yellow zones, residents are allowed to travel after receiving permission from authorities, and a nightly 2000 to 0500 local time (1300 to 2200 UTC) curfew is in effect. In yellow zones, essential businesses are allowed to operate.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 26 April 2021, authorities in the states of Karnataka and Punjab announced plans to impose additional coronavirus-related restrictions in response to rapidly increasing case numbers. In Karnataka – for which Bengaluru (Bangalore) is the state capital – a statewide lockdown will be in effect from 2100 local time (1530 UTC) on 27 April until 12 May. Under the order, educational institutions and nonessential businesses, such as movie theaters, gyms and bars, are required to close. Religious gatherings will be suspended, and places of worship will be closed during the lockdown period. Additionally, most public transportation will remain suspended. Inter-state movement is allowed for emergency situations. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will be allowed to operate during 0600-1000 local time. In Punjab, authorities amended the existing curfew hours to 1800-0500 local time on weekdays and from 1800 local time on Fridays until 0500 on Mondays during weekends until further notice. The previous curfew was in effect every night during 2000-0500 local time.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 27 April 2021, authorities in the Philippines announced that all travelers from India will be banned from entering the Philippines from 29 April until 14 May due to the rapidly increasing rate of new COVID-19 cases in India. The ban also includes Filipino citizens as well as anyone who has been to India within 14 days prior to traveling to the Philippines. Travelers who arrive before 29 April are subject to a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility.
Turkey (Security threat level – 4): On 26 April 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a nationwide lockdown beginning on 29 April in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Under the lockdown, travel between cities will be banned except if approved in advance by the Turkish Interior Ministry. Additionally, all nonessential businesses will close, and grocery stores will only be open Monday through Saturday. The lockdown measures will remain in place until at least 17 May.
Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 26 April 2021, armed individuals assaulted a special military wildlife unit conducting an anti-poaching patrol on a road leading to the Pama Reserve near the eastern Burkinabe town of Natiaboni. According to reports, gunmen traveling in two pickup trucks and on about a dozen motorcycles ambushed the 15-person patrol and abducted a local soldier and three Europeans — one Irish national and two Spanish nationals — accompanying the patrol. At least two soldiers were wounded in the attack, during which the assailants pilfered firearms, two military trucks and 12 motorcycles. Media reports on 27 April, citing security officials, stated that the dead bodies of the three foreigners have been found. No group has claimed responsibility for the event, although militant Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State actively operate in eastern Burkina Faso.
Chad (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0830 local time (0730 UTC) on 27 April 2021, police officers deployed tear gas to disperse demonstrators in the 9th Arrondissement of the capital N’Djamena, after they used burning tires to block the Djamena-Mondou road, which leads to the southern portion of the country. At least one protester was killed, and 27 others were injured during altercations between security forces and the demonstrators. Although the Transitional Military Council (CMT) banned protests on 26 April, the Coordination of Citizen Actions (CAC) group has organized protests — also called the Wakit tama marches — across the country in opposition to the CMT as well as against France’s support for the military council. The military has reportedly deployed armed vehicles across the capital in response to protest activities. Separately, reports indicate that another protester was killed in a similar demonstration in the city of Mondou, located approximately 475 km (295 mi) south of N’Djamena, when security personnel deployed live ammunition to disperse demonstrators.
Bahrain (Security threat level – 3): On 27 April 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued an update to its travel advice for Bahrain, which reads in part as follows: “From 27 April all passengers (including transit) arriving from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh must also provide proof of a negative PCR test with a QR code, conducted not more than 48 hours before departure. For information on this and other updates please also check Bahrain’s Airport website.”
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 26 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy in Somalia reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers of traveling to or residing in Somalia. The security situation has deteriorated in the last few months. March saw the highest number of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Mogadishu since September 2019. Mogadishu has experienced one suicide vehicle-borne IED each month in 2021 compared to six for the entirety of 2020. This apparent increased capacity to conduct suicide terrorist operations, against a backdrop of political uncertainty, has the potential to affect Somalia’s security situation with no warning.
“An ongoing political impasse in Somalia led to a significant outbreak of violence in Mogadishu between government and opposition-affiliated forces on April 25, 2021. This violence included the use of heavy weapons, including explosives. Violence such as this may occur without any ability to provide advance warning to U.S. citizens.”
To read the full text of the warning please click here.