ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Cayman Islands / Cuba / Lesser Antilles / United States (Security threat levels – 1 / 2 / 1 / 2): As of 0800 local time (1200 UTC) on 27 August 2021, Tropical Storm Ida was located approximately 125 km (75 mi) north-northwest of the island of Grand Cayman and 185 km southeast of Cuba’s Isle of Youth, and was moving northwest at 24 kph (15 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Ida was generating maximum sustained winds of 95 kph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to move away from the Cayman Islands and pass near or over the Isle of Youth and western Cuba later in the day on 27 August and enter the Gulf of Mexico by 28 August. Ida is then forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane before making landfall in the southern U.S. state of Louisiana on 29 August.
Ida is projected to generate approximately 150-250 mm (6-10 in) of rainfall across Jamaica with maximum totals of 130 mm. Meanwhile, 200-305 mm of rainfall is forecast across the Cayman Islands and western Cuba, with maximum amounts of 510 mm. Flash flooding and mudslides are possible in areas along the storm’s path. Storm surges and high tides of up to 2-3 m (7-11 ft) are possible for coastal areas of the U.S. from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Alabama/Florida border. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from the city of Port Arthur, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border, an area that includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and Mobile Bay. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the town of Cameron, Louisiana, to the Mississippi-Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and the metropolitan New Orleans area. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, as well as for the Cuban provinces of Matanzas, Mayabeque, Havana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 26 August 2021, authorities in Antigua and Barbuda imposed revised coronavirus-related restrictions, which will remain in effect until 10 September. Under the restrictions, a nightly curfew will be in effect from 2000 to 0500 local time (0000-0900 UTC). Additionally, bars and gyms will be required to close, while only takeout services will be available at restaurants.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 27 August 2021, Tropical Storm Nora was located approximately 390 km (240 mi) south-southwest of the city of Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán state and 490 km south of the city of Manzanillo, and was moving west-northwest at 19 kph (12 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Nora was generating maximum sustained winds of 85 kph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to continue approaching the southwestern coast of Mexico through the night of 27 August before strengthening into a hurricane on 28 August and reaching the southern portion of Baja California Sur state on 29 August.
Nora is projected to produce 200-300 mm (8-12 in) of rain along the coastal areas of the states of Colima, Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán and Oaxaca, with maximum totals of 510 mm. Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are expected to affect southern and southwestern Mexican coastal areas during 27-29 August. A Hurricane Watch is in effect from the city of Lázaro Cárdenas to the municipality of Cabo Corrientes in Jalisco state. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from the city of Tecpan de Galeana in Guerrero state to Cabo Corrientes. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of Cabo Corrientes to the municipality of San Blas in Nayarit state, which includes the tourist destination of Puerto Vallarta.
Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 27 August 2021, evacuation flights resumed at Hamid Karzai International Airport (OAKB/KBL) in the capital Kabul following a suicide attack near the facility’s Abbey Gate on 26 August. Approximately 100 people were killed — including at least 90 Afghan citizens and 13 U.S. military personnel — and about 150 others were wounded in the blast. Later the same day, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) – which is affiliated with the Islamic State militant group – claimed responsibility for the airport attack, which involved two suicide bombings. U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will continue with its evacuation efforts, and that there are no plans to stay beyond the 31 August deadline. Authorities have warned of additional attacks in the coming days.
On 26 August the Australian government announced the completion of its mission in Afghanistan. Additionally, as of 27 August the U.K., Finnish, French and Spanish governments have all announced that their civilian and military operations will be completed by the end of the day on 27 August.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 26 August 2021, the U.K. Department for Transport announced changes to the placement of countries on its traffic-light system for foreign travel, which determines coronavirus-related entry requirements for travelers to England. Subsequently, as of 0400 local time (0300 UTC) on 30 August, Thailand and Montenegro will be moved to the “red list,” the highest-risk designation, which requires individuals allowed to enter England from those countries to quarantine at government-approved hotels for 10 days and to take PCR tests on the second and eighth days of the quarantine period. Foreign travelers — except Irish nationals and individuals with residency rights in the U.K. — who have visited countries on the red list during the previous 10 days remain subject to an entry ban. At the same time, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland and the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores will be moved to the “green list.” All inbound travelers — regardless of vaccination status and the location of origin — must complete a passenger locator form within the 48 hours preceding arrival, provide negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within the last 72 hours before travel, and take an additional PCR test on or before the second day of their arrival. Further details as outlined by the U.K. government are available here.
South Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 26 August 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Juba issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations are being organized to take place on or around August 30, 2021 throughout the country to protest against the government. The demonstrations are not approved by the host government. All citizens should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings, particularly around large crowds or gatherings. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can become confrontational and possibly escalate into violence with little or no warning. The U.S. Embassy will continue to monitor the situation and will send an update if new information arises. As a reminder, the travel advisory for South Sudan is Level 4: Do Not Travel due to COVID-19, crime, kidnapping, and armed conflict. The U.S. government’s ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in South Sudan is extremely limited. U.S. government personnel in South Sudan are under a strict curfew that limits movements to daylight hours.”