December 16, 2020
16-Dec-2020

AMERICAS

Dominican Republic / French Guiana (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): On 15 December 2020, authorities in the Dominican Republic modified coronavirus-related curfew hours for select provinces, effective 16 December until further notice. A nightly curfew from 1900 to 0500 local time (2300 to 0900 local time) will be in place for the National District — which encompasses the capital Santo Domingo — as well as in the provinces of Duarte, La Vega, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata. Elsewhere in the Dominican Republic, a curfew is in effect from 2100 to 0500 local time Monday through Friday, and from 1900 to 0500 local time on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. A curfew grace period exists until 2100 local time every night for residents traveling to their respective homes. An extended curfew grace period will be in place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve until the following day at 0100 local time. Face masks remain mandatory in public areas.

In French Guiana, authorities on 16 December announced curfew measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. From 18 December to 4 January 2021, a nightly curfew from 2100-0500 local time (0000-0800 UTC) will be in effect for the municipalities of Cayenne, Kourou, Macouria, Matoury and Rémire-Montjoly. However, restaurants may remain open until 2230 local time. A nationwide curfew will be imposed from 2100 local time on 31 December to 0500 local time on 1 January to limit gatherings during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

United States (Security threat level – 2): A major winter storm is expected to affect U.S. cities in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions on 16-17 December 2020. Meteorologists forecast that New York City will receive up to 14 in (35 cm) of snow while Washington, D.C., is expected to receive 3-4 inches of snow. Additionally, 8-12 inches of snow is expected in the cities of Boston and Philadelphia. Elsewhere in the region, freezing rain and ice associated with the storm are likely in western areas of North Carolina state and southeastern areas of Virginia state. More than 40 million people are currently under a winter storm warning and travel disruptions are highly probable due to hazardous road conditions. Multiple airlines are issuing waivers for passengers with travel itineraries on 16 and 17 December through airports in the affected areas.

AUSTRALASIA

Fiji (Security threat level – 2): As of 2100 local time (0900 UTC) on 16 December 2020, Tropical Cyclone Yasa was located approximately 500 km (310 mi) northwest of Suva, Fiji, and was moving east-southeast at 19 kph (12 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the cyclone — equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane — had maximum sustained winds of 260 kph, with gusts of up to 315 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm will further intensify when it reaches the two main Fijian islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu by the early morning hours of 18 December. Yasa is then expected to pass near Tonga on 18-19 December.

The cyclone is expected to bring more than 250 mm (10 in) of rain to Fiji, which will likely cause flooding and landslides. Authorities expect that as many as 600,000 residents could be affected and have warned them to prepare for large-scale cyclone-related damage. All public transportation services were suspended as of 2300 local time on 16 December until further notice and ferry services across the country remain suspended since 0000 local time. Fiji Airways has canceled multiple scheduled flights through 18 December and relocated some of its aircraft to Australia earlier on 16 December in order to avoid potential damage. The government has set up evacuation centers across Fiji and placed the military on standby to assist with rescue and recovery efforts.

EUROPE

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 16 December 2020, local health officials and authorities in the northwestern autonomous community of Galicia announced that the region will prohibit inbound travelers from 23 December to 6 January 2021, as part of an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Exceptions will be permitted, including for work and family visits. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told Parliament that additional coronavirus-related restrictions will be forthcoming, if the COVID-19 infection rate worsens.

Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 15 December 2020, clashes occurred between police officers and demonstrators who had gathered near Independence Square in central Kyiv, the capital, to protest new lockdown measures enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19. According to reports, the violence broke out when protesters attempted to erect makeshift shelters in the area amid a protest rally organized by entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses, who are demanding tax cuts due to the financial impact of the pandemic. According to the interior ministry, 40 police officers were injured in the violence. Additionally, a group of intoxicated individuals attacked and wounded three police officers who were transported to a hospital for medical treatment. The new lockdown measures — set to be in effect from 8-24 January 2021 — require cafes, restaurants and other nonessential businesses to suspend operations and also prohibit large gatherings.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 16 December 2020, the government announced a new countrywide nightly curfew from 2100-0500 local time (2000-0400 UTC) due to a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. The curfew will go into effect on 18 December and last until further notice. Additional measures currently in place include a ban on all public gatherings of more than 10 people.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Djibouti (Security threat level – 3): On 16 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Pro-government demonstrations are expected to place in the afternoon of December 17, 2020 near Hassan Gouled Stadium. You may encounter traffic delays, blocked roads and see members of the Djiboutian National Police deployed around the area.”

Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 15 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Quito issued a Security Alert regarding an increase in violent crime in southern Guayaquil, which reads in part as follows:

“There has been a recent increase in violent crime in the southern region of Guayaquil, including multiple targeted assassinations and attempted assassinations against port employees. The U.S. Embassy has directed official personnel traveling to the port to take additional security measures when in the vicinity.”