NORTH AMERICA Cuba / United States (Security threat levels –...
Puerto Rico (Security threat level – 2): On 20 December 2021, the governor of Puerto Rico signed an executive order enacting new regulations in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The order — which goes into effect on 27 December — requires incoming travelers from U.S. states on board domestic flights, including those who are fully vaccinated, to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained within 48 hours before arrival. Passengers arriving without a negative test result will be required to take a PCR test within 48 hours after arrival on the island. Meanwhile, unvaccinated travelers will be required to self-isolate for seven days after arrival. The order also mandates that all bars, cafes, restaurants and other food establishments require proof of vaccination or a negative test result acquired within the previous 48 hours before allowing entry into such establishments.
China (Security threat level – 3): As of 0000 local time on 21 December 2021 (1600 UTC on 20 December), individuals allowed to enter Hong Kong from the U.K. must complete a 21-day quarantine upon arrival due to concerns regarding the omicron variant of COVID-19. Travelers will be required to quarantine at Penny’s Bay Quarantine Center for the first four days before completing the remaining 17 days at a designated hotel. In addition, airlines that transport four or more passengers to Hong Kong from the same location who test positive for COVID-19 within the span of one week will be banned from operating that route for 14 days.
Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On 22 December 2021, the government will reintroduce a mandatory quarantine for arriving international travelers due to concerns regarding the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. As part of the measure, the “Test & Go” scheme — which allowed travelers from certain countries to apply for an exemption from quarantine — will be suspended. However, officials stated that approximately 200,000 people who were previously approved through “Test & Go” will still be allowed to enter without quarantining. Additionally, all “Sandbox” areas — which allowed travelers to visit a defined area without having to quarantine — will be suspended except for the island of Phuket. All travelers will be subject to a quarantine period of seven to 14 days, depending on their vaccination status and country of origin. Authorities will review the measure on 4 January 2022.
Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On 21 December 2021, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced new coronavirus-related restrictions, which will remain in effect from 23 December until further notice. Under the measures, employees are encouraged to work from home and only seated service will be permitted at restaurants, bars and public events with more than 20 people. Additionally, New Year’s Eve parties at nightclubs are banned.
Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 20 December 2021, Kuwait’s Cabinet announced that all arriving travelers will be required to undergo a 10-day home quarantine — effective as of 26 December. The quarantine period may be shortened for travelers who take an additional PCR test within 72 hours after arrival and obtain negative results. Authorities also stated that travelers must produce results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the previous 48 hours at the time of arrival, as opposed to the previously accepted negative test taken within 72 hours. All foreign nationals entering Kuwait must be fully vaccinated; however, officials will no longer consider individuals who have had their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine more than nine months ago to be fully vaccinated unless they have received a booster dose.
Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 21 December 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Canberra issued a Weather Alert regarding bushfires, which reads in part as follows:
“Event: Every year Australian bush fires ravage large areas of land, causing property damage and loss of life. State and territory emergency services in Australia provide up-to-date information on bush fires and advice on precautionary measures that can help minimize fire-related risks. U.S. citizens visiting or living in Australia should monitor local television and radio stations, as media reporting may be the best source for breaking news on fire conditions. Please see the list of resources below of emergency services available in Australia to further prepare for bush fire season.”
The full text of the alert can be read here.
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 20 December 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá issued a Security Alert regarding holiday season precautions, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Caribbean Coast, Colombia
“Event: The U.S. Embassy in Bogota advises U.S. citizens to take extra precautions during the holiday season while traveling along the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, including in and around Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Santa Marta.
“When visiting the areas in or around Cartagena, Barranquilla, or Santa Marta, you should remain in areas frequented by tourists or locations with a police presence. If you are planning a trip to Barú (a beach area 45 minutes south of Cartagena), the U.S. Embassy recommends you hire a boat, tourist bus, or tourist taxi to provide transport instead of driving yourself. Groups of individuals regularly block the main road to Barú and demand payment for passage. Boats are unaffected, and tourist buses and taxis are accustomed to these blockages and may navigate them without incident.
“Be aware that the use of scopolamine to incapacitate and rob victims has also occurred with frequency throughout Colombia.”
Romania (Security threat level – 2): On 20 December 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Romania, which reads in part as follows: “From 20 December 2021, all passengers who are travelling to Romania must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) that can be found by accessing this link.
“The document should be completed no more than 24 hours before entering the country. It can also be completed at the point of entry into the country.”
Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 20 December 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Ukraine to include information regarding heightened threats from Russia, which reads in part as follows: “The Department of State continues to advise U.S. citizens not to travel to Ukraine due to COVID-19 and to reconsider travel due to increased threats from Russia. Exercise increased caution due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risks.
“U.S. citizens should be aware of reports that Russia is planning for significant military action against Ukraine. U.S. citizens are also reminded the security conditions, particularly along Ukraine’s borders, in Russia-occupied Crimea, and in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine, are unpredictable and can deteriorate with little notice.” The full text of the Travel Advisory can be found here.