Canada (Security threat level – 2): As of 22 December 2021, the government of British Columbia is enforcing new province-wide restrictions on businesses and gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions — currently scheduled to be in effect until 18 January 2022 — include a prohibition on all indoor gatherings and a capacity limit of 50% for seated events at indoor public venues. Entertainment venues, such as bars and nightclubs, are required to shut down during the time period. Other Canadian provinces, including Alberta and Ontario, have also enacted restrictions on social gatherings, hospitality venues and nonessential businesses during the upcoming holiday season. Additionally, the mayor of Montreal, Quebec, reinstated a citywide state of emergency on 21 December amid an increasing number of new COVID-19 infections and urged the public to avoid travel. The Canadian government currently maintains a global travel advisory that recommends against nonessential international travel, regardless of vaccination status, due to concerns regarding the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19; the advisory was issued for a period of four weeks as of 15 December.
China (Security threat level – 3): On 22 December 2021, authorities in the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province issued a citywide stay-at-home order for residents amid a rising number of new COVID-19 cases. The stay-at-home order will be in effect from 23 December until further notice. Under the measure, only one member of each household may leave to procure essential goods every two days, except in emergency situations. Additionally, residents may only leave the city for “special circumstance” situations after receiving approval from local officials. The government has closed long-distance bus stations and has established checkpoints along major roadways into and out of the city to verify travel authorization.
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 0700 local time (0030 UTC) on 21 December 2021, a small explosion occurred at a security checkpoint near Yangon International Airport (VYYY/RGN), located in Yangon’s Mingaladon township. According to local reports, the blast occurred after an assailant threw an explosive device at the army post. Security personnel opened fire in response and killed the suspected assailant. No additional injuries or deaths were reported. There were no reports of damage or disruptions at the airport.
Portugal (Security threat level – 2): On 21 December 2021, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa declared that new coronavirus-related measures will go into effect as of 0000 local time/UTC on 25 December due to concerns regarding the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. Under the measures — slated to be in effect through 9 January 2022 — working from home will be mandatory and entertainment venues, such as bars and nightclubs, will be required to shut down. A negative result from a COVID-19 test will be required to access cinemas, theaters, sporting events and venues that host ceremonies such as baptisms and weddings. The same requirement will apply to enter restaurants and to attend public festivities on the following dates: 25 December, 26 December, 31 December and 1 January. Additionally, gatherings of more than 10 people in the streets on New Year’s Eve will be banned. The new measures were declared as the daily number of new COVID-19 infections continues to slowly rise, despite nearly 87% of the population in the country being fully vaccinated against the disease.
Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On 22 December 2021, the Swedish government announced new coronavirus-related entry restrictions, which will remain in effect from 28 December until further notice. Under the new restrictions, all foreign travelers will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours before arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. Swedish nationals and residents are exempt from the requirement.
Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 22 December 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued an alert regarding new coronavirus-related requirements to enter and exit Kenya, which reads in part as follows: “Kenya’s Ministry of Health announced all passengers age 18 and over arriving in Kenya will need to present a valid certificate of COVID-19 vaccination effective immediately. All passengers exiting Kenya will also need to present a valid certificate of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as meet the existing requirements under the Trusted Traveler Initiative. COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization are considered valid by public health officials in Kenya.
“In addition to COVID-19 vaccination, all passengers age 5 and over must present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 72 hours before departure. All passengers will continue to need to fill out the Travelers’ Health Surveillance Form, as required by the Ministry of Health. Additional information about COVID-19 entry and exit requirements can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s COVID-19 Information Page at the following link. “