December 29, 2020
29-Dec-2020

AMERICAS

Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On the night of 28 December 2020, a powerful storm brought heavy rainfall to the northwestern Argentine city of San Miguel de Tucumán, the capital of Tucumán province, causing flooding throughout the city. The storm downed trees and utility poles, resulting in power outages that affected more than 30,000 people. Dozens of vehicles, homes and businesses in the area were inundated. The storm briefly disrupted flight operations at General Benjamín Matienzo International Airport (SANT/TUC), located about 12 km (7 mi) east of the city center. Heavy rain and subsequent flooding also affected the nearby towns of Alderetes, Las Talitas, Tafí Viejo and Yerba Buena. At least two people were killed by electrocution in Yerba Buena. Inclement weather conditions are expected to continue in the province through 29 December.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 28 December 2020, Puebla state Gov. Miguel Barbosa Huerta ordered the closure of nonessential businesses in the state from 29 December until at least 11 January 2021, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. During that time, public transportation will operate from 0530 to 2030 local time (1130 to 0230 UTC) daily. Essential businesses that are not involved in public safety or health care can continue to operate at 20% capacity, while restaurants and cafes are permitted to offer takeout or delivery services only. Authorities encourage all residents who have recently traveled outside the state to self-isolate for 14 days.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): During the afternoon hours of 28 December 2020, power outages occurred in several Mexican states for approximately two hours, including in at least 14 of the 16 boroughs of the capital Mexico City. Outages were also reported in at least 11 municipalities in Mexico state, as well as in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas Yucatán and Veracruz. According to the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE), the blackout affected more than 10.3 million residents and occurred because of an imbalance between the load and power generation in the national interconnected electric grid.

ASIA

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 29 December 2020, the Philippine government extended an entry ban on foreign travelers from 19 additional locations due to new strains of coronavirus; previously only travelers from the U.K. were banned from entry. The ban, which will be in effect from 30 December until 15 January 2021, applies to travelers from the following areas: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Individuals who traveled to any of the aforementioned locations within the past 14 days and arrive in the Philippines before 30 December will be allowed entry but will undergo mandatory 14-day isolation in government accredited facility regardless of having a negative COVID-19 PCR test. <>
The previous day, authorities extended the general community quarantine (GCQ) for Metro Manila, Isabela city, Batangas province, Iloilo city, Tacloban city, Lanao del Sur province, Iligan city, Davao city and Davao del Norte province through 31 January. The remainder of the country remains under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

EUROPE

Croatia (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1220 local time (1120 UTC) on 29 December 2020, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck the central Croatian town of Petrinja – located nearly 60 km (35 mi) southeast of the capital Zagreb – at a depth of 10 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There have been reports of significant damage to buildings and other infrastructure in Petrinja and the nearby town of Sisak. Shaking-related damage also occurred in Zagreb due to the tremor that was felt across Croatia, as well as in neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Slovenia. Authorities in Slovenia halted operations at the Krško nuclear power plant, located near Slovenia’s border with Croatia, as a general precaution following the quake. Thus far, there has been at least one confirmed fatality in Petrinja and an unknown number of people have been injured in areas near the epicenter. Telephone and power outages are likely to continue in the area. Croatian military personnel have deployed to the affected area and are currently conducting search and rescue operations. The death toll is expected to rise.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mozambique (Security threat level – 4): As of 1100 local time (0900 UTC) on 29 December 2020, Tropical Cyclone Chalane was located approximately 290 km (180 mi) north of Europa Island, and was moving west at 30 kph (18 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Chalane was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts of up to 102 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm will make landfall near the town of Beira during the morning hours of 30 December. Authorities have warned of possible heavy rainfall in the provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Inhambane, and urged residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate as a precaution.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 29 December 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for South Africa regarding new coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “Level three lockdown restrictions are in place across the country. There is a curfew between 9pm and 6am. You are legally required to wear a face mask when in public and may face a fine or imprisonment for breaking this rule. Sales of alcohol are prohibited and consumption of alcohol in public spaces has been banned. You should ensure you are in your accommodation before the curfew begins. Road blocks are used to enforce curfew in some places. International and interprovincial travel remain permitted subject to COVID-19 precautions. If it is essential for you to travel during curfew to catch an international flight then you should carry relevant documentation to prove why you are travelling.”

Turkey (Security threat level – 4): On 29 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Beginning December 30, 2020 all international passengers age 6 years and older traveling to Turkey are required to have taken a COVID-19 PCR test with a negative result within 72 hours prior to their flight. Passengers must submit their test results to the airline at the time of check-in. Passengers failing to submit a negative PCR test will not be permitted to board the flight to Turkey. This requirement will remain in effect until March 1, 2021.

“As of December 30, all travelers who arrive in Turkey through air, land, or sea will be asked to present a negative PCR test result document issued 72 hours prior to arrival. Those who fail to do so at the border gate or sea port will be quarantined in the address to where they are going. In addition to the requirement of presenting a negative test result done in the last 72 hours, those who have arrived in Turkey from the UK, Denmark and South Africa in the past 10 days will be asked to present a negative test result done within the past 72 hours, and also will be required to quarantine in where they are staying. If the second test which will be done on the seventh day of their quarantine comes out negative, their quarantine will be over, and if they test positive, they will receive treatment.

“Transit passengers are required to submit PCR test with negative results, submitted a maximum of 72 hours prior to their flight, as per the current regulation in Turkey. Transit passengers should also take into account the rules of the final arrival country in terms of PCR test requirements, age limits and time guidelines.”