France (Security threat level – 3) : As of 31 December 2021, face masks will be mandatory for all individuals over the age of 11 in all outdoor public areas of the capital Paris until further notice due to a rapid increase in COVID-19 infections attributed to the new omicron variant. The national government currently maintains a face mask requirement in all indoor public areas nationwide. The measure also extends to travelers at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (LFPG/CDG), Paris–Le Bourget Airport (LFPB/LBG) and Paris Orly Airport (LFPO/ORY). Violators are subject to a 135 euro (152.78 U.S. dollar) fine. Exemptions exist for bicyclists as well as anyone who is exercising or riding in a vehicle.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 29 December 2021, the Greek health minister declared that new coronavirus-related restrictions on hospitality venues will be implemented as of 30 December amid a notable surge in new COVID-19 infections in the country, largely attributed to the omicron variant. The restrictions — which had been initially set to take effect on 3 January 2022 — include a mandate for bars, restaurants, nightclubs and similar venues, to suspend operations at 0000 local time (2200 UTC) nightly; such venues are only allowed to serve a maximum of six seated patrons per table and are prohibited from playing music. An exemption is in place for New Year’s Eve when such establishments may stay open until 0200 local time. Separately, the requirement to wear face masks in all indoor and outdoor public venues was reinstated on 24 December. Health officials registered a record 28,828 new cases in the country on 29 December, the highest daily number since the onset of the pandemic.
Montenegro (Security threat level – 2): On 29 December 2021, the Montenegrin government announced new entry restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 that will be in effect from 2 January 2022 until further notice. Under the restrictions, all travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival. Travelers must also present proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 180 days.
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On the morning of 30 December 2021, al-Shabab militants carried out attacks in the Balad distrct, located approximately 40 km north of the capital Mogadishu within the Middle Shabelle region. According to officials, the militants attacked government checkpoints in an attempt to take control of the town. The Somali National Army (SNA) responded to the attacks, which resulted in fighting between the two groups. At least seven people were killed in the attack and three SNA soldiers sustained injuries. The militants briefly held the town but withdrew shortly afterward. Meanwhile, security forces continue to monitor the area for further action by al-Shabab.
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 1450 local time (1250 UTC) on 30 December 2021, security personnel deployed tear gas to disperse several thousand anti-military demonstrators in the capital Khartoum. Authorities previously suspended internet and phone services in Khartoum ahead of the protests. Most bridges into Khartoum were also preemptively closed. Details regarding possible injuries or arrests were unavailable. Demonstrators had gathered to rally against the military’s continued influence in politics after the 25 October removal and subsequent reinstatement of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Demonstrators also opposed the ruling sovereign council’s decision earlier in the week to reinstate the powers of arrest and detention for the country’s intelligence services.
Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 29 December 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Conakry issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Government of Guinea has announced that full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for entry into Guinea. This requirement is in addition to a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the beginning of travel and will take effect no later than January 1, 2022.
“Acceptable vaccines are: Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Sputnik V.
“Please note the time from completion of a vaccine to travel may vary by brand. Travelers are advised to contact their travel agent, airline, or Government of Guinea resources regarding specific requirements. The US Embassy cannot advise individuals regarding vaccine requirements.”