AMERICAS Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On the evening...
Americas: As of 7 December 2020, governments throughout Latin America continue to enact policies intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. Authorities in Bermuda amended coronavirus-related entry requirements, while Costa Rican and Paraguayan officials extended limits on businesses. In Mexico, local nonessential in-person government services have been suspended in Mexico City.
As of 4 December, inbound travelers to Bermuda must present a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than five days before arrival. Previously, visitors were required to have a negative result from a test taken within seven days of arrival. Additionally, Bermudan nationals and legal residents returning to the island must adhere to COVID-19 testing measures or quarantine for eight days upon arrival.
Costa Rican authorities have extended the existing coronavirus-related restrictions until at least 31 December. Most businesses are permitted to operate if they follow mandated capacity limits and social distancing rules. National parks and public beaches are also open. Sporting events that typically draw large numbers of in-attendance spectators have been canceled and nightclubs must remain closed. Vehicular restrictions remain in place: All vehicles may operate on Saturdays and Sundays from 0500 to 2100 local time (1100 to 0300 UTC). Restrictions based on the last digit of a vehicle’s license plate number remain in place Monday-Friday from 0500 to 2200 local time. Several exemptions are in place, including for individuals with rental cars, as well as for those driving to or from a hotel, work, or the airport.
In Mexico, beginning on 7 December, all local court proceedings and in-person nonessential government services in Mexico City will be suspended until at least 15 January 2021, due to the recent spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. Authorities report that the city’s hospitals are at an occupancy rate of 56%.
Paraguayan authorities on 7 December imposed new nationwide restrictions following a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. The restrictions will remain in effect until 20 December. Under the new restrictions, the sale of alcoholic beverages is banned from 2200-0500 local time (0100-0800 UTC), except in restaurants, while social and corporate events are limited to a maximum duration of four hours. Meanwhile, the nationwide nightly curfew from 0000-0500 local time remains in effect.
United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 2359 local time on 6 December 2020 (0759 UTC on 7 December), residents of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley regions of the western U.S. state of California are under a regional stay-at-home order for at least 21 days, which requires closure of nonessential businesses and a ban on gatherings of people outside of their immediate households. Retail establishments, such as grocery stores and shopping centers, are allowed to operate at 20% indoor occupancy and eateries may offer takeout and delivery services only. The order came into effect after intensive care unit (ICU) capacity in the two regions dropped below 15% amid a notable surge in COVID-19 cases; as of last report, ICU capacity in Southern California remains at 10.3% and in the San Joaquin Valley at 6.6%. Meanwhile, officials in five of the 11 counties in the Bay Area — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and San Francisco — announced the stay-at-home order, although ICU capacity in the area remains above 24%. The order went into effect in Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties on 6 December and in Alameda County on 7 December; Marin County will be under the order as of 8 December. The stay-at-home order in the five counties are set to remain in effect until 4 January 2021. The governor of California had announced on 3 December that a regional stay-at-home order would be implemented in regions where ICU capacity drops below 15%, dividing the state into five regions: Northern California, Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. More information regarding the regional stay-at-home order is available here.
France (Security threat level – 3): On 5 December 2020, police officers in Paris deployed tear gas and baton charges to disperse demonstrators after groups of masked protesters fired projectiles at police officers, vandalized shops, set fire to vehicles and burned barricades. A group of protesters also vandalized a bank located on Avenue Gambetta. Thousands of people had gathered at the Place de la République and surrounding streets to protest a bill under debate, which if passed would criminalize the publication of images of police officers with the intent to harm them. According to police officials, approximately 500 anarchists infiltrated what had begun as a peaceful protest march and authorities arrested at least 30 people. Additional demonstrations against the proposed security law also occurred in cities across the country, including Caen, Lille, Lyon and Marseille. Authorities estimated that approximately 52,000 people participated in the nationwide demonstrations.
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 6 December 2020, the Tunisian government extended until 30 December the nationwide nightly curfew — which is in effect from 2000 to 0500 local time (1900 to 0400 UTC) — imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19. Face masks remain mandatory in all public spaces, and private gatherings can have a maximum of 30 attendees. Cafes and restaurants must shut down by 1900 local time daily. According to the country’s health minister, the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 in Tunisia is expected to occur in late December.
Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 4 December 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Argentina, which reads in part as follows: “As of 6 December, all those authorised to enter the country must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of travelling. Self-isolating for 14 days upon arrival will no longer be a requirement. If you have had coronavirus confirmed by a lab test within 90 days of your trip you don’t need to take a COVID-19 PCR test again but instead you will need to show evidence of your diagnosis and a medical certificate issued at least 10 days after being diagnosed confirming that you have a clean bill of health. Only residents of Argentina entering the country by land can choose either to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test or self-isolating for 14 days.
“Additionally, as of 15 December, all those authorised to enter the country and who intend to travel to the City of Buenos Aires will have to fill in a specific City of Buenos Aires specific ‘sworn declaration’ form and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at Ezeiza International Airport. For full details, visit the City of Buenos Aires website (in Spanish).”