December 8, 2020
6-Dec-20

AMERICAS

Americas: Bermudan authorities introduced new coronavirus-related guidelines on 8 December 2020. Gatherings cannot have more than 20 attendees and churches must revert to 20% capacity for services. Indoor areas of bars and nightclubs must close until at least 22 December, although outdoor bars will be permitted to service patrons. Face masks remain mandatory in public areas.

In Panama, as of 8 December, a nightly curfew from 2100 to 0500 local time (0200 to 1000 UTC) will be in effect in Panama province, where the capital Panama City is located. During the curfew, residents are prohibited from being outdoors and the sale of alcohol is banned. Similar restrictions are in place in the adjacent Panama Oeste province. The rest of Panama has a nightly curfew in place from 2300 to 0500 local time.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): On 8 December 2020, a nationwide strike (Bharat Bandh) organized by farmers to protest recently enacted agricultural laws occurred from 1100-1500 local time (0530-0930 UTC). Transportation services were affected in the capital New Delhi and across several states — including Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh — during the strike. A number of highways and major thoroughfares in and around New Delhi were blocked, including portions of National Highway 34. Associated protest actions also occurred in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, among others. At least 15 opposition parties and a number of trade unions, including those of teachers, truck drivers and railway workers, supported the call for the strike. Protesting farmers organized the strike after five rounds of inconclusive talks with the government over new agricultural laws, which deregulate the agricultural industry, removing a guaranteed minimum support price for products and permitting farmers to sell their products directly to private companies. Farmers demand a complete annulment of the laws. The next round of talks is scheduled to occur on 9 December.

South Korea / Australia (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): As of 8 December 2020, Level 2.5 social distancing orders are in effect in the South Korean capital Seoul, Gyeonggi province and western areas of the city of Incheon for at least three weeks in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Under the measures, all gatherings of 50 or more people are banned; gyms and karaoke establishments must close completely; and restaurants, movie theaters, hair salons, department stores and amusement parks are required to close by 2100 local time (1200 UTC). The rest of the country will be under Level 2 restrictions during that time.

In Australia, the premier of South Australia state on 8 December announced plans to lift coronavirus-related restrictions on 14 December. From that date, occupancy limits at entertainment venues and theaters will increase to 75% from 50% capacity, recreational facilities may decrease the minimum social distance from 4 sq. m (43 sq. ft) to 2 sq. m, private residences may host gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 200 attendees. Furthermore, face masks in indoor and outdoor public spaces will no longer be mandatory, but authorities continue to recommend the practice.

EUROPE

Denmark / Italy / Portugal (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 2): On 7 December 2020, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that coronavirus-related restrictions will tighten on 9 December with a partial lockdown in 38 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities, including Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense, to curb a spike in COVID-19 cases. The restrictions will remain in place until 3 January 2021. Under the new restrictions, bars, cafes, cinemas, gyms, libraries, museums, restaurants, sport centers, swimming pools and theaters will be required to close; however, restaurants and cafes will be permitted to operate takeout services. Additionally, on 9 December Frederiksen will also extend nationwide restrictions, which include a face mask requirement in all indoor public spaces, a ban on alcohol sales after 2200 local time (2100 UTC) and a ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people, until 1 May 2021.

Italian authorities on 7 December issued an emergency decree extending current coronavirus-related measures and implementing additional restrictions, effective until 15 January 2021. Under the extension, the nationwide curfew from 2200-0500 local time (2100-0400 UTC) remains in place and further measures apply at the regional level based on a color-coded system. Additionally, according to the decree, all nonessential inter-regional travel will be prohibited, passenger cruises will be suspended, and ski resorts will be closed from 21 December to 6 January. Inter-city movements will be prohibited on 25 and 26 December and on 1 January, while on 31 December the nationwide curfew will run from 2200-0700 local time. Additional information is available here. Authorities have also amended the entry requirements for all travelers eligible to enter Italy. From 21 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, the requirement that travelers arriving from certain countries must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival will be suspended; instead, all travelers must self-isolate for 14 days after entering the country. All travelers are required to complete a self-declaration form prior to undertaking travel.

The Portuguese government on 5 December issued new COVID-19 restrictions that will be in effect through the end of December. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa declared that during the weekends of 12-13 December and 19-20 December, travel on public roads within municipalities with “very high risk” and “extremely high risk” will be prohibited from 1300 to 0800 local time/UTC. Additional restrictions will be applied depending on the epidemiological situation in each municipality. The government of Portugal — informed by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control — has established four levels of severity of the pandemic. Municipalities with more than 960 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are labeled as “extremely high risk.” Municipalities with 480 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are labeled as “very high risk.” Municipalities with more than 240-479 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are labeled as “high risk.” Municipalities with fewer than 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are labeled as “moderate risk.”

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 7 December 2020, demonstrations continued in the northern Kurdistan region against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdish political parties. Security personnel stationed outside the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the town of Chamchamal, located west of Sulaymaniyah, fired live ammunition to disperse the approaching protesters, killing at least one. Another protester was killed near the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party in the town of Kifri. An unknown number of protesters have been injured during the protests, which broke out on 2 December over pay cuts and salary arrears of public sector employees.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cambodia (Security threat level – 3): On 8 December 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice regarding quarantine requirements, which reads in part as follows: “From 12 December 2020, the implementation of the sponsorship scheme for foreign travellers will be temporarily suspended. All travellers to Cambodia will be tested on arrival and then required to quarantine for 14 days at a facility designated by the Cambodian government. This may be at a hotel (at your own expense) or at a government facility. The conditions at government facilities are very basic and it is not guaranteed that families will be kept together.

“You will be expected to comply with these requirements regardless of any existing medical needs you may have. If you’re not able to submit to these requirements, you should think carefully about whether to travel to Cambodia at this time.

“All travellers are required to take a COVID-19 test on the 13th day of quarantine at either the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh or the Chak Angre Clinic in Phnom Penh.

“Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will be admitted to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital for monitoring and treatment. Their identity will also be publicly disclosed to facilitate track and trace mechanisms.”

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 7 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding adjustments to city-level quarantine measures across Chile, which reads in part as follows:

“As of December 7, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 562,142 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on December 7:

  • The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 3 (Preparation) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the imposition of a quarantine on the weekends and during holidays (begins Thursday, December 10 at 5:00 am): All comunas in the Metropolitan Region (RM) of Santiago, Renaico (IX Region)
  • The imposition of a quarantine for the following comunas (begins Thursday, December 10 at 5:00 am): Arauco (VIII Region), Los Sauces (IX Region), Angol (IX Region), Puerto Williams (XII Region)
  • Beginning Thursday, December 10, restaurants in comunas in Paso 2 will be allowed to operate with outdoor seating only.
  • Note that for comunas in Pasos 1 and 2, interregional trips are prohibited.

“For a full list of measures implemented by the Chilean government, please visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19. This webpage is updated daily, and includes a list of all comunas currently in quarantine.”

Jamaica (Security threat level – 3): On 7 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Kingston issued a Security Alert regarding a shooting in Kingston, which reads in part as follows: “A shooting recently occurred on Mountain View Avenue in Kingston, and there is an active crime scene. Embassy personnel are advised to us South Camp Road for any travel to the airport until further notice.”

Slovakia (Security threat level – 2): On 8 December 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Current Situation in the Country: Beginning December 8, 2020, new entry requirements to Slovakia are in effect at all borders. In most cases, a valid negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test and/or home quarantine is now required for most types of travelers entering Slovakia from most countries in the world. Some travelers who were previously exempt from RT-PCR tests and quarantine, including cross-border workers and students, may now be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test upon entry to Slovakia. The new requirements are outlined on the COVID-19 info page of the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, and details can be found in the current Public Health Decree. Note that none of the countries boarding Slovakia are currently classified as “green low-risk” for purposes of entry to Slovakia. In most cases, only travelers allowed to enter the European Union, per COVID-19 regulations of the European Commission, will be allowed entry to Slovakia.”

The full text of the alert can be read here.