February 18, 2021
18-Feb-2021

AMERICAS

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of the morning of 18 February 2021, authorities in the southern U.S. state of Texas are working to restore electricity to more than 500,000 homes and businesses that are currently experiencing power outages due to increased demand amid inclement weather conditions. Power has largely been restored in the worst-affected Houston metropolitan area, where about 45,000 customers remain without power, and a boil-water advisory is currently in effect. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (KIAH/IAH) remains open and operational, although weather-related flight delays and cancellations are likely to continue throughout the day. Meanwhile, William P. Hobby Airport (KHOU/HOU) is expected to resume operations later in the day; most flights scheduled to operate through the facility were canceled the previous day due to a water supply disruption, although the airfield had been reopened on 16 February. In the state capital Austin, where a boil-water advisory is also in effect, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS/AUS) resumed operations as planned on 17 February and remains open, although delays and cancellations occurred and are likely to continue.

Venezuela (Security threat level – 5): On 17 February 2021, President Nicolás Maduro announced that strict nationwide quarantine measures will resume during 22-28 February in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under strict quarantine measures, only essential businesses and services, including supermarkets, pharmacies and public utilities are allowed to operate. As part of Venezuela’s ongoing “7 + 7” plan, the country rotates between flexible and strict quarantines phases weekly.

ASIA

Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 18 February 2021, large-scale protests denouncing the 1 February military coup continued nationwide amid a significant security force presence. In Yangon, dozens of protesters blocked traffic along the North Dagon Bayi Bridge, and in the city’s downtown area thousands of protesters gathered near the Sule Pagoda for a second consecutive day. In Mandalay, security forces deployed water cannons against demonstrators who had gathered to protest the arrests of two former officials. In related developments, authorities restricted internet access nationwide between 0100 and 0900 local time (1830 and 0230 UTC) for a fourth consecutive night.

EUROPE

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 17 February 2021, demonstrators gathered in several cities for a second consecutive night to demand the release of a performer authorities detained on 16 February. In the coastal city of Barcelona, police officers used rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators in the downtown area who were clashing with security personnel and throwing stones and debris at police officers and their vehicles. Demonstrators erected several blockades, including near the Plaça Urquinaona and in the middle of Via Laietana thoroughfare. They also set fire to multiple motorcycles and used them to form a barricade between the Plaça de Catalunya and Rambla de Catalunya. Additional demonstrations occurred in the cities of Lleida, Girona, Madrid and Tarragona. At least 14 people were injured during the second days of protests; police officers arrested 33 demonstrators. Protesters destroyed approximately 135 trash containers in Barcelona and elsewhere to erect barricades.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 17 February 2021, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation announced new measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. Beginning on 21 February, all arriving travelers from restricted countries must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government approved hotel at their own expense. Travelers must complete the arrangement via the Kuwaitmosafer or Belsalamah platforms. Passengers arriving from non-restricted countries will undergo a seven-day quarantine and take a PCR test on the sixth day of quarantine. If the test results are negative, they may complete another seven-day quarantine at their residence.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 17 February 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Algiers issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “February 22 will mark the two-year anniversary of major protests in Algiers and around the country and the U.S. Embassy is aware of calls on social media for protests around this date. These protests are not directed at the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. government, or U.S. citizens. Please be aware of the possibility of unannounced protests in populated areas and be prepared to adjust any plans. A 10:00 p.m. – 05:00 a.m. curfew is still in effect in many wilayas to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Expect increased levels of traffic congestion and a heavy presence of law enforcement in addition to security checkpoints in some areas. During similar protests in the past, widespread disruption to internet and communication services have been common. U.S. government personnel have been reminded to maintain personal security awareness and to change routes to avoid any crowds or protests.”

To read the full text of the alert please click here.

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 17 February 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “According to media reports, several planned peaceful demonstrations are scheduled to take place tomorrow, February 18, 2021, starting at 6:00 am. Between 2,000-4,000 demonstrators from CODECA (Comite de Desarrollo Campesino) plan to demonstrate at the following locations in Guatemala City:

  • Obelisco, Zone 10
  • Trebol, Zone 11
  • Peri Roosevelt, Zone 7
  • Metro Norte, Zone 18

“The demonstrations are expected to start at the locations above and progress towards Plaza de la Constitución and the Congress building located in Zone 1.”

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 17 February 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Government of Honduras has extended the national curfew until February 21, 2021 from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. During the week, shopping and essential activities will be allowed daily from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. without regard to identification number, in all departments except Santa Bárbara, Cortés, Atlántida, and Yoro. The curfew in these departments is extended until February 28, 2021.

“Businesses are allowed no more than 50% capacity and should establish a special schedule for elderly, pregnant women, and people with disabilities.

“Bars, nightclubs, gyms, sports complexes, convention centers, theaters, and educational centers are prohibited from operation. Meetings in private homes may not exceed 10 people.

“All U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to respect the curfew and minimize trips out of their home. It is mandatory to use face masks, sanitary gel, and social distancing in public.”

A circulation schedule for the affected departments can be found at this link.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 17 February 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Madrid issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations are scheduled to take place in several cities throughout Spain over the next several days in response to the arrest of rapper Pablo Hasel. Please monitor news media to see if a demonstration is happening in an area near you. Exercise caution in the vicinity of these events as even peaceful protests have the potential to turn violent without any warning.

“U.S. citizens and government personnel are advised to avoid these areas during the demonstrations. Please see our Demonstrations in Spain webpage for more general information.”