AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
Chile (Security threat level – 2): During 5-6 February 2021, rioting occurred in the town of Panguipulli as well as in the Maipú and Puente Alto communes of the Santiago metropolitan region after a video circulated on social media on 5 February showing a police officer shooting and killing a street performer in Panguipulli, which is located approximately 825 km (510 mi) south of the capital Santiago. On 5 February, rioters set fire to a municipal building in the center of Panguipulli, which later spread to consume 10 municipal buildings, including the post office, the civil registry, a local court and a water management company. Earlier in the day, demonstrators also set up barricades on the streets and clashed with police officers. In Maipú, located southwest of central Santiago, approximately 60 rioters assaulted a police station and clashed with police officers. At least two people were detained. Meanwhile, in Puente Alto, located southeast of the city center, demonstrators set fire to a Transantiago bus.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): During the early hours of 8 February 2021, Justice Joseph Mécène Jean Louis, the oldest judge on Haiti’s Supreme Court, stated in an online video that he has accepted the position of provisional president as announced by opposition leaders. In response, security personnel have established a cordon surrounding the building that houses the Supreme Court, located in the Champ de Mars area of the capital city Port-au-Prince. Haiti’s minister of justice announced on 7 February that security forces foiled a planned coup d’etat and arrested 23 people, including Ivickel Dabrésil, a member of the Supreme Court — who authorities allege would have become the president had the coup succeeded — as well as the inspector general of the National Police. The opposition claims that President Jovenel Moise’s term legally ended on 7 February; Moise took office in February 2017, more than one year after winning a disputed election in 2016, and asserts that his five-year term ends in February 2022. In response to developments in Haiti, authorities in the Dominican Republic have increased the number of military troops at the shared border with Haiti.
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): As of 8 February 2021, largely peaceful protests against the 1 February military coup, which have occurred daily since at least 5 February, are ongoing and continue to increase in size. On 8 February the largest demonstration to date occurred in Yangon as protesters also gathered in other cities nationwide. Meanwhile, authorities in Mandalay, the country’s second largest city, imposed movement restrictions in seven areas.
On 8 February demonstrators rallied in Yangon, the capital Naypyidaw and other cities. In Yangon, reports indicate that as many as 100,000 demonstrators gathered near City Hall on the banks of the Yangon River. In Naypyidaw, at least 20,000 protesters rallied at the ThaPyayKnone roundabout. Police officers deployed a water cannon in an unsuccessful attempt to disperse the demonstrators, injuring at least one person. In the city of Myawaddy, police officers fired into the air to disperse demonstrators. Reports indicate that demonstrations also occurred in Bago, Loikaw, Mandalay, Moulmein, Sule and Ye. In related developments, authorities imposed movement restrictions in the following seven areas of Mandalay until further notice: Aung Myay Tharzan, Maha Aung Myay, Amarapura, Patheingyi, Pyigyitakon, Chan Aye Tharzan and Chan Myay Tharzi. Under the order, gatherings are limited to five people and a nightly curfew is in effect during 2000-0400 local time (1330-2130 UTC).
On 7 February approximately 60,000 demonstrators rallied in Yangon. An estimated 1,000 people protested in Naypyidaw, with demonstations also reported in Mandalay and other cities across the country. The demonstrations were largely peaceful. The previous day, approximately 2,000 demonstrators rallied near Yangon University to demand the release of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Police officers blocked the main entrance to the university; however, no violence was reported. Similar demonstrations also occurred in two other sections of Yangon and in the city of Mandalay.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 7 February 2021, Greek authorities extended the ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions for international flights until at least 0600 local time (0400 UTC) on 22 February. Flights from most countries outside of the EU will remain banned, and foreign travelers allowed to enter Greece — which include those arriving from EU member states and select countries deemed low risk for COVID-19 — will remain subject to current entry requirements. Travelers are required to submit a Passenger Locator Form and proof of negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours before arrival. Authorities may administer random tests upon entry. In addition, those arriving in Greece are required to self-quarantine for seven days. Domestic flights within Greece will remain restricted to travel for essential purposes until 0600 local time on 15 February. Meanwhile, as of 6 February, restrictions have been enhanced in the regions of Attica — which encompasses the capital Athens — Thessaloniki and Halkidiki until 15 February. An existing nightly curfew begins three hours earlier at 1800 local time on weekends, while the curfew remains in effect from 2100-0500 local time on weekdays. In addition, only essential businesses, such as gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies, are permitted to remain open from 0700 to 1700 local time on weekends. These measures were enacted following an escalation in the number of COVID-19 cases and subsequent hospitalizations since 2 February.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 8 February 2021, authorities in the U.K. lowered the national terrorism threat level to “substantial,” which indicates that an attack is likely. The “substantial” level is the third-highest alert on a five-tier scale. The terrorism threat level in the U.K. was raised to “severe” on 3 November 2020, following a terrorist attack in central Vienna, Austria’s capital, which left four people dead.
Additional details regarding threat levels in the U.K. are available here.
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 6 February 2021, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated and struck an armored vehicle traveling near the KM4 Junction in Mogadishu. The blast — which reportedly targeted a prominent businessman — occurred near the Afrik Hotel, which al-Shabab militants attacked on 31 January. The explosion killed one person and wounded three others. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it is consistent with similar attacks by al-Shabab.
Analyst Comment: The pattern of recent attacks by al-Shabab — including the earlier attack on the hotel — strongly indicates that the militant group is trying to exploit uncertainty over Somalia’s upcoming elections by targeting key political and military leaders. Organizations working with the Somali government or near government buildings should monitor the situation closely and travelers should exercise extreme caution in anticipation of future attacks.
Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 5 February 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Cuba to include information regarding a coronavirus-related nightly curfew in the capital Havana, which reads in part as follows: “From Friday 5 February 2021, a curfew is in place in Havana between 9pm to 5am which applies to any movement of vehicles and persons. The only permitted exceptions are for the transport of essential workers and supplies, and certain other categories with official permission.”
Slovakia (Security threat level – 2): On 5 February 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava issued a Health Alert regarding COVID-19 measures, which reads in part as follows: “Current Situation in Slovakia: Starting Monday, February 8, Slovakia will adopt the COVID-19 Traffic Light System, which will update pandemic control measures regionally based on predetermined criteria. An English-language explanation of the Traffic Light System is available here. Anyone physically present in a district in the black or dark red phase must carry with them outside their homes proof of a negative test less than 7 days old, a complete vaccination (two doses), or proof of recovery from COVID-19 not more than three months ago. As of February 5, all of Slovakia is in the black phase (highest level; few activities are allowed outside the home). For testing information and details on excepted activities, see the Covid-19 webpage of the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava. Current entry, exit, and transit requirements, including information about transit to the airport in Vienna, are also available at the Covid-19 webpage of the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava.”