January 12, 2021
12-Jan-2021

AMERICAS

Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): As of 11 January 2021, officials have extended an existing state of emergency and nationwide curfew until at least 26 January. A nightly curfew is in place from 1700 to 0500 local time (2100 to 0900 UTC) Monday through Friday and from 1200 to 0500 local time on Saturday and Sunday; a curfew grace period is in place for those in transit until 2000 local time Monday through Friday and until 1500 local time on Saturday and Sunday. Bars, restaurants and other food establishments are prohibited from offering on-site dining and must instead offer takeaway or curbside options. All public religious activities remain suspended until further notice.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 11 January 2021, media reports citing an internal FBI memo stated that armed protests are being planned in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during 17-20 January to coincide with the 59th Presidential Inauguration, which is currently set to take place on the western front of the Capitol on 20 January. The memo reportedly notes that members of an identified armed group intend to travel to Washington, D.C., on 16 January and have warned of an uprising should President Donald Trump be removed from office before Inauguration Day. Additionally, such protests are being planned at all 50 U.S. state capitols during 16-20 January, and a group has threatened to storm courthouses and government buildings in every state on Inauguration Day. The cited plans to stage armed protests follow the 6 January clashes between Trump supporters and police officers inside the U.S. Capitol building, which resulted in the deaths of five people including a Capitol Police officer.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense has authorized up to 15,000 National Guard personnel to ensure security in the lead-up to and during the upcoming inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. At least 10,000 of those troops will be deployed to the capital by 16 January, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau. On 11 January President Trump approved an emergency declaration for the capital, which is set to last until 24 January, and the Department of Homeland Security has ordered the U.S. Secret Service to begin National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration as of 13 January. Elsewhere in the country, the governor of the state of Wisconsin has authorized National Guard personnel to protect the state capitol in downtown Madison, while the Michigan State Capitol Commission has banned the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building in Lansing.

ASIA

Malaysia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, King Sultan Abdullah declared a nationwide state of emergency for Malaysia that will last until 1 August, or until the recent spike in COVID-19 infections begins to decline. The state of emergency allows the government to enact emergency laws without consulting parliament and to to delegate responsibilities to another entity if deemed necessary. The state of emergency comes a day after the prime minister announced Movement Control Orders (MCOs) for the states of Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Penang and Sabah as well as the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan during 13-26 January. The states of Perlis and most of Sarawak are under a recovery MCO and three Sarawak districts of Kuching, Miri and Sibu along with the states of Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan are under a conditional MCO.

Under the MCO in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan, Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah residents are prohibited from traveling beyond 10 km (6.2 mi) of their home, interstate travel is prohibited, social activities such as weddings and public prayers are banned, and restaurants must only offer takeout services. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, banks, medical facilities may operate normally, while businesses involved in manufacturing, construction, trade and agriculture may continue to operate but at reduced capacity. Violators of the order are subject to a 1,000 Malaysian ringgit (250 U.S. dollar) fine.

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 11 January 2021, the government of the Philippines announced the addition of five countries to its travel ban due to the new variants of COVID-19. As of 1200 local time (0400 UTC) on 13 January, travelers from China, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman and Pakistan will not be allowed to enter the Philippines until at least 15 January. The COVID-19 task force has yet to determine if the restrictions will be extended. Filipino citizens returning from these five countries are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine regardless of whether they have obtained a negative result from a COVID-19 test.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On the evening of 11 January 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will close its borders to all general passenger traffic for the next two weeks effective immediately as well as close its land borders until 15 February. The measure is aimed at curbing the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 identified in South Africa in December 2020. Exceptions exist for cargo aircraft, diplomats, daily cross-border commuters with valid work or school visas, and those seeking emergency medical attention. South African nationals will also be permitted to enter the country. Additional Level 3 lockdown restrictions — including a nationwide nightly 2100-0600 local time (1900-0400 UTC) curfew, bans on social gathering, limitations on business operating hours, mandatory use of face coverings, and the closure of any outdoor public facility deemed a COVID-19 hot spot — remain in place.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 11 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: “As of January 11, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 645,892 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:

  • “The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 3 (Preparation) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the reimposition of a quarantine on the weekends and holidays (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Diego de Almagro (Region de Atacama), Copiapo (Region de Atacama), Tierra Amarilla (Region de Atacama), Arica (Region de Arica y Parinacota), Pica (Region de Tarapaca), Pozo Almonte (Region de Tarapaca), Calama (Region de Antofagasta), Zapallar (Region de Valparaiso), Santa Cruz (Region de O’Higgins), Chepica (Region de O’Higgins), Las Cabras (Region de O’Higgins), Sagrada Familia (Region del Maule), Yerbas Buenas (Region del Maule), Linares (Region del Maule), Constitucion (Region del Maule), Quillon (Region de Nuble), San Carlos (Region de Nuble), Gorbea (Region de la Araucania), Mafil (Region de los Rios), Futrono (Region de los Rios), Lago Ranco (Region de los Rios), Hualaihue (Region de los Lagos), Recoleta (RM), Buin (RM), La Pintana (RM)
  • “The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 1 (Quarantine). This includes the reimposition of a quarantine all days of the week (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Mejillones (Region de Antofagasta), Antofagasta (Region de Antofagasta), San Vicente (Region de O’Higgins), Teno (Region del Maule), Talcahuano (Region del Biobio), Hualqui (Region del Biobio), Concepcion (Region del Biobio), San Pedro de la Paz (Region del Biobio), Chiguayante (Region del Biobio), Renaico (Region de la Araucania), Galvarino (Region de la Araucania), Victoria (Region de la Araucania), Temuco (Region de la Araucania), Valdivia (Region de los Rios), Los Lagos (Region de los Rios), Rio Bueno (Region de los Rios), Quellon (Region de los Lagos), Calbuco (Region de los Lagos), Dalcahue (Region de los Lagos), Castro (Region de los Lagos), Ancud (Region de los Lagos), Puerto Montt (Region de los Lagos), Puerto Varas (Region de los Lagos), Osorno (Region de los Lagos), Aysen (Region de Aysen)
  • “The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 1 (Quarantine) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the removal of quarantine from Monday-Friday (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Lautaro (Region do la Araucania)
  • “The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 3 (Preparation). This includes the lifting of quarantine on weekends and holidays (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): All the comunas in the Region of Coquimbo and all the comunas of the Region of Atacama except Diego de Almagro, Copiapo, and Tierra Amarilla.”

Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 12 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait issued a Health Alert regarding entry requirements, which reads in part as follows:

“The Government of Kuwait has announced a change to entry requirements related to COVID-19. Beginning January 17, passengers to Kuwait will need to obtain and travel with a negative PCR test result, in English, administered by a health clinic within 72 hours of beginning their travel to Kuwait. No Arabic-language translation is required. Children under the age of six (6) do not require a PCR test prior to arrival. The prior guidance was 96 hours.

“This is in addition to any additional PCR tests for COVID-19 that are administered by Kuwait health officials upon arrival. It our understanding that children under six (6) are exempt from on-arrival testing.”

Luxembourg (Security threat level – 1): On 11 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Luxembourg, which reads in part as follows:

“The Luxembourg government has extended the curfew, and people are required to remain at home from 11pm to 6am. Outings during these hours are only permitted in certain specified circumstances; these can be accessed with further details on the Luxembourg government website. ”

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in London issued a COVID-19 Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “On January 11, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all persons intending to travel by air to the United Kingdom must produce a negative COVID-19 test result. Beginning 4am on January 15, all persons (with limited exemptions) arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a test up to three (3) days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. For more information please see the Gov.UK website.

“Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice and should consult their travel provider prior to departing for international travel or our website at https://uk.usembassy.gov. ”