China (Security threat level – 3): On 14 January 2022, Hong Kong authorities announced new travel restrictions for transiting air travelers in an effort to limit the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. As of 16 January, travelers who have been to any Group A country within 21 days prior to traveling to Hong Kong will not be allowed to transit through Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG) until at least 15 February. A full list of Group A countries is available here.
Anyone allowed to enter who has visited Group A countries is subject to existing entry requirements, which include, presenting proof of vaccination against the virus, a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure for China and confirmation of a 21-day hotel reservation at a designated quarantine hotel. Travelers must also undergo six COVID-19 tests during the 21-day quarantine, self-monitor for an additional seven days and complete a seventh COVID-19 test on the 26th day after arrival.
Additionally, travelers who have visited “Group B” countries must present a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours before departure and confirmation of a 14-to-21-day hotel room reservation at a designated facility, depending on vaccination status. Quarantine requirements vary depending on vaccination status.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): At 1605 local time (0905 UTC) on 14 January 2022, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck nearly 90 km (55 mi) southwest of Labuan — located on the western coast of Banten province — at an estimated depth of 37.2 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Strong to moderate shaking was reported throughout southwest Banten province, while light shaking was felt as far as 200 km away in the capital Jakarta. There were no reports of casualties, and no tsunami warning was issued. However, there were reports of some damage in the Munjul and Cimanggu districts of Pandeglang regency of Banten province, although the extent remains unknown. Authorities have warned that strong aftershocks are expected through the short term.
Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): During the evening of 13-14 January 2022, approximately 70 Ukrainian government websites – including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers and the Defense and Security Council websites — were struck by a cyberattack. The hackers left a message behind on the website telling Ukrainians that their data had become public and to “expect the worst.” Ukrainian authorities stated that no personal data was stolen during the attacks; however, many of the websites were temporarily down as a precautionary measure while they were being restored. Ukrainian officials noted that early indications point toward the attack having been carried out by individuals in Russia. The attacks occurred as negotiations between Russia and Western countries to de-escalate tensions amid concerns regarding potential Russian military action against Ukraine concluded without any significant diplomatic breakthroughs.
Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 13 January 2022, an explosion occurred outside a building housing the offices of Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Al-Halbousi’s Progress Party in the northern Adamiyah district of the capital Baghdad. The blast damaged the building; however, there no reports of casualties. Security forces cordoned off the area surrounding the site of the blast and have opened an investigation into the cause of the explosion.
Earlier that same day, unidentified militants launched at least three rockets at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from the southern Dora neighborhood of the city. Two of the rockets were intercepted before reaching the embassy and no casualties or damage to the embassy compound were reported. The third rocket landed in the nearby al-Qadisiyah residential complex, injuring two civilians.
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1450 local time (1350 UTC) on 14 January 2022, security personnel deployed tear gas and water cannons to disperse demonstrators marching along Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the capital Tunis while protesting President Kais Saied’s July 2021 seizure of power. Security personnel previously erected barricades across Tunis to prevent protest groups from merging and were arresting demonstrators. Information on possible casualties remains unknown. The protests followed an earlier ban on public gatherings – including Islamic Friday prayers – which opposition figures denounced as a measure meant to prevent demonstrations against Saied’s regime.