ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 14 January 2021, officials at the Chilean Ministry of Health announced modifications to city-level quarantine measures, in effect until further notice, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Officials stated that the city of Puren, located in the region of Araucanía, will be downgraded to Phase 3 (Preparation) from Phase 4 (Initial Opening) as of 0500 local time (0800 UTC) on 16 January. At that time, businesses deemed nonessential are required to close, including theaters and cinemas, and indoor seating at restaurants is banned. As of 0500 local time on 16 January, the cities of Traiguen and Curacautin, both of which are located in the region of Araucanía, will be downgraded to Phase 2 (Transition) from Phase 3 (Preparation) — which includes additional movement restrictions during weekends and holidays. The cities of Tome, located in the region of Biobio, and Paillaco, located in the region of Lagos, will be downgraded to Phase 1 (Quarantine) from Phase 2 (Transition) — which includes movement restrictions every day of the week. As of 0500 local time on 18 January, the city of Los Sauces, located in the region of Araucanía, will be upgraded to Phase 3 (Preparation) from Phase 2 (Transition) — lifting movement restrictions during weekends and holidays. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 656,712 cases of COVID-19 in Chile.
Jamaica (Security threat level – 3): On 14 January 2021, authorities announced an extension to coronavirus-related restrictions currently in place until 31 January. This includes a nationwide nightly curfew, which is in effect from 2100 to 0500 local time (0200 to 1000 UTC), a ban on social gatherings and a limit of 15 attendees for weddings and funerals. The stricter curfew currently in effect in Westmoreland parish, in place from 1900 to 0500 local time, will expire on 15 January.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): Preliminary damage reports have emerged on 15 January 2021, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck earlier in the day at 0228 local time (1828 UTC on 14 January) approximately 35 km (22 mi) south of Mamuju in West Sulawesi province. At least 34 people have been reported dead, more than 600 others have been injured, and more than 15,000 people have been displaced as a result of the earthquake. In addition, 62 homes and other structures — including the Hotel D’Maleo Mamuju and a medical center in Majene — sustained moderate to severe damage. Sporadic power disruptions and outages have been reported across portions of the impact area, and authorities have not indicated when services will be restored. Meanwhile, at least three landslides have blocked portions of the Majene-Mamuju roadway, which runs along the western coast, complicating rescue and recovery efforts, which remain ongoing. Officials stated that the number of casualties and damaged structures may increase as authorities continue relief efforts.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 15 January 2021, Philippine authorities extended an existing travel ban on arrivals from a number of countries until at least 31 January. The entry ban was set to expire on 15 January before being extended and expanded to include more than 30 countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. In addition, the entry restriction now applies to all travelers — including Filipino nationals and residents — who have visited or transited a prohibited country prior to traveling to the Philippines.
Denmark / France / Spain / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 3 / 3): On 15 January 2021, governments across Europe adjusted coronavirus-related restrictions as many countries continue to experience record-breaking surges of local infections. Details are provided below for Denmark, France, Spain and the U.K.
Authorities in Denmark extended existing nationwide restrictions until 7 February. The restrictions were set to expire on 17 January. Under the restrictions, schools, shopping malls and other nonessential businesses are closed, including bars, cafes, cinemas, gyms, libraries, museums, restaurants, sport centers, swimming pools and theaters. Restaurants and cafes are permitted to operate takeout services only. Additionally, public gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people.
In France, Prime Minister Jean Castex on 14 January announced that an existing nationwide curfew will be expanded by two hours to 1800-0600 local time (2200-0500 UTC) for 15 days beginning on 16 January. The curfew currently runs from 2000 to 0600 local time nationwide, although in 25 departments the new hours were already in effect.
In Spain, regional authorities on 15 January imposed a new wave of coronavirus-related restrictions that will be in effect until further notice. In the region of Madrid, a regionwide nightly curfew will commence at 2300 local time (2200 local time), an hour ahead of the nationwide curfew, and hospitality businesses are required to close at 2200 local time. Additionally, authorities have confined 47 localities and 19 municipalities, which bars travel in or out of these communities. In Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon, health officials announced that effective immediately the borders to the three provincial capitals — Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza — will close to travelers. In addition, residents of six other municipalities are not allowed to leave the city limits. In the northern region Castilla y León, officials have requested that residents remain at home, unless traveling for work, school or to procure essential goods as well as imposed a nightly regionwide curfew commencing at 2100 local time. As of 18 January, a regional curfew in Galicia, located in northern Spain, will commence at 2200 local time, and hospitality businesses in Galicia are required to close at 1800 local time and operate at reduced capacities. Officials noted that 60 municipalities will be under more restrictive measures. In Basque Country, authorities noted that they will review the existing state of alarm to determine whether the regional curfew could commence at 1800 or 2000 local time. The Ministry of Health stated that infections during the last 14 days across Spain have climbed to 522 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
In the U.K., authorities on 14 January announced a ban on travel from all South American countries, along with Portugal, Panama and Cabo Verde, due to concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus in Brazil. The ban will take effect on 15 January and remain in effect until further notice. South American countries affected by the ban include Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. All individuals who have traveled to these countries within 10 days prior to their departure for the U.K. will be denied entry. However, British nationals, Irish nationals and foreign nationals with residence rights in the U.K. will be allowed entry with an obligatory 10-day self-isolation period.
Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 14 January 2021, an explosion reportedly occurred at a city administration building in the Piassa area of the capital Addis Ababa. Social media reports indicate that multiple individuals were injured during the event, although government officials have refuted and downplayed the severity of the explosion. Officials noted that no one was injured and attributed the blast to fireworks stored in the building, which is undergoing renovations.
Central African Republic (Security threat level – 5): On 14 January 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for the Central African Republic (CAR) to include information regarding the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from CAR. The level of advice remains unchanged at the highest “Level 4: Do Not Travel.” The advisory reads in part as follows: “Do not travel to the Central African Republic due to COVID-19, Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and elections.
“Due to ongoing armed group activity and supply chain disruptions, on January 14, 2021, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees.
“The presidential election occurred on December 27, 2020. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence or threats targeting U.S. citizens, civil unrest, demonstrations, and election-related violence (including renewed outbreaks of armed conflict) may occur throughout the country in the period following the election.”
The full text of the advisory is available here.
France (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a planned protest on 16 January, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Paris, from Place Daumesnil/Place Felix Eboue to Place de la Bastille. Also, Place de la République. Other demonstrations throughout France.
“Event: Marche des Libertés expected to take place on Saturday January 16, 2021, beginning at noon. The group intends to protest loss of liberties. Extreme groups which have fomented violence in the past are participating. Simultaneously, a large Culture 4 Liberty protest denouncing the closure of cultural locations and loss of liberty, including the Global Security Law, is also planned for the same location. Depending on the size of the crowds and the levels of violence and/or property damage associated with the demonstrations, the French authorities may use chemical agents (tear gas) and water cannons to disperse crowds. American citizens are advised to avoid the Place de la Republique and Place de la Bastille areas.
“Additional, smaller demonstrations are also expected Saturday:
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 14 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Political opposition groups intend to demonstrate throughout Port-au-Prince on Friday, January 15. Additionally, the organization known as SPNH intends to demonstrate on Sunday, January 17 as well. Possible demonstration sites include, but are not limited to, Champs de Mars, Nazon, Bourdon, Delmas, Petionville, and the U.S. Embassy. Please remain vigiliant as there is the potential for these demonstrations to turn violent. The U.S. Embassy will restrict non-official travel of its direct-hire U.S. citizen staff to the immediate Embassy neighborhood, and urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling in Port-au-Prince.”
Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 14 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Ireland, which reads in part as follows:
“From Saturday 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland (except those arriving from Northern Ireland) are required to have a negative/’not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.
“Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and will be required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State.”
Liechtenstein (Security threat level – 1): On 15 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Liechtenstein, which reads in part as follows: “From 18 January, gatherings of more than 5 people will be prohibited in both private and public settings. Wearing a facemask is compulsory indoors wherever more than one person is present, and when travelling on public transport. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.”