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January 19, 2021


Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 15 January 2021, authorities extended the closure of Colombia’s land and river borders until 1 March to curb the spread of COVID-19. The measure, which has been in effect since March 2020, was due to expire on 16 January. International air travel remains unaffected by the extension.


China (Security threat level – 3): On 19 January 2021, Hong Kong authorities extended social distancing orders through 27 January in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Under the measures, gatherings of more than two people are banned, entertainment venues are closed, and restaurants must suspend dine-in services by 1800 local time (1000 UTC). Lunar New Year markets will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Furthermore, the government has mandated COVID-19 testing for residents living between Nathan Road, Jordan Road, Ferry Street and Kansu Street due to several clusters of cases. Travelers from Brazil and Ireland are also banned until further notice.


Azerbaijan / Italy / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 4 / 3 / 3): As of 19 January 2021, Azerbaijani authorities have extended the nationwide “special quarantine regime” until at least 1 April and are set to lift a number of restrictions on businesses and movement. Since 18 January, individuals in five cities — including the capital Baku — and 12 districts are no longer required to obtain travel authorization in order to leave their residence. Commencing on 25 January, restrictions will be lifted on travel between districts and municipalities as well as on nonessential businesses. Additionally, cafes, restaurants and similar establishments will be allowed to reopen to the public as of 1 February. However, public transportation services remain suspended in Baku and a number of additional municipalities until at least 1 April.

On 15 January Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a new decree extending the state of emergency the government had imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The decree extends the state of emergency to 30 April and reinstates the color tier system of restrictions based on the number of COVID-19 cases. A nationwide travel ban and a 2200 to 0500 local time (2100 to 0400 UTC) nighttime curfew remain in effect from 16 January until 15 February. The decree reinstates the color tier system to determine the degree of restrictions in a specific region from 17 January until 5 March. The decree also announced the upcoming election date, with parliamentary and municipal elections scheduled for 20 May. Regions with the highest number of COVID-19 cases will be designated as red and placed under the most severe restrictions, including the closure of nonessential businesses and stay-at-home orders. The regions of Lombardy, Sicily and Bolzano are designated as red regions. In regions designated as orange, restaurants and bars are required to close, although shops are allowed to remain open. Fourteen regions are currently designated as orange regions. In regions labeled as yellow, restaurants and bars are allowed to operate until 1800 local time. Five regions are designated as yellow. The decree also created a new color tier, the white region. Regions designated as white would not fall under any of the restrictions outlined in the red, orange or yellow color tiers, but may have specific protocols.

As of 0400 local time/UTC on 18 January, all inbound travelers to the U.K. are required to demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 viral test taken within 72 hours before departing for the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the requirement will be in effect until at least 15 February. Requirements to complete a Passenger Locator Form and self-isolate for 10 days also remain in effect. Travelers can opt to leave quarantine by obtaining a negative result on an additional test after five days of self-isolation. Those who arrive in the U.K. without a negative test result could face a fine of up to 500 British pounds (680 U.S. dollars). Additional information provided by the U.K. government is available here.

France (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1635 local time (1535 UTC) on 16 January 2021, police officers deployed tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators at Place du Pont Morand on Bellamy street in the city of Nantes, after demonstrators attempted to create a roadblock. Police officers also deployed water cannons and tear gas at the Botanical Gardens near the city center after demonstrators threw objects at authorities. Officials detained at least three people. Demonstrators were protesting a new security law that allows police officers to use body cameras and drones to film and surveil citizens. The new law will also ban publishing pictures of police officers, if the intent of the publication is to do harm to the officer.


Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On the weekend of 15-18 January 2021, violent protests occurred across Tunisia for four consecutive nights. Security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters, many of whom were burning tires, erecting blockades in major thoroughfares, and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers. In Tunis, clashes occurred in the Ettadamen, Mallassin, Fouchana, Karm and Sijoumi neighborhoods and along Bourguiba Avenue, where demonstrators had gathered and blocked roadways. Protests were also held in the Jemla, Ras Djbel, Ksar Hlel and Beja areas of Tunis. Meanwhile, clashes were reported between protesters and security forces in the cities of Bizerte, Gafsa, Kalaa Kebira, Kasserine, Kef, Monastir and Sousse. According to a Defense Ministry spokesperson, authorities have arrested at least 600 individuals and deployed troops to the cities of Bizerte in the north, Sousse in the east, and Kasserine and Siliana in central Tunisia. The violent protests began on 15 January in response to economic hardships and a government decision to enact a nationwide four-day lockdown beginning on 14 January to curb the spread of COVID-19.


Angola / Cabo Verde / Rwanda (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3): As of 19 January 2021, governments across Africa continue to implement and extend measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 as it resurges across the globe. Most recently, the governments of Angola, Cabo Verde and Rwanda have enacted such measures, with more countries likely to follow.

The Angolan government announced plans to introduce entry restrictions on arrivals from a number of countries, commencing on 24 January (2300 UTC on 23 January) and remaining in effect until further notice. From that date, arrivals from Brazil, Portugal and South Africa may not enter Angola, including Angolan citizens and residents. All other travelers to Angola are required to demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival and complete a passenger information form also within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers must undergo COVID-19 testing on entry and self-quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved facility, followed by an additional test on or after day 10 and subsequent release from quarantine with a negative result. Travelers who test positive either on arrival or during quarantine will be transferred to a government isolation facility for treatment and further testing. Previously, on 12 January, authorities extended an existing nationwide state of calamity through 9 February. Individuals are required to wear face masks in all public areas, including anytime they are outside a residence or hotel room or aboard public transport.

In Cabo Verde, as of 19 January the island of São Vincente remains in a state of calamity while all other islands are designated at a lower level state of contingency. Restrictions on businesses, public gatherings and beach access remain in place, and all individuals are required to wear a mask in public places and maintain social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, all travelers to Cabo Verde must demonstrate a negative result from a PCR or RDT (rapid) COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers are subject to health screenings and required to complete a health questionnaire on arrival, although they are not required to observe a quarantine period. Inter-island travel by air or sea remains operational, but all travelers are required complete an online health surveillance form and demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel if arriving from outside the islands of Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Sal and São Nicolau.

In Rwanda, authorities extended existing nationwide coronavirus-related restrictions and introduced further restrictions for the capital Kigali through 2 February. An amended nationwide nightly curfew runs 1800-0400 local time (1600-0200 UTC), and restrictions on businesses, intercity and inter-district travel, and social activities remain in place. Workers must continue to perform their jobs remotely where able. Meanwhile, a total lockdown is in place for Kigali. Individuals must remain in their homes and limit outside travel to essential activities, such as to procure food or medicine or seek emergency medical care. Individuals must obtain a travel permit from the authorities prior to leaving their residence. Public and private transport in Kigali is prohibited except for the movement or delivery of essential goods.

Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 1100 local time (0900 UTC) on 19 January 2021, Tropical Cyclone Eloise was located nearly 665 km (415 mi) northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar, and was moving toward the southwest at about 7 kph (4 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Eloise was generating maximum sustained winds of 93 kph, with gusts of up to 120 kph. On its current forecast path, Eloise will continue to track in a southwesterly direction and make landfall in northeastern Madagascar on 19 January. The storm is then expected to weaken as it moves inland and is forecast to re-intensify after reaching the Mozambique Channel on 21 January. Eloise is likely to make a second landfall near the town of Vilankulos in southern Mozambique on 22-23 January.


Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 19 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding upcoming planned protests, which reads in part as follows:

“Events: A demonstration is planned for Wednesday, January 20 at 2 pm. The demonstration will be held at the Monument de l’Indépendance. The purpose of this demonstration is to demand the removal of French “Barkhane” forces deployed in Mali. This demonstration has not yet been approved by the host government.

“A second demonstration is planned for Thursday, January 21 at 2 pm. This demonstration will be held in Djelibougou, near Restaurant Savannah. The purpose of this demonstration is to call for the release of activist Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, also known as Ras Bath, from prison. This demonstration has not been approved by the host government.

“Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire.”

The full text of the Alert is available here.