AMERICAS United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly after...
Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 19 January 2022, Bolivia’s minister of health and sports suspended a measure requiring individuals to present a COVID-19 vaccination pass or negative PCR test taken within the preceding 48 hours before being allowed to access businesses and public spaces such as supermarkets, pharmacies, health care facilities and interprovincial transportation. However, authorities plan to reinstate the measure following the expiration of the nationwide health emergency that went into effect on 29 December due to a surge in cases of COVID-19, and which remains in effect until further notice.
United States (Security threat level – 2): Major international airlines have canceled select flights to U.S. airports as of 19 January 2022, due to concerns related to the deployment of 5G mobile network services. Dubai-based Emirates airline has suspended its scheduled flights on 20 January to the following cities: Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Newark, Orlando and Seattle. Other airlines, including Lufthansa and Air India, have also canceled U.S.-bound flights, and are switching aircraft models to avoid operating flights with Boeing 777 aircraft. This particular type of aircraft is reportedly more susceptible to interference by the 5G network, which could affect aircraft equipment such as radio altitude meters. The flight cancellations are occurring despite a postponement of the 5G deployment near most major airports by telecommunications firms Verizon and AT&T, although the deployment was not delayed near all airports.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): On 19 January 2022, authorities announced plans to extend an existing coronavirus-related “quasi-state of emergency” to 13 prefectures, including the capital Tokyo, from 21 January until 13 February due a surge in infections driven by the omicron variant of COVID-19. The additional 12 prefectures include: Aichi, Chiba, Gifu, Gunma, Kagawa, Kanagawa, Kumamoto, Mie, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Niigata and Saitama. As part of the new measures, prefectural governments will be able to implement additional COVID-19 restrictions on transportation services and businesses, as well as limit alcohol sales.
Kazakhstan (Security threat level – 4): On 19 January 2022, security forces closed roads and blocked entry into one of Almaty’s city squares, while authorities deployed large numbers of police officers throughout the city ahead of planned protests by opposition groups. One of the groups, led by a prominent government critic, had previously announced plans to protest outside government facilities throughout the country. However, there have been no reports of significant disruptions, as the demonstrations do not appear to have materialized. In related developments, authorities lifted the state of emergency that was imposed in response to the recent unrest. Furthermore, officials announced the departure of the final Russian military personnel deployed to the country as part of a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) mission to quell the violence.
Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 18 January 2022, police officers clashed with demonstrators who had gathered in Lubumbashi to demand the release of the former head of the Independent National Electoral Commission who was detained in 2021 for allegedly making anti-government remarks. According to protest leaders, at least 50 demonstrators sustained injuries and 10 were detained.
Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 19 January 2022, police officers in the capital Abuja deployed tear gas to disperse demonstrators gathered outside the Federal High Court to observe the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra separatist group. Security forces then fired warning shots into the air after a group of unknown assailants assaulted an activist attempting to enter the courthouse. There were no reports of injuries or arrests.
Belize (Security threat level – 3): On 18 January 2022, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belize, which reads in part as follows:
“From 15 February, all foreign visitors will be required to pay BZ$36 (US$18) for Belize Travel Health Insurance – a mandatory insurance to help protect travellers against incurred medical and non-medical expenses if they test positive for Covid during their stay in Belize. It is recommended to buy it in advance though it will be possible to buy it upon arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport or at land borders.”
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 18 January 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Manila issued a Weather Alert regarding the continued impact of Typhoon Odette, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Visayas, Mindanao, and Palawan, Philippines
“Event: Typhoon Odette (Rai) – U.S. government personnel to continue to defer non-essential travel to affected regions through January 25, 2022
“Disruptions to supplies of food, water, electricity, and communication and transportation infrastructure continue as a result of Typhoon Odette (Rai). Hospital services continue to be inaccessible or limited in some areas. The storm caused serious damage in many provinces of the Philippines, including Siargao, Dinagat, Surigao del Norte, Southern Leyte, Bohol, parts of Cebu, Palawan, and islands in surrounding waters. U.S. government personnel have been advised to defer non-essential travel to the affected areas through January 25, 2022.”
The full text of the alert can be read here.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 19 January 2022, the U.S. Embassy in the Solomon Islands issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sogavare announced community transmission of COVID-19 has been detected in Honiara. The Prime Minister will seek the Cabinet’s approval to lock down Honiara beginning at 6:00 p.m. January 19. Workplaces will close beginning at 12:00 p.m. to allow residents to shop for essentials before lockdown begins. All domestic and incoming international flights, and all passenger ship travel to/from Honiara, are temporarily suspended until further notice.
“U.S. citizens across Solomon Islands are advised to make preparations immediately for an indefinite lockdown in Honiara, which could soon be applied in other locations throughout the country with little advance notice.”