ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 21 January 2021, the mayor of Quito imposed new restrictions — in effect from 22 January through 7 February — to curb the spread of COVID-19. Under the new restrictions, private vehicles are barred from circulating through the city from 2300 to 0400 local time (0400-0900 UTC) nightly. Businesses such as supermarkets, shopping centers and restaurants are permitted to operate between the hours of 0600-2200 local time during this period.
Europe: On 21 January 2021, authorities reimposed a citywide lockdown in the capital Freetown and implemented a nationwide nightly curfew from 2200-0500 local time/UTC beginning on 25 January. Additionally, officials restricted entry and exit to and from the Western Area division, which encompasses Freetown; travelers are required to provide proof of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, and must have received an electronic pass deeming their movements essential. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars must remain closed on weekends, and face masks are mandatory in all public places. The measures, which were prompted by a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases, are expected to remain in place until at least 8 February.
In the Czech Republic, the government on 22 January extended an existing state of emergency until at least 14 February, which allows authorities to implement and extend coronavirus-related restrictions as necessary. Currently, nonessential shops, service providers and ski lift services are required to close.
In Denmark, authorities on 22 January suspended all flights from Dubai International Airport (OMDB/DXB) for five days due to perceived reliability issues regarding COVID-19 tests being administered in the emirate. Danish officials stated that some passengers arriving from the UAE were diagnosed with the new variants of COVID-19 after previously testing negative. An investigation is underway to determine the accuracy of the COVID-19 test used by the UAE.
French officials on 22 January announced that most travelers arriving from within the EU by air, sea or rail as of 24 January will be required to demonstrate a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours before entering France. Exemptions for the new restriction include essential workers, cross border workers and truck drivers. Travelers from the EU will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
In Spain, authorities in the autonomous Basque community announced on 22 January that a ban prohibiting movement of all residents and travelers into and out of municipalities across the region will commence on 25 January. Officials did not immediately provide details on whether exemptions will be considered or give an expected end date for the intercity travel ban. The Basque community has exceeded the central government’s threshold of 500 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last 14 days, which triggers additional public health restrictions.
In the U.K., officials in Northern Ireland on 21 January extended the nationwide lockdown until 5 March. During the lockdown, residents are legally required to stay indoors except for essential reasons, such as procuring food and medicine, traveling to work and school, or seeking medical care. Additionally, nonessential businesses are required to close, while hospitality businesses, including cafes and restaurants, are allowed to operate takeout and delivery services only. Alcohol sales for takeout are permitted from 0800 to 2000 local time/UTC Monday to Saturday and 1000-2000 local time on Sunday. These restrictions are scheduled for review on 18 February and could be further extended into early April 2021. Northern Ireland’s government maintains a database with comprehensive information regarding ongoing restrictions in the territory, which is available here.
On 21 January the Dutch parliament approved the government’s proposal to impose a countrywide nightly curfew. As of 23 January, the nightly curfew will begin at 2100 local time (2000 UTC), a half hour later than originally proposed, and remain in effect until 0430 local time. The curfew is currently scheduled to last through 10 February.
In Belgium, authorities on 20 January announced a fine of 250 euros (305 U.S. dollars) for individuals returning from areas defined as a red zone, or high-risk COVID-19 area, and fail to take a COVID-19 test. Travelers returning from a red zone country are required to test on the first and seventh days of arrival to Belgium. The fines will be generated automatically based on cross-referenced information the government receives from the Passenger Locator Form — the form all individuals are required to complete upon arrival — to determine whether a traveler spent more than 48 hours in a foreign country as well as information from the COVID-19 test result database. A similar fine is in place for individuals who fail to comply with other coronavirus-related measures, including the ban on gatherings, social distancing guidelines and wearing a mask in public.
Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 21 January 2021, authorities extended the existing nationwide lockdown until 8 February to curb the spread of COVID-19; the measure was scheduled to expire on 1 February. Under the directive, a 24/7 total curfew is in effect with tightened restrictions that forbid residents from leaving their homes for nonessential purposes; violators risk being charged with unspecified fines. Supermarkets and restaurants are only permitted to operate via home delivery.
Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 22 January 2021, rescue efforts remain ongoing following Tropical Cyclone Eloise’s landfall in northern Madagascar on 19 January. The northeastern Analanjirofo region was the most severely affected area, with officials reporting that approximately 1,600 individuals were displaced in the town of Maroantsetra alone. Mass displacements were also reported in the towns of Antalaha, Avaratra, Befandriana, Besalampy, Mahajanga I and II, Mitsinjo and Toamasina I, affecting approximately 2,600 people nationwide, with at least one confirmed fatality. Eloise also destroyed hundreds of homes across districts in northern Madagascar. The mayor of Beira, Mozambique, advised residents to seek shelter ahead of the cyclone’s expected landfall in the vicinity of the city on 23 January.
As of 1200 local time (0900 UTC) on 22 January, Tropical Cyclone Eloise was located approximately 830 km (515 mi) north of Maputo, Mozambique, and was moving west-southwest at 28 kph (17 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Eloise was generating maximum sustained winds of 120 kph, with gusts of up to 148 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm will continue to track westward and strengthen before making landfall on 23 January near Beira. The storm will likely also affect Gaza, Inhambanem, Manica, Sofala and Zambezia provinces.
Sierra Leone (Security threat level – 4): On 21 January 2021, authorities reimposed a citywide lockdown in the capital Freetown and implemented a nationwide nightly curfew from 2200-0500 local time/UTC beginning on 25 January. Additionally, officials restricted entry and exit to and from the Western Area division, which encompasses Freetown; travelers are required to provide proof of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival, and must have received an electronic pass deeming their movements essential. Meanwhile, restaurants and bars must remain closed on weekends, and face masks are mandatory in all public places. The measures, which were prompted by a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases, are expected to remain in place until at least 8 February.
Cabo Verde (Security threat level – 2): On 21 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Praia issued an Alert regarding the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Cabo Verde, which reads in part as follows: “As of January 20, Cabo Verde had a total of 698 known active COVID-19 cases. The active cases are on Santiago (262), São Vicente (303), Santo Antão (68), Fogo (37), Maio (24), Sal (2), and Boa Vista (2). Brava and Sao Nicolãu had no known active cases.Additional information is available at https://covid19.cv.
“State of Calamity Declared in São Vicente
“On January 19, the Government of Cabo Verde declared a “State of Calamity” for the island of São Vicente. All other islands remain under a “State of Contingency.” These designations place certain restrictions on businesses and public gatherings, including time restrictions on restaurant and bar operations. The November 5 mandate for face coverings in public spaces remains in effect. Exceptions include children under the age of ten and individuals with health conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering. Anyone in violation of the law may be subject to a fine up to 15,000 CVE (approximately $158). U.S. citizens in Cabo Verde are reminded that all Cabo Verdean laws and regulations apply to them.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Central African Republic (Security threat level – 5): On 21 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding a state of emergency declaration, which reads in part as follows: “A 15-day state of emergency is in place across the country from 2300 GMT on 21 January. The Government of CAR has suspended use of all airspace by foreign governments and NGOs citing the security situation.”
Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 21 January 2021, U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding the Chilean Ministry of Health’s adjustments to city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: “As of January 21, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 685,107 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 on January 21:
Norway (Security threat level – 2): On 21 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Oslo issued a Demonstration Alert regarding scheduled protests near the U.S. Embassy in the Huseby neighborhood, which reads in part as follows: “A demonstration is planned to take place at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo off of Sørkedalsveien in the Huseby neighborhood on Friday, January 22, 2021 beginning at approximately 2:30 p.m. The Embassy anticipates 50 demonstrators; local police will direct them to protest in a designated area away from the Embassy grounds. This designated area is a grassy field located approximately 100 meters northeast of the Embassy. The start times and number of demonstrators involved in demonstrations are variable. Furthermore, while most demonstrations in Oslo are coordinated with local police and remain peaceful, even demonstrations expected to be non-violent are unpredictable and can escalate into violence. Accordingly, U.S. citizens are advised to proceed with caution and consider avoiding the area around U.S. Embassy until 6:30 p.m. Remember to maintain vigilance and situational awareness.? If you are a victim of a crime, or if you feel threatened, please call the police emergency number (112) for immediate assistance.”
Russia (Security threat level – 3): On 22 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Event: Media sources indicate that on Saturday, January 23, demonstrations are being planned throughout Russia in support of an opposition activist. These demonstrations are likely to be unauthorized. Given the likely substantial police presence and possible dispersal of demonstrators into other areas of the cities, U.S. citizens should avoid these demonstrations and any demonstration-related activities.”
The full text of the alert – which includes details of protests in major cities – can be read here.