Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): On 22 January 2021, authorities announced a loosening of existing coronavirus-related restrictions from 27 January to 8 February. A nightly curfew is in place from 1900 to 0500 local time (2300 to 0900 UTC) Monday through Friday and from 1700 to 0500 local time on Saturday and Sunday; a curfew grace period is in place for those in transit until 2200 local time Monday through Friday and until 2000 local time on Saturday and Sunday. Bars, restaurants and other food establishments remain prohibited from offering on-site dining, although they are allowed to offer takeaway or curbside options. All public religious activities remain suspended until further notice.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 22 January 2021, following failed talks with the government, leaders of the ongoing farmers’ protest announced that they will hold a demonstration on 26 January to coincide with the country’s Republic Day holiday and use tractors to disrupt transportation along the Outer Ring Road in Delhi. Protest leaders declined the government’s proposal to temporarily suspend the implementation of three recently passed farm laws for 18 months, which prompted the demonstrations,.
Analyst Comment: Violence between protesters and police officers is possible during the event. Protest-related unrest occurred on several occasions since the demonstrations began in late-November 2020.
Belgium / Greece / Luxembourg / Norway / Spain (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 1 / 2 / 3): As of 25 January 2021, governments across Europe have imposed coronavirus-related restrictions as local COVID-19 cases surge. Additional details are provided below for Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway and Spain.
Belgian authorities on 22 January announced a ban on nonessential travel out of Belgium from 27 January until 1 March. Travel exceptions are in place for individuals with family emergencies, as well as for those with travel plans for business or study. Cross-border residents will be permitted to travel for a maximum of 48 hours without being subject to a quarantine period.
In Greece, the government on 22 January extended an existing requirement for all travelers arriving at Greek airports through 8 February to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival. The self-isolation requirement is in addition to the prerequisite to possess proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight and complete an online Passenger Locator Form no more than 24 hours before arrival. Details regarding protocol for individuals arriving into and departing Greece are available here. While authorities plan to reopen high schools on 1 February, the ongoing nationwide lockdown, including a ban on domestic travel, remains in effect until further notice. A nightly curfew from 2100 to 0500 local time (1900-0300 UTC) also remains in place.
In Luxembourg, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on 22 January extended existing nationwide restrictions until 21 February. The measures were scheduled to expire on 31 January. Under the measures, restaurants and bars are required to remain closed. Meanwhile, private gatherings are limited to two people and public gatherings may have no more than 10 people; gatherings of 10 to 100 people are allowed as long as assigned seating and other social distancing guidelines are exercised.
In Norway, authorities on 23 January tightened coronavirus-related restrictions in the capital Oslo and the surrounding municipalities of Ås, Enebakk, Frogn, Indre Østfold, Moss, Nesodden, Nordre Follo, Våler and Vestby. Nonessential businesses, including restaurants, are required to close from 23 January until 1 February. Meanwhile, grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations will remain open. Additionally, all organized sports activities are suspended, and visits to private homes are banned.
In Spain, authorities in the autonomous region of Madrid also imposed additional coronavirus-related restrictions, which will be in effect from 25 January to 8 February. Under the new restrictions, all businesses deemed nonessential are required to close at 2100 local time (2000 UTC) nightly, a regionwide nightly curfew goes into effect at 2200 local time, and social gatherings are limited to up to four people. Additionally, regional authorities will extend a ban prohibiting movement of all residents and travelers into and out of 25 localities and 56 defined health zones within the region during the same time period. Separately, authorities in Valencia on 25 January extended existing regionwide coronavirus-related restrictions until 15 February.
Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On the evening of 24 January 2021, demonstrations against recently enacted coronavirus-related measures turned violent in at least 10 Dutch cities, including Amsterdam and Eindhoven. In Amsterdam, police officials deployed a water cannon, dogs and officers on horseback to disperse a demonstration on the Museumplein, where demonstrators threw stones and fireworks at the officers. Authorities detained nearly 200 individuals in the city. Meanwhile, in Eindhoven, located approximately 125 km (80 mi) south of Amsterdam, rioters looted businesses and set fires near the Centraal train station after police officers forcibly cleared hundreds of demonstrators from the nearby Museum Square. Train service at the station was halted during the violence. Police officers detained at least 55 people in Eindhoven, where reports indicate that supporters of the PEGIDA anti-immigrant group were among those demonstrating.
Elsewhere in the Netherlands, rioters attempted to smash the windows of the MST hospital’s emergency department in Enschede, located approximately 160 km east of Amsterdam. Police officers used dogs and a baton charge to disperse the rioters. In Urk, located about 85 km northeast of Amsterdam, rioters broke into a COVID-19 testing facility and set it on fire. Additional demonstrations occurred in the cities of Almelo, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Breda, Helmond, Oosterhout and Venlo. The violence occurred the day after a countrywide coronavirus-related 2100 to 0430 local time (2000-0330 UTC) nightly curfew went into effect.
Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 23 January 2021, authorities extended nationwide restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 until 14 February. A nightly curfew from 2000 to 0500 local time (1900-0400 UTC) remains in place. Additionally, all private and public gatherings remain prohibited.
Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 23 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belgium, which reads in part as follows: “From 25 January, all travellers from the UK must quarantine for 10 days on arrival and take a test on the first and seventh day of their quarantine.”
Côte d’Ivoire (Security threat level – 4): On 25 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan issued an alert regarding an extension of the existing health state of emergency until at least 28 February; the alert reads in part as follows:
“Event: The Government of Côte d’Ivoire re-issued a Health State of Emergency from January 21 through February 28, calling for stronger enforcement of protective health measures. Social distancing and a reduction in non-essential movements are encouraged. Face masks/cloth face coverings remain mandatory in all public spaces, including vehicles.
“Since the start of the pandemic, Côte d’Ivoire has reported 26,850 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (24,762 recovered, 146 deceased, and 1,942 active) within its borders, as of January 24.
“Effective January 21, all inbound and outbound airline travelers to/from Côte d’Ivoire are required to present negative COVID-19 PCR test results dated no more than five days before their arrival/departure in country.”
The full text of the alert is available here.