Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 5 January 2022, the Cuban government imposed new entry restrictions in response to a nationwide rise in COVID-19 cases. Under the new restrictions, which will remain in effect until further notice, all travelers must present both a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival and proof of vaccination against COVID-19.
Peru (Security threat level – 3): On 5 January 2022, the Peruvian government imposed new restrictions in the provinces of Lima and Callao due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The measures — which will remain in effect until further notice — include a nightly curfew from 2300 to 0400 local time (0400-0900 UTC).
Kazakhstan (Security threat level – 3): During the morning of 6 January 2022, dozens of security personnel and armored vehicles were deployed to Republic Square in central Almaty to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who had gathered at the site as part of ongoing anti-government protests. Local media reported gunshots as Kazakh Ground Forces approached the square. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Emerging reports also indicate that authorities have warned residents in Almaty to shelter in place amid citywide security operations. Meanwhile, state-owned media announced that all financial institutions are required to close until further notice due to clashes between security forces and demonstrators. Telecommunications services remain suspended.
In related developments, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on 5 January described recent demonstrations as acts of “terrorism” funded by foreign powers, without providing evidence, and requested assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) — a military alliance composed of Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan — to contain the unrest. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is the current CSTO chairman, announced plans to deploy forces to Kazakhstan on 6 January. However, details regarding the size of the deployment or its duration remain unknown, although Pashinyan stated that it would be “limited.”
Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 5 January 2022, government officials imposed a mandatory vaccination requirement for individuals who are age 50 and older in order to curb COVID-19 hospitalizations. The requirement is currently in effect and expected to last until 15 June, with individuals required to provide proof of vaccination to enter businesses, including restaurants, bars or cinemas. Proof of vaccination will not be required in workplace settings until 15 February.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 5 January 2022, the U.K. government announced changes to coronavirus-related entry requirements for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in England. Subsequently, fully vaccinated travelers arriving in England after 0400 local time/UTC on 7 January will not be required to provide proof of a pre-departure negative result on a COVID-19 test or self-isolate upon arrival. Additionally, as of the same time on 9 January, fully vaccinated travelers may opt to take a lateral flow test (LFT) on or before the second day of their arrival instead of the currently required PCR test. However, unvaccinated travelers will remain subject to the existing entry requirements, which include the following: must obtain a negative result from a COVID-19 test (PCR or LFT) taken no more than 48 hours before travel, self-isolate for 10 days after arrival, and take two PCR tests — the first one on or before the second day after arrival and the second one on or after the eighth day. Further information as outlined by the U.K. government is available here.
Israel (Security threat level – 4): On 6 January 2022, the director-general of the Health Ministry announced that the country will eliminate its “red list” of banned destinations and allow travelers from those countries to enter — effective as of 0000 local time on 7 January (2200 UTC on 6 January). Travelers from Canada, Ethiopia, France, Hungary, Nigeria, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States will now be allowed to enter Israel. Authorities stated that the entry bans were lifted because the fast spread of the omicron coronavirus variant rendered such bans futile.