AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 11 March 2021, Argentine authorities renewed a coronavirus-related emergency decree, extending the countrywide health emergency until 31 December. The emergency decree — in effect since March 2020 — includes a requirement for inbound travelers to undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine and present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the time of arrival. The decree also designates the Ministry of Health as the enforcement authority and allows it to establish health measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 11 March 2021, officials in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo passed a law that will require foreign visitors over the age of 15 to pay a tourism tax beginning on 1 April. Visitors will be able to pay the tax of 224 Mexican pesos (11 U.S. dollars) while booking their trip online or at airport terminals. Belizean nationals will be subject to a smaller tax of 200 Mexican pesos due to the high frequency of trips Belizeans take to the border city of Chetumal. The tax is expected to generate 600 million Mexican pesos (29.1 million U.S. dollars) by the end of 2021 and will be used for tourism development in the state.
South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 12 March 2021, South Korean authorities extended current social distancing rules and a ban on gatherings of more than four people until 28 March in a continued effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The greater Seoul area will be under Level 2 restrictions, while the rest of the country will be under Level 1.5 restrictions. Under Level 2 regulations, face masks are mandatory in all indoor areas and during high-risk outdoor activities. Additionally, most nonessential businesses must close by 2100 local time (1200 UTC); however, restaurants may continue to offer takeout and delivery services. Under Level 1.5 regulations, indoor dining is permissible with restrictions, and face masks are only mandatory while amid large gatherings of people and in high-risk venues, such as bars and medical facilities.
New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On 12 March 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the city of Auckland will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 1 — the lowest level on a four-tier scale — at 1200 local time on 12 March (2300 UTC on 11 March). Under Alert Level 1, face coverings must be worn on domestic flights and public transport. Operators of taxis and ride-hailing services are also required to wear such coverings. A full list of restrictions under Alert Level 1 is available here. Auckland had been the only location in the country at Level 2 since 7 March; the rest of the country was placed at Level 1 the same day. The country’s entry ban on non-resident foreign nationals remains in place.
Malta (Security threat level – 2): On 11 March 2021, the Maltese government imposed new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, which will remain in place until 11 April. Under the new restrictions, nonessential businesses, including bars, cinemas, gyms, hair salons, museums, pools, theaters and tourist sites, are required to close. Restaurants are permitted to offer takeout services only, while hotel restaurants are allowed to provide room service in addition to takeout services. All public gatherings are limited to no more than four people. Additionally, travel to the island of Gozo is limited to essential trips only.
Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 11 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Security Alert regarding the temporary suspension of the coronavirus-related nightly curfew, which reads in part as follows: “From Friday, March 12 to Tuesday, March 16, the national curfew is suspended in order for the internal and primary political party elections to be carried out on time, and in strict compliance of all biosecurity measures.”
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 12 March 2021, the U.K. FCDO issued updated travel advice for Myanmar regarding the ongoing unrest, which reads in part as follows: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises British Nationals to leave the country by commercial means, unless there is an urgent need to stay.
“As of 1 February, the Myanmar military have declared a state of emergency and assumed control. Figures in the Civilian Government, civil society and a foreign national have been detained by the military. Political tension and unrest are widespread since the military takeover and levels of violence are rising. The military has ordered a nightly internet shutdown, various internet platforms have been blocked and reports of disruptions to wider internet and phone networks are widespread. Access to money has become increasingly difficult with banks shut and ATMs not working. There is a nationwide curfew imposed between 8pm and 4am until further notice. If you are not able to leave Myanmar at this time, you are advised to stay home and stay safe. If you need to leave home for essential reasons, you should do so quickly, avoiding crowds.”
North Macedonia (Security threat level – 3): On 10 March 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for North Macedonia, which reads in part as follows: “On 10 March, the Government of North Macedonia introduced a nationwide curfew, which all citizens, with a few exceptions for key workers, must obey. From Wednesday 10 March 2021 up to Monday 22 March 2021, the movement of people and public transport vehicles is banned between 10 pm until 5 am the next day.
“The curfew does not apply to people in need of emergency medical assistance but permission must be sought from the local police prior to travel.
“The curfew does not apply for passengers arriving or departing from international airports with a valid ticket. Travellers that are transiting through the country will not be allowed to stay in the territory for more than three hours after crossing the border.”
Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 11 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Dakar issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Potential for demonstration activity throughout Senegal during the weekend (March 12-March 14).
“Despite the recent calm, demonstration activity throughout Senegal remains a possibility this weekend, particularly Saturday afternoon. Demonstrations may occur with little to no advance notice.
“U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid any locations where demonstrations are ongoing. Blocking streets and intersections as well as burning tires is a common part of these demonstrations and often leads to significant traffic delays. A large police presence may be indicative of anticipated protest activity.”