ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the evening of 22 March 2022, members of the Alianza Mexicana de Organizaciones de Transportistas (AMOTAC) ended their nationwide strike after union leaders reached an agreement with Mexico’s Secretariat of the Interior. The transport workers caused significant disruptions in several parts of the country on 22 March by erecting blockades and conducting “go-slow” protests on major highways. Affected locations included the highways connecting the capital Mexico City to the southern city of Puebla, the cities of Guadalajara and Zapotlanejo as well as highways between the cities of Villahermosa and Cárdenas. The protesters demanded that the government reduce fuel prices, regulate transportation fares and provide additional security on highways. Union leaders are scheduled to meet with government officials for additional negotiations on 23 March.
United States (Security threat level – 2): On the evening of 22 March 2022, a powerful tornado swept through the eastern suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana, amid severe weather in the region. The tornado downed utility poles and caused significant damage to a number of homes and businesses, particularly in the Arabi area of St. Bernard Parish. More than 2,000 households in the parish remain without electricity, as of the most recent report on the morning of 23 March. At least one person was killed in Arabi and several more were injured. Local officials have deployed emergency crews to conduct recovery efforts.
Taiwan (Security threat level – 1): At approximately 0140 local time on 23 March 2022 (1740 UTC on 22 March), a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of southeastern Taiwan. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake was centered 62 km (38 mi) south of Hualien City and had a depth of 24 km. Shaking was reported across the island, including in Taipei. There were no reports of significant damage or casualties, and no tsunami warning was issued. Following the initial tremor, at least 150 aftershocks have been reported, including four major aftershocks with magnitudes ranging between 5.0 and 6.0. The chief official of Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau has warned that another tremor with a magnitude greater than 6.0 could occur within the next three days.
New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On 23 March 2022, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the annulment of several coronavirus-related restrictions in New Zealand. As of 4 April, individuals will no longer be required to wear face masks in enclosed spaces, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will not be mandatory to attend large events, and occupancy restrictions for outdoor events will be lifted. Additionally, employees in the education, police or defense sectors will no longer be required to submit proof of vaccination to attend work. The announcement comes after COVID-19 transmission rates declined nationwide in recent weeks.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1000 local time/UTC on 23 March 2022, a chlorine gas leak occurred at the London Aquatics Center, located in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the city’s eastern Stratford district. Approximately 200 people were evacuated from the facility due to the incident. Local officials have advised residents of nearby homes to shut all their windows and doors. An undetermined number of people are being treated for breathing difficulties. No deaths have been reported. The leakage has been attributed to a chemical reaction that yielded a high quantity of chlorine gas.
Israel (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1600 local time (1400 UTC) on 22 March 2022, an assailant armed with a knife carried out an attack in the southern Negev desert city of Beersheba. The Arab Israeli man initially stabbed a woman at a gas station before getting into a car and striking a bicyclist with the vehicle. The man then entered a nearby mall and stabbed multiple individuals before a bus driver shot and killed him. At least five people were killed, including the attacker, and an unknown number of others were injured. Israeli officials are treating the event as a terrorist attack. Local media outlets have identified the attacker as a 34-year-old resident of the neighboring town of Hura, who was imprisoned for four years for aspiring to join the Islamic State group in Syria in 2015.
Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 22 March 2022, officials announced plans to ease coronavirus-related entry restrictions for travelers who provide proof of full vaccination. As of 4 April, fully vaccinated travelers will not be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test to enter Nigeria but will be subject to a rapid antigen test upon arrival at the airport. Passengers who cannot present proof of vaccination will be required to submit a negative test taken within 48 hours prior to departure for Nigeria or take two PCR tests on the second and seventh days after their arrival.
Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 23 March 2022, Somali security forces clashed with two armed al-Shabab militants near Aden Adde International Airport (HCMM/MGQ) in the capital Mogadishu. Local media reports indicate that smoke emitted from the building after the militants attempted to storm the facility. Security forces reportedly killed both assailants and prevented them from entering an army base near the airport. Six other people were killed in the attack. Airport officials announced the temporary suspension of domestic and international flights at the facility following the attack.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 23 March 2022, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country’s remaining coronavirus-related restrictions will be loosened. Effective immediately, fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to present a negative PRC test result to gain entry into South Africa. Those who are not fully vaccinated remain subject to providing proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for South Africa. Restrictions on large gatherings have also been scaled back, as fully vaccinated individuals and those who can produce a recent negative COVID-19 test will be allowed to attend events in stadiums and theaters. Such venues are now permitted to operate at 50% capacity. Face masks are no longer required outdoors; however, face masks will remain mandatory in public indoor spaces.