ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 3 March 2021, authorities in the western state of Jalisco announced additional coronavirus-related restrictions that will be in effect during Holy Week, a Christian observance which occurs from 28 March to 3 April. Police officers will erect checkpoints at airports, highways and bus stations to conduct health screenings in order to detect possible COVID-19 cases. Hotels and resorts in the state — including in popular tourist areas such as Lake Chapala and Puerto Vallarta — will be required to limit occupancy to 66%. Beaches will be open from 0500 to 1700 local time (1100 to 2300 UTC) only, while restaurants and bars must close by 2300 local time. Religious pageants and processions are banned, although churches may remain open with capacity limits.
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): As of 4 March 2021, the threat level for Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, has been raised to 4 (High) from 3 (Medium) due to the recent deterioration of the overall security environment in the city. There has been sustained unrest in Yangon since the 1 February military coup and the probability for additional violence remains high. Security personnel have increasingly used forceful tactics, such as deploying tear gas, and firing rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse daily anti-coup protests. Furthermore, demonstrators appear to be undeterred and continue to gather in large numbers throughout the city. There are currently no indications that either side is willing to acquiesce, as attempts to promote dialogue between protesters and the junta have failed to produce results thus far.
New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On 5 March 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a nationwide relaxation of coronavirus-related restrictions after health officials recorded no COVID-19 cases in the country for five consecutive days. Beginning at 0600 local time on 7 March (1700 UTC on 6 March), the city of Auckland will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 from Level 3, while the rest of country will move to Alert Level 1 from Level 2. Details regarding requirements for each level are available here.
New Zealand (Security threat level – 1): On the morning of 5 March 2021, three high-magnitude earthquakes struck near New Zealand, including a 6.9 magnitude quake that occurred approximately 240 km (150 mi) east of Gisborne on North Island and 7.4 and 8.1 magnitude quakes that hit near the Kermadec Islands. Each tremor prompted the National Emergency Management Agency to issue tsunami alerts for coastal areas across the country, advising residents to seek higher ground. Authorities canceled all such alerts by 1545 local time (0745 UTC) after the threat had passed. Although some wave surges reached coastal areas near Auckland, there were no reports of significant damage or injuries. Authorities had evacuated thousands of people from low-lying areas on North Island following the 8.1 magnitude tremor. The Britomart train station — Auckland’s main train station — was temporarily closed due to the threat of flooding and ferry services in the city were canceled.
South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): At approximately 2000 local time (0900 UTC) on 5 March 2021, Tropical Cyclone Niran was located approximately 1,080 km (670 mi) west-northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia, and was moving to the east-southeast at a speed of nearly 45 kph (27 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that point, the cyclone had maximum sustained winds of 213 kph, with gusts of up to 259 kph. Niran is currently forecast to make landfall in New Caledonia at approximately 1300 local time on 6 March. Airport officials have announced the closure of La Tontouta International Airport (NWWW/NOU) — located approximately 45 km (28 mi) northwest of the capital Noumea — ahead of the cyclone’s arrival. Flight operations at the facility will be halted as of 0200 local time on 6 March until the storm passes through the area.
Cyprus (Security threat level – 2): On 4 March 2021, authorities announced that as of 1 May U.K. nationals who can present documented proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be subjected to additional coronavirus-related entry requirements. Those seeking entry without additional restrictions are required to have received both doses of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency at least seven days prior to entry. Face masks and social distancing measures will remain mandatory. All U.K. nationals will be permitted to enter Cyprus beginning on 1 April, provided they possess proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Moldova (Security threat level – 3): On 4 March 2021, authorities imposed new entry restrictions due to a rise in new COVID-19 cases. As of 5 March, all travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Foreign nationals who arrive without a test may be denied entry, while Moldovan nationals and legal residents will be required to quarantine for 14 days. The nationwide state of emergency remains in effect until 15 April.
Senegal (Security threat level – 3): As of 5 March 2021, violent demonstrations over the detention of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko are ongoing in the capital Dakar and elsewhere in Senegal. Protests initially broke out on 3 March following Sonko’s arrest due to rape allegations and have since continued to escalate. Demonstrators have blocked roads and thrown stones at security personnel, who have responded by firing tear gas to disperse the gatherings. Protesters have also looted and burned several stores, gas stations and media outlets in Dakar. Following days of protests, the government banned motorcycles in the Dakar region through at least 2100 local time/UTC on 6 March. Furthermore, internet access has been disrupted across Senegal — with social media and messaging applications being most affected — and authorities suspended the signals of two television stations. Thus far, at least one person has been killed during the violence in Bignona, a town located in the southern Casamance region. Media reports indicate that an additional four individuals were killed during clashes on 5 March.
Analyst comment: Sonko is expected to appear in court later in the day on 5 March to face charges of disturbing public order and participating in an unauthorized demonstration, which is likely to spark additional protests.
Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 4 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou issued a Security Alert regarding an increased security personnel presence, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Erevan Quartier, Cotonou, and Urban Areas Throughout Benin
“Event: There is an increased police and military presence in the Erevan Quartier of Cotonou, which may cause sporadic road closures and access restrictions over the next few days. Demonstrations may occur throughout Benin without little or no advance notice and may vary in size and purpose.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 4 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Government of Guatemala (GoG) has announced a State of Prevention for the Municipality of Malacatan. The State of Prevention is due to recent episodes of civil unrest in Malacatan as a result of a decision by the electric service provider to discontinue services in the area stemming from nonpayment of services and illegal power connections. On February 24, 2021, violent incidents in the area occurred including the sacking of the Malacatan power plant. The decision by the GoG is effective through March 19th and may impact other surrounding areas in San Marcos. During this State of Prevention period, there will be limitations imposed in the area to include meetings and gatherings in public spaces, such as protests.”
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 5 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding an event planned for 6 March, which reads in part as follows:
“The June 5 Movement-Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) has called for a meeting on Saturday, March 6 at 4:00 PM. The event will take place at the “Maison des Aines” in ACI2000. The event is approved by local authorities.
“Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire.”
The full text of the alert is available here.
Norway (Security threat level – 2): On 4 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Oslo issued a Demonstration Alert regarding an upcoming demonstration on 8 March, 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 Monday, March 8, 2021. The group plans to gather outside Parliament at 1 PM, then march from Parliament to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and finally come to the U.S. Embassy. The demonstration is scheduled to conclude at 3 PM. The Embassy anticipates 20 demonstrators; local police will direct them to protest in a designated area away from the Embassy grounds, 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 these areas from approximately 12-5pm.”
Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 5 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Mission to Saudi Arabia reminds U.S. citizens that extremist groups and regional actors have conducted destructive missile and drone attacks against a variety of targets. These attacks have occurred with little or no warning, impacting airports, energy infrastructure, and other civilian facilities.
“Violence associated with Iran-supported groups represents a significant threat. U.S. citizens living and working near military bases and critical civilian infrastructure, including airports, are at heightened risk of missile and drone attack. U.S. citizens should remain alert and be prepared to respond in case of attacks.
“Airplanes at Saudi airports may be at risk of damage on account of the escalating conflict with Yemen and rising violence. Iraqi militants have also launched a series of attacks at air bases and airports and may inadvertently hit commercial aircraft in their campaign.
“Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Saudi Arabia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an advisory Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in 2018 that remains in effect. For more information U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices. ”
Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 5 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Dakar issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests, which reads in part as follows:
“Local political opposition leaders have called for large demonstrations in Senegal today, Friday March 5th, at 3p.m. local time. Recently, several of these protests have escalated into more violent clashes with law enforcement and resulted in the looting of several businesses.
“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. Please note that a large police presence may be indicative of anticipated protest activity.
“U.S. government personnel are advised to stay at home from 2 p.m. Friday until 12 p.m. noon Saturday.”
The full text of the alert is available here.