Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 20 May 2021, President Albert Fernandez announced that a new nationwide lockdown will be in effect during 22-31 May in response to a sharp increase in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases. Under the order, a new nationwide nightly curfew will be in effect from 1800 to 0600 local time (2100 to 0900 UTC). A government spokesperson stated that all non-essential commerce, sporting events and religious services will be temporarily banned.
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): Nationwide demonstrations over income inequality, police brutality and youth unemployment are expected to continue for a 24th consecutive day on 21 May 2021. The National Strike Committee announced that it is organizing new nationwide demonstrations for 26 and 28 May. The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) announced on 20 May that Colombia will no longer co-host the 2021 Copa América tournament with Argentina and the scheduled games will be relocated. The 2021 Copa América is scheduled to be held from 13 June to 11 July.
On 20 May protesters clashed with police officers near the Portal Américas metro station in the capital Bogotá. At least 12 people were injured in the clashes. In the Silóe neighborhood of Cali, there were reports of shots fired by unknown individuals during clashes between protesters and police officers that left several people wounded, including police officers.
Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 20 May 2021, Panamanian authorities temporarily closed the Panama-Colombia border to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the flow of migrants, as well as to strengthen overall border security. Entry is suspended for any person traveling by land, sea or river routes until further notice. The order came in response to Colombia reopening its borders with Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and Peru on 19 May.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): On 21 May 2021, the government announced that the existing coronavirus-related state of emergency in nine prefectures will be expanded to include Okinawa from 23 May until 20 June. Under the order, restaurants must close by 2000 local time (1100 UTC), and authorities are requesting that tourists cancel planned trips to the prefecture. In related developments, authorities approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Israel / Palestinian Territories (Security threat levels – 4 / 4): At 0200 local time on 21 May 2021 (2300 UTC on 20 May), a ceasefire brokered by the Egyptian government between Hamas militants and the Israeli government officially began, ending more than 11 days of fighting between the two sides. Prior to the beginning of the ceasefire, rockets fired from the Gaza Strip struck a commercial building in Eshkol Regional Council, located in southwestern Israel approximately 90 km (60 mi) south of Tel Aviv. Local reports indicate that at least one person was injured in the blast. Within an hour before the ceasefire began, Israeli Defense Forces struck targets in Gaza City; however, the specific location and any casualty figures remain unknown.
Meanwhile, tensions remain high in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Clashes broke out between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators at the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary in East Jerusalem after Friday prayers. The demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at security personnel, who responded with stun grenades and rubber bullets. Reports indicate that at least 15 people have been injured thus far. In the West Bank, there are reports of clashes in Hebron, where Palestinian demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli forces, who responded with tear gas; at least one person has been injured thus far.
World: On 21 May 2021, a technical error with Sabre – the provider of a travel technology program used to book and ticket flights – affected check-in operations for multiple air carriers, including Aeroflot, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Virgin Australia. The cause of the outage remains unknown, but operators have indicated that the issue has been resolved. However, travelers should expect check-in and flight delays throughout the day due to the outage and should check the status of their flights before arriving to the airport.
Belize (Security threat level – 3): On 21 May 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belize, which reads in part as follows: “The Government of Belize has announced a nationwide curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until further notice. The curfew is from Sunday to Wednesday nights 10pm to 5am, and Thursday to Saturday nights midnight to 5am for adults and 6pm to 5am every day for minors.”
Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): On 21 May 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Nicaragua, which reads in part as follows: “A rise in cases of Malaria has been reported on the North Caribbean coast and, in May 2021, around the north-western city of Chinandega. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and follow the health advice issued by the National Travel Health Network and Centre. ”
Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 21 May 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bern issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Waisenhausplatz, Bern, Switzerland
“Events: Saturday, May 22, beginning at 2:00 PM, local authorities expect demonstrators to gather on Waisenhausplatz to demonstrate against the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Officials expect up to a couple hundred demonstrators to attend. Please be advised that there may be an increased police presence in the area and possible traffic disruptions during this time.”