November 11, 2020
11-Nov-2020

AMERICAS

Canada / Cuba / Dominican Republic (Security threat levels – 2 / 2 / 3): In Canada, the province of Manitoba is set to enter the critical (red) COVID-19 phase — the highest-level alert — on its four-tier color-coded pandemic response system as of 1201 local time (1701 UTC) on 12 November 2020. During the critical phase, travel is prohibited to and from areas in northern Manitoba, located north of the 53rd parallel of latitude, with exemptions for essential reasons, and nonessential travel elsewhere in the province is discouraged. Additionally, social gatherings will be limited to members of the same household, and essential businesses — such as grocery stores and pharmacies — may remain open at 25% capacity. Nonessential retail establishments are required to suspend in-person operations, although curbside, carryout, or delivery services may continue. The provincial government maintains a database with information regarding the pandemic response system, which can be viewed here.

Cuban authorities announced on 10 November plans to resume international commercial and charter flight operations to and from Havana’s José Martí International Airport (MUHA/HAV), effective 0000 local time (0500 UTC) on 15 November. Upon arrival at the airport, travelers will be subject to health screenings — including a COVID-19 PCR test — and will have their health monitored during their stay. Individuals are required to wear a face mask and comply with social distancing measures when in public.

In the Dominican Republic, on 10 November President Luis Abinader extended the ongoing nationwide curfew until at least 1 December. The curfew runs nightly from 2100-0500 local time (0100-0900 UTC) Monday to Friday and 1900-0500 local time Saturday and Sunday. Essential services personnel including health care workers, public utility personnel and commercial cargo operators as well as residents traveling for medical purposes remain exempt from the restrictions. Individuals are required to wear a face mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces.

Peru (Security threat level – 3): On 10 November 2020, security personnel in the capital city Lima deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters demonstrating against the impeachment and replacement of former President Martín Vizcarra. The demonstrators attempted to force entry into the federal legislative building in the historic Cercado de Lima area, but riot police were able to repel them. Protesters also gathered outside the headquarters of the Popular Action party, the political party of President Manuel Merino de Lama. The demonstrators burned flags and threw paint at the building. Security personnel arrested and detained at least 27 people during the protests in Lima. Violent demonstrations also occurred in the city of Cusco, while peaceful demonstrations took place in Chiclayo, Piura and Trujillo.

United States / Cuba (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 11 November 2020, Eta had re-intensified into a hurricane in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and was located approximately 130 mi (210 km) west-southwest of Fort Myers, Florida, and about 170 miles south-southwest of the city of Tampa, according to the U.S. national Hurricane Center. At that time, Eta had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, with higher gusts, and was tracking north-northeast at 15 mph. Eta is currently forecast to move closer to the southwestern coast of Florida on 11 November, while remaining offshore, before approaching the state’s west-central coast. The hurricane is then expected to make landfall in central Florida between Gainesville and Tampa late on 12 November and continue moving northeast over northern Florida before entering the Atlantic Ocean near the Florida-Georgia state border by early on 13 November.

The hurricane is forecast to produce additional rainfall in the following areas: 1-3 in (25-75 mm), with isolated maximums of up to 25 inches, across western Cuba through 11 November; 2-4 inches, with isolated maximums of up to 6 inches, in western Florida through 13 November; and 1-2 inches, with isolated maximums of up to 4 inches, in northern Florida, and up to 20 inches of total rainfall in southern Florida through 13 November. Dangerous flash flooding and landslides are possible throughout western Cuba, while significant flash flooding is expected across Florida through 13 November.

A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect from Anna Maria Island, Florida, north to Yankeetown. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect in most of the western coast of Florida from Dry Tortugas north to Bonita Beach. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the area from the entrance of the Aucilla River east to Suwannee as well as in the Cuban provinces of Artemisa, La Habana, Mayabeque, Pinar del Río and Isla de la Juventud. A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Bonita Beach to Steinhatchee River, including Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.

ASIA

China / Singapore (Security threat levels – 3 / 1): On 11 November 2020, authorities announced the launch of a travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore from 22 November. From that date, a limited number of passengers may travel between both destinations without being subject to testing or quarantine requirements. Initially, one flight per day may operate to each destination with up to 200 travelers aboard each flight, with two daily services set to begin from 7 December. Additionally, as of 23 November Hong Kong residents returning to the city from Guangdong province or Macao will be exempt from quarantine requirements if they test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival and register their plans with the Hong Kong government. A daily limit of 5,000 travelers returning to Hong Kong will also be in effect until further notice.

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): As of 0900 UTC on 11 November 2020, Tropical Storm Vamco — known in the Philippines as Ulysses — had strengthened into a typhoon and was located approximately 260 km (160 mi) east of Manila, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Vamco was moving west at 22 kph (14 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 148 kph, with gusts of up to 185 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm will continue moving to the west-northwest close to, but just offshore of, the Bicol region through 11 November before making landfall over central Luzon Island just north of Metro Manila overnight from 11-12 November. Authorities have warned that Vamco is likely to maintain its current strength as it passes over Luzon Island and is expected to produce heavy rainfall, high winds and dangerous surf conditions across the entirety of the island, with the greatest impact over portions of central Luzon. Officials have ordered thousands of residents along the coastline to evacuate while Signal No. 3 wind warnings — which indicate the potential for moderate to heavy wind damage — have been issued in Metro Manila and across most of Luzon Island. Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (RPLL/MNL) has been closed as a precaution until 0600 local time on 12 November (22 UTC on 11 November). Schools and government offices have closed, and Philippine Airlines canceled dozens of flights through 12 November.

EUROPE

Hungary (Security threat level – 2): As of 11 November 2020, the government has implemented a new nationwide state of emergency and a number of new coronavirus-related restrictions, which are expected to remain in place for a period of 90 days. The nationwide nightly curfew now runs from 2000-0500 local time (1900-0400 UTC); individuals commuting to and from work are exempt from the order. Nonessential businesses such as restaurants, museums, theaters, and gyms must close, and hotels are only permitted to host business travelers. Public events and official gatherings are banned, and family and private gatherings are restricted to a maximum of 10 attendees. Civil and church weddings are limited to immediate family only with no reception permitted, and funerals are limited to a maximum of 50 people. High school and universities are closed to in-person lessons. Nonessential businesses allowed to remain open must close by 1900 local time. Face masks are mandatory aboard public transportation and in all public spaces. Likewise, social distancing requirements of at least 1.5 m (5 ft) remain in effect.

Additional information regarding coronavirus-related restrictions is available on the Government of Hungary’s official website.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 11 November 2020, an unidentified assailant threw an explosive device at a Jeddah cemetery gathering to commemorate the end of World War I, which included several Greek and French diplomats. At least four people — including one Greek national — suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities have launched an investigation into the attack, for which no group has claimed responsibility.

Analyst Comment: Attacks targeting foreign nationals in Saudi Arabia are exceedingly rare. Organizations with personnel and assets in Saudi Arabia should monitor the situation closely. In particular, French nationals and employees of prominent French firms should keep as low a profile as possible. Following a stabbing attack at the French Consulate General in Jeddah on 29 October that injured a guard, French authorities urged travelers to exercise increased caution due to the possibility of additional attacks.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Angola (Security threat level – 3): On 11 November 2020, clashes between protesters and police officers occurred during demonstrations in Luanda against the high cost of living and unemployment issues, as well as in support of municipal elections. Police officers fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, which had gathered in the vicinity of Estrada de Catete, between the Cemetery of Santa Ana and Largo de Independencia. According to local media, at least one protester was killed and several others suffered injuries. Activists also alleged that several protesters were detained. The provincial government refused to authorize the demonstrations due to coronavirus-related restrictions — which ban gatherings of more than five individuals in public settings — but has thus far made no other comment regarding the situation. Additional protests were also planned in Lubango, Huambo and Benguela.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Armenia (Security threat level – 3): On 11 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan issued a Security Alert regarding upcoming demonstrations, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations are likely to occur in Yerevan and possibly other locations in Armenia on an ongoing basis in the coming days. A protest is scheduled to take place at Freedom Square (also known as Opera Square) at 13:00 on Wednesday, November 11. The U.S. Embassy has instructed its employees and family members to shelter in place and urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution and avoid likely places of protest.”

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 11 November 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice to advise against travel to additional locations, which reads in part as follows: “The FCDO advise against all travel to the provinces of Tombouctou, Kidal, Gao and Mopti, as well as parts of the provinces of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso and Segou. The FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Mali, including Bamako.”