NORTH AMERICA Cuba / United States (Security threat levels –...
Bolivia (Security threat level – 3) : On 13 November 2021, President Luis Arce announced that his administration is repealing Law 1386, an anti-money laundering law that prompted nationwide protests which led to the arrests of more than 200 people during the week of 7 November. The Confederation of Trade Unions — one of Bolivia’s largest labor unions — cited Law 1386 as the main obstacle in its negotiations with government officials, but stated that the repeal of the law alone will not result in the suspension of nationwide strike actions.
Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 15 November 2021, Cuban authorities eased coronavirus-related travel restrictions, reopened airports and permitted the resumption of commercial flights to the island. Travelers who are not vaccinated must present a negative result from a PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival, while individuals who can present a vaccination certificate are exempt from PCR test requirements. Quarantines will only be mandatory for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 during their stay.
In a related development, opposition leaders plan to hold a nationwide “Civic March for Change” protest on 15 November to correspond with the island’s reopening. The demonstration will be held illegally, as government officials denied permission to hold the protest and accused its organizers of collaborating covertly with the U.S. government to incite regime change. U.S. government officials stated that the U.S. will consider imposing additional sanctions on Cuba if protesters are jailed. Individuals who have spoken out in favor of the protest have reported being targeted for harassment and acts of intimidation by government security personnel.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 12 November 2021, the leader of the G9 gang coalition announced a one-week stay on the oil interdiction enforced by members of organized crime groups in the capital Port-au-Prince. The temporary relaxation of enforcement is meant to allow for the distribution of oil to alleviate some of the hardships caused by extreme oil shortages in the capital, such as a lack of available hospital care as well as functioning pumping stations for water and fuel for vehicular transit. The interdiction will be reinstated in a few days, as the gang leader continues to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in exchange for uninterrupted distribution of fuel.
Cambodia (Security threat level – 3): As of 15 November 2021, travelers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and who present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at least 72 hours prior to arrival will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival in Cambodia. Unvaccinated travelers must continue to quarantine for 14 days. Fully vaccinated travelers under quarantine were permitted to leave on the morning of 15 November.
Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On the afternoon of 14 November 2021, protests broke out at the Pathumwan intersection in the capital Bangkok in response to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on 10 November declaring three activists guilty of attempting to overthrow the government after they called for reform of the country’s lese majeste laws during a rally on 10 August 2020. At least three people suffered injuries during the demonstrations, including two who were shot outside the Institute of Forensic Medicine, located approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the intersection. Police also blocked off the Chaloempao Intersection and stationed a water cannon near the area.
Austria (Security threat level – 2): On 15 November 2021, authorities imposed a mandatory nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated individuals until at least 24 November due to a high COVID-19 infection rate. Affected residents are only allowed to leave their residences for work or shopping for essential items and cannot enter venues such as hotels and restaurants. Violators are subject to fines of up to 1,450 euros (1,660 U.S. dollars).
Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): The Dutch government reinstated restrictions on businesses and gatherings as of 1800 local time (1700 UTC) on 13 November 2021, in response to a substantial increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases. The new restrictions, which are slated to remain in effect until at least 4 December, require nonessential businesses to close nightly by 1800 local time. Meanwhile, bars, restaurants and grocery stores are required to shut down at 2000 local time. Spectators are prohibited from attending sporting events; however, theaters and cinemas are allowed to remain open, with a maximum of 1,250 attendees and adherence to social distancing requirements. As of 6 November, a nationwide face mask mandate in public indoor spaces is in effect and authorities broadened the use of “corona pass” to include outdoor terraces, gyms and museums. Further information as outlined by the government is available here.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1100 local time/UTC on 14 November 2021, an explosion occurred in a taxi outside the entrance of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital in central Liverpool, England. According to the chief of counterterrorism policing in northwestern England, the blast originated from an explosive device that the sole passenger carried into the taxi. The blast and subsequent fire killed the passenger and wounded the taxi driver. Following the blast, police officers arrested three men from Liverpool’s Kensington area in relation to the event. Another man was arrested in Kensington on 15 November. Authorities believe the four detainees are associates of the passenger who was killed in the explosion. Police officials have declared the blast a terrorist incident, although an investigation is underway to determine a motive for the explosion.
In a related development, on 15 November authorities in the U.K. raised the country’s terrorism threat level to “severe,” which indicates that an attack is highly likely. The “severe” level is the second-highest alert on a five-tier scale. The terrorism threat level in the country had remained at “substantial” after being downgraded from “severe” in February 2021. Additional details regarding threat levels in the U.K. can be viewed here.
Morocco (Security threat level – 3): On 13 November 2021, authorities announced that all airports and ports of entry will begin requiring travelers to take a rapid COVID-19 test on arrival at the traveler’s expense. All visitors, except permanent residents, who test positive on arrival will be denied entry into Morocco. The testing supplement an existing requirement that passengers present a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours before arrival and proof of vaccination to access public places throughout the country. Officials have stated that the additional protocols are necessary due to the rise in coronavirus cases throughout Europe.
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 13 November 2021, police officers fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protesters in the capital Khartoum. Reports suggest that at least five people were killed, and dozens of others were injured as protesters attempted to escape the gunfire. Tens of thousands of people had gathered in central Khartoum and the neighboring city of Omdurman amid a major police presence on the main roads and bridges surrounding central Khartoum. Telecommunication services remain severely restricted throughout the country.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 15 November 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Athens issued a Demonstration Alert regarding demonstrations planned for 17 November, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Expected gathering points are the Athens Polytechnic University, continuing to Syntagma Square and the U.S. Embassy and concluding in Exarchia. For Thessaloniki, demonstrators will gather at the Venizelos Statue (78 Egnatia Street) and march to the Consulate General.
“Event: Large demonstrations of 10,000 to 20,000 participants are expected to take place beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 to commemorate the anniversary of the 1973 protests against the then-ruling junta. Road closures in some areas may begin as early as 1:00pm, and severe traffic disruptions are expected when road closures fully take effect by 4:00 p.m.
“U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid the downtown areas of Athens and Thessaloniki in the late afternoon and to stay behind police lines until the Greek authorities announce the conclusion of the event. U.S. Embassy Athens and U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki will be closed beginning at 3:00 p.m. In the past, some demonstrations commemorating this date turned violent and led to the destruction of property. There is a potential for tear-gas and anti-riot engagement between police and demonstrators.”