ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Canada (Security threat level – 2): As of 24 November 2020, the provincial government of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.) has suspended all nonessential travel to and from the province until at least 7 December in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, the province has removed itself from the “Atlantic bubble” — the name for a travel arrangement that permitted residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador to travel within the region without quarantining — and now requires residents from the three other Atlantic provinces to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry into P.E.I. Meanwhile, as of 25 November the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador will also require residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. arriving in Newfoundland and Labrador to self-quarantine for 14 days. The provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia — both of which have recorded recent spikes in COVID-19 infections — are expected to maintain their current mutual travel arrangement and also permit travelers from P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador to enter without quarantining.
India (Security threat level – 3): As of 0900 UTC on 24 November 2020, Tropical Cyclone Nivar was located approximately 1,570 km (975 mi) south-southwest of Kolkata and was moving west at 9 kph (6 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Nivar was generating maximum sustained winds of 83 kph, with gusts of up to 102 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to make landfall in Tamil Nadu state near the union territory of Puducherry by 25 November. Authorities have warned of potentially damaging winds and rainfall amounts of up to 300 mm (12 in) in the most affected areas, while rainfall of between 50 and 200 mm is likely for other areas.
South Korea (Security threat level – 2): As of 24 November 2020, Level 2 COVID-19 restrictions – the third highest level on a five-tier scale – are in effect throughout the capital Seoul until further notice. Under the orders, venues such as bars and clubs are required to close, while restaurants must suspend dine-in services by 2100 local time (1200 UTC) nightly; cafes may only provide takeout and delivery services. Additionally, social gatherings such as weddings will be limited to a maximum of 100 attendees, political rallies are limited to 10 attendees and public transportation will reduce services after 2200 local time each night.
Europe: As of 24 November 2020, governments throughout Europe continue to enact policies intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. In Kosovo, authorities have implemented a color-coded system throughout the country with accompanying restrictions dependent on color. In Albania, a nationwide nightly curfew is in effect until further notice. Authorities in Lithuania amended entry requirements to require travelers to complete a health form before arrival. In Serbia, the government now requires nonessential businesses to close earlier. In Sweden, gatherings of more than eight people are banned. In the U.K., the government amended quarantine requirements for travelers to England, and will introduce a tightened three-tier system of coronavirus-related restrictions in England after the ongoing nationwide lockdown expires on 2 December.
In Kosovo, authorities have implemented a nationwide color-coded system that dictates varying degrees of restriction based on local conditions. Regions in the highest risk red zone — including the capital Pristina and 17 other municipalities — are under a nightly curfew from 1900-0500 local time (1800-0400 UTC), which prohibits travel outside the home except in emergencies, and all businesses are closed. Meanwhile in yellow zone areas, all cafes and restaurants must close from 1800-0500 local time, while in the green zone, food service establishments are required to close from 2000-0500 local time. Nationwide, anyone over age 65 may only travel outside their residence between 0600-1000 local time and 1600-1900 local time, all public gatherings are banned, and groups of no more than five people are permitted in public spaces. In addition, public transportation is operating at 50% capacity. Additional information regarding the restrictions currently in place is available here.
In Albania, authorities have implemented a series of nationwide restrictions amid a rise in COVID-19 infections. A nationwide nightly curfew from 2200-0600 local time (2100-0500 UTC) is in place until further notice. During curfew hours, travel outside the home is restricted to essential activities such as procuring food or medicine, traveling to and from work or seeking medical care; residents must obtain approval to leave their homes via the online e-Albania portal. Cafes, restaurants and similar establishments may operate delivery services only during curfew hours. In addition, all indoor and outdoor social gatherings are restricted to no more than 10 people, and face masks are mandatory in all public spaces.
In Lithuania, the government amended the entry requirements for foreign travelers eligible to enter the country. All arrivals must complete a travel health questionnaire prior to departure from their point of origin. In addition, travelers permitted to enter will be required to self-isolate for 10 days unless they present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival or obtain a negative result from a test conducted on arrival. Additional details are available here. Furthermore, Lithuania remains under a nationwide quarantine until at least 29 November, during which a number of restrictions on businesses and the public remain in place.
In Serbia, authorities implemented additional coronavirus-related restrictions amid a surge in new infections. As of 24 November, all bars, cafes, gambling venues, restaurants and shopping malls are required to close by 1800 local time (1700 UTC) daily. All other nonessential businesses are already mandated to close from 2100-0500 local. In addition, all social gatherings are restricted to no more than five people. Shops, schools and workplaces must maintain a social distance of one person per 4 sq. m (43 sq. ft), and a minimum social distance of 1.5 m (5 ft) must be observed in all public spaces. Additional restrictions may be implemented at the municipal level subject to the discretion of local officials.
In Sweden, a nationwide ban on all public gatherings of more than eight people is in place until at least 22 December. The restriction does not apply to private gatherings, schools or workplaces; funerals are exempt from the ban, and are instead limited to 20 people.
On 24 November the U.K. transport secretary announced that travelers arriving in England from countries excluded from the travel corridor list will be allowed to shorten the duration of self-quarantine by obtaining negative results on a COVID-19 test taken after five days of quarantining. Those arriving in England as of 15 December may opt to take the test from private companies, which typically provide results in 24 to 48 hours, and end quarantine if results turn out to be negative. Meanwhile, officials are set to introduce a tightened three-tier system of coronavirus-related restrictions in England after the ongoing nationwide lockdown expires on 2 December. The most stringent restrictions will be imposed in areas under Tier 3 (very high alert), whereas the least stringent restrictions will be imposed in areas under Tier 1 (medium alert). Additional information regarding the upcoming restrictions corresponding to tier levels are available here, and details regarding which areas will be placed under what tiers are expected to be released on 26 November.
Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November 2020, Saudi authorities confirmed that Houthi rebels in Yemen were responsible for a missile attack that struck a Saudi Aramco distribution facility located north of the city of Jeddah earlier in the day at approximately 0400 local time (0100 UTC). The attack ignited a fuel tank at the facility. Authorities stated that firefighters managed to contain and extinguish the fire, and that there were no casualties. Officials for the company reported that the attack destroyed approximately 10% of the fuel stored at the site and that one of the facility’s 13 tanks is currently unusable. In response to the attack, Saudi officials launched a retaliatory strike against Houthi military supply lines and vehicles east of the Yemeni city of Sana’a.
Analyst Comment: The attack is similar to previous Houthi attacks targeting Saudi oil and energy infrastructure, but this is the first time the Houthis have successfully targeted a facility in the vicinity of Jeddah. Attacks more commonly affect locations near the border with Yemen.
Eritrea (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Asmara issued a Security Alert warning residents in the city to stay indoors, which reads in part as follows:
“Event: The Embassy received reports today that neighborhood wardens in some areas of Asmara, at the instruction of Eritrean government officials, have advised residents to remain indoors this evening. All U.S. Citizens in Asmara are advised to continue to exercise caution, remain in their homes, and conduct only essential travel until further notice.”
Analyst Comment: Officials did not specify whether the Security Alert was connected to the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, which borders Eritrea. On 14 November the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) launched several missiles at Asmara in retaliation for Eritrea’s alleged involvement and provision of assistance to the Ethiopian central government.
Poland (Security threat level – 2): On 24 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Warsaw, Krakow, and other cities throughout Poland
“Event: Ongoing mass demonstrations organized by several groups are occurring throughout Poland. On November 25, throughout Poland, taxi drivers will demonstrate to protest being excluded from government financial assistance. On November 28, in downtown Warsaw, an All of Poland Women’s Strike will take place to protest recent government changes in policy. Protests may continue in the following days. There have been incidents of physical altercations at previous, recent demonstrations. Expect heavy traffic congestion as well as road closures and parking difficulties.”
The full text of the alert is available here.