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November 5, 2021


Brazil (Security threat level – 3): As of 5 November 2021, local officials across Brazil are continuing to ease coronavirus-related face mask mandates as local infection and death rates drop to their lowest levels since April 2020. On 3 November officials in the capital Brasília lifted mask mandates for the district. The state government of Pernambuco, located in Brazil’s northeast, will ease its face mask mandate in public spaces as of 17 November. Similarly, the city of Rio de Janeiro on 27 October ended its mandate that people wear face masks in open-air public spaces, although face masks are still required on public transportation and in closed venues. Finally, authorities in São Paulo state will stop requiring individuals to use face masks in open spaces as of 1 December.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 4 November 2021, a gunbattle occurred on Bahía Petempich beach in the town of Puerto Morelos, located approximately 30 km (18 mi) south of central Cancún. Approximately 15 gunmen arrived by boat and then shot and killed two suspected rival drug dealers who had claimed the area as their territory, according to the head prosecutor of Quintana Roo state. One victim fled into a nearby hotel before succumbing to his injuries, while the other died on the beach. The gunmen then fled the scene by boat. The shooting prompted hotel staff at the nearby upscale Hyatt Ziva Riviera Resort and Azul Beach Resort to instruct guests to shelter in place. Local media reported that one individual at a hotel was treated for minor injuries sustained after being hit in the head with a firearm.

Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): As of 5 November 2021, at least 15 opposition organizations have called for residents not to vote in the 7 November general elections, and instead participate in anti-government marches. President Daniel Ortega, whose administration has jailed at least 39 opposition presidential candidates, political leaders and newspaper editors in recent months, is running for his fourth consecutive term as president. The Organization of American States and other international entities have expressed concerns that the elections will not be fair. Travelers in Nicaragua should maintain a low profile and avoid marches and crowds, as security personnel have used heavy-handed tactics to disperse previous anti-government demonstrations.


China (Security threat level – 3): On 5 November 2021, authorities issued a yellow air pollution alert, the second lowest level on a four-tier scale, due to heavy smog throughout the capital Beijing. Officials also closed large stretches of major highways leading to cities such as Harbin and Tianjin and the eastern city of Shanghai due to poor visibility. In some areas visibility was reduced to less than 200 m (655 ft). Authorities attribute the pollution to the recent increase in coal production to meet energy needs, and also to weak winds, which would typically blow smog out of the city. They expect the poor air quality to persist until 6 November when a cold front from Russia’s Siberian region is forecast to pass over Beijing.


Iraq (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 1515 local time (1215 UTC) on 5 November 2021, security personnel fired live ammunition into the air in an attempt to disperse demonstrators near the Green Zone in the capital, Baghdad. The shooting occurred as demonstrators threw stones and glass bottles at security forces. Several demonstrators were injured, although specific details remain unknown. The protesters had gathered in opposition to the October parliamentary election results, which several pro-Shiite militia groups have claimed are fraudulent.


Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 5 November 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa issued a Security Alert regarding continued unrest in Bukavu, which reads in part as follows: “The city of Bukavu remains locked down. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa has cancelled planned travel to Bukavu out of an abundance of caution.”