ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Canada (Security threat level – 2) : On 15 September 2021, the premier of Alberta declared a province-wide state of public health emergency, citing a fourth wave of COVID-19, and instituted new restrictions on businesses and gatherings in order to curb the spread of the disease and subsequent hospitalizations. As of 16 September, private indoor gatherings for fully vaccinated individuals are limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households; unvaccinated individuals 12 years of age and older are prohibited from attending private gatherings. All outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people. The province will now be under a mandatory work-from-home order, except for individuals whose jobs require them to be physically present at a worksite. The new restrictions were enacted as officials worry the province may run out of intensive care unit beds and medical staff to care for COVID-19 patients within the next 10 days. The province currently has more than 18,000 active COVID-19 cases — the highest number among provinces in Canada — and nearly 880 patients are hospitalized, including 218 in intensive care units.
Additionally, beginning on 20 September, restaurants will be required to either adopt the province’s “Restrictions Exemption Program” or forgo indoor dining services. The program requires people over the age of 12 to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours old in order to enter nonessential businesses or attend public events. Businesses that adopt the program may operate without restrictions, provided they prevent non-vaccinated individuals or those without a negative COVID-19 test from entering their premises. Meanwhile, indoor wedding and funeral ceremonies will be limited to 50 attendees or 50% of maximum occupancy, whichever is fewer. Retail shops, entertainment and recreation facilities — including casinos, conference halls, libraries, nightclubs and rental spaces — will be limited to one third of maximum occupancy.
Further information as outlined by the provincial government is available here.
El Salvador (Security threat level – 4): On 15 September 2021, thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in Morazán Plaza in the historic district of the capital San Salvador in the largest demonstration to take place since President Nayib Bukele took office in 2019. While most demonstrators remained peaceful, a contingent of hooded individuals burned a state-run ATM for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The individuals also set fire to a motorcycle and erected barricades of burning tires. The protesters called for an end to policies related to the 7 September launch of the cryptocurrency as legal tender, among other grievances. In response, the government outlined a plan to introduce economic reforms, which it claims will boost El Salvador’s economic output by 9% by the end of 2021.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 16 September 2021, Benito Juárez International Airport (MMMX/MEX), located in the capital Mexico City, will suspend flights for five hours for a military air parade celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day. The airport will suspend all flights from 0900 to 1400 local time (1400 to 1900 UTC). The closure of the airport is an annual occurrence in conjunction with Independence Day festivities.
Panama (Security threat level – 3): On 14 September 2021, the health minister announced the cancellation of coronavirus-related curfews currently in effect in the regions of Bocas del Toro and Darién and the indigenous regions of Guna Yala and Ngäbe Buglé, beginning on 20 September. The curfew will also be lifted in the districts of Boquerón and Gualaca, located in Chiriquí province, and in the districts of Atalaya, Calobre, Cañazas, La Mesa and San Francisco in Veraguas province. However, a 0100 to 0400 local time (0600 to 0900 UTC) nightly curfew will remain in effect for the provinces of Colón, Panama Metro, Panama East, Panama North, San Miguelito and Panama West.
China (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0430 local time on 16 September 2021 (2030 UTC on 15 September), a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck approximately 50 km (30 mi) west-southwest of the Yongchuan district in the southwestern Sichuan province –located about 155 km west of the city of Chongqing — according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake struck at a shallow depth of 10 km. Local officials stated that about 62,000 homes and businesses in the region were without electricity following the tremor. There have been reports of significant damage to buildings. At least 35 residences collapsed, including several homes in Caoba village of Fuji Township, located about 35 km south of the epicenter of the quake. Officials have relocated about 10,000 people to emergency shelters. At least three people were killed due to the quake and 88 others were reportedly injured. Authorities have deployed approximately 4,000 rescue workers to the area and initiated a level-II disaster alert, the second highest on a four-tier emergency response system.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1800 local time (0900 UTC) on 16 September 2021, Tropical Storm Chanthu was located approximately 460 km (285 mi) west-southwest of the city of Sasebo and was moving north-northeast at 13 kph (8 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Chanthu was generating maximum sustained winds of 102 kph, with gusts of up to 130 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to make landfall in northern Kyushu Island on 17 September. Chanthu is then forecast to continue in a northeastern direction through southern and eastern Japan and enter the Pacific Ocean by 19 September. Authorities have warned of heavy rainfall of between 100 and 300 mm (4 and 12 in) and possible landslides in affected areas.
Austria (Security threat level – 2): On 15 September 2021, authorities in Austria enacted additional coronavirus-related restrictions in response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases. Antigen test results are now only valid for 24 hours instead of 48 hours as proof of testing negative for COVID-19. Gatherings of 25 people or more are only permitted if attendees can demonstrate either proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test. A hospital-grade FFP2 face mask is required for individuals on public transport and in essential retail shops. Those who have not been vaccinated must wear an FFP2 mask in nonessential stores, and also in restaurants and cultural facilities such as museums and libraries.
Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 15 September 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Melbourne issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Consulate General has received reports of a planned protest scheduled in the Central Business District (CBD) of Melbourne for Saturday, September 18, 2021. The protest is expected to begin at approximately 12:00 p.m., and progress from Flagstaff Gardens to Spring Street.
“The protest is reportedly in opposition to the continuing lockdown. Previous protests included several thousand people and occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries and police action. A robust police presence is expected throughout Melbourne to prevent the intended protestors from gathering as a group. Therefore, it is likely that enforcement of the 5km rule and Victoria’s “Five Reasons for Leaving Home” will occur throughout the city. For more information, please see https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus. ”
Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 15 September 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa issued a Demonstration Alert regarding protests on 15 and 17 September, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Masina Commune, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
“Event: There are reports of possible demonstration activity in Kinshasa for Wednesday (September 15) and Friday (September 17). This activity may include a march from the Masina commune to the Palais du People.”
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 15 September 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests on 17 September, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Maison de la Presse
“Event: On September 17 at 2:00 p.m., the Popular Youth Front of Mali and allies are calling for a demonstration at Maison de la Presse to demand France’s departure from Mali and to denounce the United States for blocking the sale of an airplane. The demonstration has not been approved by local authorities.
“Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire.”
Namibia (Security threat level – 2): On 16 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Namibia, which reads in part as follows: “Public health measures are in place which must be adhered to at all times. The measures are in force until midnight on 15 October:
“Enforcement of public health measures will be undertaken by police and law enforcement personnel. You should comply with any instructions given.”