ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1600 local time (2200 UTC) on 25 September 2021, a passenger train carrying about 141 passengers and 16 crew members derailed in the north-central part of the U.S. state of Montana. Eight of the train’s 10 passenger carriages went off the tracks during the derailment, which occurred near the rural town of Joplin — located approximately 140 mi (250 km) northeast of the state capital Helena. At least three passengers were killed in the accident and seven others were hospitalized with injuries. The Empire Builder train, operated by Amtrak, was en route to the city of Chicago from Seattle, Washington. Amtrak is collaborating with local officials, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration to determine the cause of the derailment.
France (Security threat level – 3): On 25 September 2021, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the capital Paris and other cities nationwide for an 11th consecutive weekend to protest the mandatory coronavirus health pass. According to the Ministry of the Interior, approximately 63,700 people participated in the countrywide demonstrations. In Paris, approximately 7,200 demonstrators marched from the Gare de Lyon in the 12th arrondissement to the Sacré Coeur in the 18th arrondissement. There were there no reports of violence.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0920 local time (0620 UTC) on 27 September 2021, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck nearly 14 km (9 mi) southeast of the city of Heraklion — located on the island of Crete — at a depth of 8.7 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Strong shaking was felt in Heraklion while moderate shaking was felt in Ierápetra, which is located more than 50 km away from the epicenter. Multiple aftershocks followed the initial quake. There have been reports of significant damage to mostly older buildings situated in villages close to the epicenter. Greek officials have deployed emergency personnel to the affected areas and are setting up a temporary shelter in the town of Arkalochori to accommodate approximately 2,500 displaced people. At least one person was killed in Arkalochori, and about a dozen others suffered injuries due to the tremor.
Spain (Security threat level – 3): At 1030 local time (0930 UTC) on 27 September 2021, the Cumbre Vieja volcano — located on the Spanish island of La Palma — resumed activity, releasing plumes of smoke and ash and columns of gas after a brief pause of magma movement earlier in the morning. An increase in seismic activity has been reported near the volcano, with 17 minor earthquakes detected to the north of the Fuencaliente municipality, which is located south of the volcano. The lava flows have destroyed more than 200 hectares (500 acres) of land and approximately 500-600 buildings, while forcing the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people since it initially erupted on 19 September. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported so far.
La Palma Airport (GCLA/SPC), located in the city of Santa Cruz, reopened on 26 September after teams cleared ash off the runway, although many flights remain canceled. The facility was completely shut down on 25 September due to heavy ashfall. Binter, the Canary Island airline, announced that scheduled flights will resume starting at 1300 local time on 27 September. Hundreds of tourists have already been ferried to the nearby island of Tenerife.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 27 September 2021, hundreds of vehicles lined up at gas stations in the U.K. for a fourth consecutive day amid a shortage of petroleum products. The Petrol Retailers Association on 26 September stated that approximately two-thirds of its nearly 5,500 members had no fuel, which has led to further panic-buying. Government officials maintain that there is no fuel shortage and attribute the issue to disruptions in fuel deliveries, largely due to a lack of tanker drivers. The U.K. government has temporarily suspended competition law in an effort to permit oil companies to deliver fuel to the most-affected areas.
Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 24 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Argentina, which reads in part as follows: “From 24 September 2021, Argentine nationals and residents of Argentina will not need to quarantine after arrival in Argentina if they are fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19. They must have received a complete course of a vaccine at least 14 days before arrival in Argentina. They must be able to prove full vaccination status via the App Mi Argentina, or via a document from a national or state-level public health body if vaccinated abroad. They must be prepared to show this document when required by the authorities and also take a COVID-19 test on arrival. If the test is negative, they will have to take a further test between the 5th and 7th day post arrival in Argentina. They must comply with preventive measures for 10 days, starting from the time of the negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travelling. During this time, arrivals are not allowed to attend large gatherings or use public transport, unless given express permission to do so. These rules also apply to non-resident foreign nationals who are travelling for business, commercial or sporting purposes, for whom the Argentine Migrations Office has given permission to enter the country.
“Argentine nationals and residents of Argentina who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, including groups of people for whom there is no vaccine currently approved, will need to self-isolate for 7 days, take a COVID-19 test on arrival, and take a further test on the 7th day after arrival to end quarantine. The local authority will determine whether they must isolate at home or at a designated quarantine hotel.
“Regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, if their test on arrival is positive, they will have to take a second test to determine the strain carried. Individuals must cover the costs of all tests and of managed quarantine.
“All non-resident foreign nationals with authorisation from the Argentine Migrations Office to enter the country must have medical insurance with comprehensive cover for coronavirus, including hospitalisation and the costs of self-isolation if required.”
Cuba (Security threat level – 2): On 24 September 2021, , the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Cuba, which reads in part as follows: “From Friday 24 September 2021, a [coronavirus-related] curfew is in place in Havana between 10.30pm to 5am which applies to any movement of vehicles and persons. The only permitted exceptions are for the transport of essential workers and supplies, and certain other categories with official permission.”
Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 25 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Pakistan, which reads in part as follows: “Government guidelines state that from 1 October, passengers who are aged 17 and above will require full vaccination against Covid-19 in order to undertake both inbound flights to, and outbound flights from Pakistan.”