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September 29, 2021


Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 28 September 2021, police officers used tear gas and smoke bombs in an attempt to disperse hundreds of abortion rights protesters who had gathered in the main Zócalo square near the National Palace in the capital Mexico City. Demonstrators banged on metal barriers surrounding the National Palace and threw projectiles at nearby security personnel. At least 37 people suffered injuries, including 27 police officers; four of the officers were hospitalized with serious injuries. Authorities arrested several individuals. Additionally, small groups of counterdemonstrators clashed with the demonstrators near the city center. The demonstration temporarily disrupted vehicular traffic and metro services at the Allende Station in downtown Mexico City.


Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1800 local time (0900 UTC) on 29 September 2021, Typhoon Mindulle was located approximately 600 km (370 mi) west of Iwo To (Iwo Jima) and was moving north at 15 kph (9 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Mindulle was generating maximum sustained winds of 213 kph, with gusts of up to 260 kph. The storm is currently not forecast to make landfall; however, it is expected to pass near the capital Tokyo and generate significant rainfall throughout the Kanto region — which includes Tokyo — from 30 September to 1 October. Authorities have also warned of potential flash flooding and landslides in areas along the storm’s path.


Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 29 September 2021, police officers used tear gas in an attempt to disperse a violent demonstration on the premises of a vocational high school in the Stavroupoli suburb of the northern city of Thessaloniki. Police officers reportedly intervened after youths supported by a far-right group entered the school and attacked rival groups of left-wing students with Molotov cocktails, rocks and other projectiles. At least two individuals were injured. Police officers arrested five people following the violence. The left-wing university students had organized the demonstration against the government’s educational reforms as well as to denounce the 27 September attacks on their comrades near the school. The youth wing of the far-right Golden Dawn group had expressed support for the counterdemonstration.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): Overnight on 28-29 September 2021, lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma reached the Atlantic Ocean after its initial eruption on 19 September. Photographs and videos showed tall clouds of white steam billowing up from the Playa Nueva area as the lava made contact with the water. Officials warn that the lava flowing into the sea could trigger explosions and clouds of toxic gases, and the Canary Islands’ emergency service urged people outdoors to immediately find a safe place to shelter. No injuries have been reported. Additionally, lava continues to flow down the volcano’s western flank; lava and fires have destroyed approximately 700 buildings as well as the island’s banana plantations. La Palma Airport (GCLA/SPC), located near the city of Santa Cruz, remains operational, although multiple airlines have suspended their flights to and from the island of La Palma. Forecasts suggest that the volcanic eruptions on La Palma could last until December.


Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 28 September 2021, a gunbattle broke out between officers of the Sudanese General Intelligence Agency (GIA) and suspected Islamist militants during a raid in the Gabra neighborhood of the capital Khartoum. According to the GIA, the assailants opened fire on intelligence officers who conducted the operation at a militant hideout in the capital. Five officers were killed and another officer was wounded in the ensuing shootout. Authorities arrested 11 suspects and were pursuing four others who fled the scene. The detainees are foreign nationals but their nationalities have not been disclosed as yet. The government accused militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group of staging the attack; however, a little-known group called the Movement for Preaching and Combat, which denies having any connection to IS, claimed responsibility for killing the GIA officers.


Azerbaijan (Security threat level – 4): On 28 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Azerbaijan, which reads in part as follows: “There are currently no restrictions on travel around Azerbaijan. Most businesses and services are open. Almost all public places are only accessible for those with a ‘COVID-19 Passport’ showing proof of vaccination or immunity. Supermarkets and chemists are exempt. British nationals vaccinated through the Azerbaijani vaccination programme can access a ‘COVID-19 Passport’ via the local medical authorities (TABIB). Travellers to Azerbaijan, who have a ‘COVID-19 passport’ issued from their country of residence, can also present this either in a digital format, or as a printed certificate, to gain access to public places. The wearing of masks outdoors is not mandatory. The wearing of masks indoors remains mandatory. Failure to follow mask-wearing rules could incur a 100 AZN fine.”

Taiwan (Security threat level – 1): On 29 September 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has announced that the COVID-19 Level 2 alert will be extended across Taiwan until 4 October 2021. In line with the CECC’s general guidelines, the local authorities have advised that further localised epidemic prevention measures may be introduced in certain cities or counties depending on the COVID-19 situation in each location.

“A Level 2 alert means the following measures are now in place:

  • Facemasks must be worn at all times outdoors, except when consuming food and beverages
  • Contact tracing procedures must be completed when entering restaurants, shops and some public places
  • Social distancing must be maintained in public areas
  • Indoor gatherings limited to 80 people, outdoor gatherings limited to 300 people
  • Restaurants will permitted to offer dine-in services provided they adhere to Ministry of Health and Welfare regulations
  • Public eating areas in supermarkets, shopping malls and convenience stores are permitted to open
  • Wedding banquets, public funerals and indoor religious activities are now permitted

“Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Centre (CECC) has announced that from 5 October 2021, there will be a gradual easing of COVID-19 prevention and control measures in Taiwan.

“You should refer to the Taiwan’s Centres for Diseases Control website for further information on the epidemic prevention measures in your area.”