Worldview Security Update – August 13, 2020
13-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Peru / Venezuela (Security threat levels – 3 / 5): On 12 August 2020, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra signed a decree implementing further restrictions due to a rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19. The order bans all social gatherings and reinstates mandatory nationwide lockdowns on Sundays until 31 August.

In Venezuela, on 12 August authorities extended the current suspension of all inbound and outbound international commercial passenger flights until at least 12 September. The measure follows the 9 August extension of the nationwide state of emergency through at least 9 September. The suspension does not apply to commercial cargo, humanitarian, medical or repatriation flights, which remain exempt from the restrictions. 

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): On 12 August 2020, authorities in Bengaluru (Bangalore), the state capital of Karnataka, extended the current ban on gatherings of more than three people — known as Section 144 — in the DJ Halli and KG Halli neighborhoods of the Kaval Byrasandra area of the city until at least 0600 local time (0030 UTC) on 15 August. Violent protests took place in these areas on 11 August, during which police officers deployed live ammunition, tear gas and baton charges to disperse several thousand demonstrators after they set fire to vehicles outside the DJ Halli police station and vandalized a legislator’s home. At least three people were killed in the clashes and 60 police officers were injured; authorities arrested 145 people.

South Korea (Security threat level – 2): According to reports on 13 August 2020, doctors affiliated with the Korea Medical Association (KMA), which has approximately 130,000 physicians as members, plan to stage a one-day walkout on 14 August in opposition to government plans to increase the number of medical students in the country over a 10-year period. During the strike, 8,365 out of 33,836 medical facilities nationwide will be closed. However, emergency medical services and intensive care units will remain operational.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia / New Zealand / Malaysia (Security threat levels – 2 / 1 / 3): On 13 August 2020, Air New Zealand announced a hold on new flight bookings to the Australian cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney until at least 24 October, following the Australian government’s extension of the limit on number of arriving travelers until the same date. At present, no more than 25 passengers per flight are permitted to enter Brisbane, while 40 is the limit for Sydney; no international flights are permitted into Melbourne. 

In Malaysia, as of 12 August face masks are mandatory nationwide in all crowded public spaces, including aboard public transportation and inside businesses. Violators of the order may be fined up to 1,000 Malaysian ringgit (nearly 240 U.S. dollars). Furthermore, beginning on 17 August all travelers allowed to enter the country must complete an application on the MYEntry online portal, which can be found here .

EUROPE

Europe: As of 13 August 2020, governments in Europe continue to implement or extend restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Belgium, a mandatory face mask order is in effect in the capital Brussels for individuals 12 years of age and older. Similarly, a face mask requirement will go into effect in the French city of Calais on 15 August. In Greece, aviation authorities extended flight restrictions through 31 August. In Italy, a court mandated that travelers from certain countries undergo a COVID-19 test upon arrival. In the U.K., officials in the Scottish city of Aberdeen extended existing restrictions through 19 August. Additional details are available below. 

In Belgium’s Brussels-Capital region, as of 12 August all residents 12 years of age and older must wear a face mask in public areas. Exemptions are in place for those participating in strenuous exercise or work activities. Individuals who cannot wear masks for medical reasons must instead wear a plastic face shield.

In France, on 13 August officials in the city of Calais announced that face masks will be compulsory in several outdoor public spaces from 15 August until further notice. The affected areas include several streets — such as the rue de la Mer and the rue Royale — as well as public squares and markets, including the Place d’Armes. Officials are urging residents to wear face masks in public parks, but doing so is not mandatory.

In Greece, the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority on 12 August extended current flight restrictions until at least 31 August. Under the extension, all travelers arriving from Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Malta, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are required to present negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival in Greece. In addition, flights between Greece and Turkey remain suspended, while flights from Albania and North Macedonia must operate through Athens International Airport (LGAV/ATH). The entry ban for non-EU citizens remains in place except for citizens and residents of Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the UAE.

In Italy, on 12 August a court ruled that travelers from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Italy, and travelers who visited or transited Colombia within 14 days prior to traveling to Italy will be prohibited from entry. At present, entry into Italy is prohibited for travelers from at least 17 countries, and passengers eligible to enter may be subject to a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine on arrival. All travelers are required to complete a self-declaration form and provide it to their travel provider or to border police if requested. Additional information regarding entry requirements for Italy is available here .

In the U.K., on 12 August officials extended existing restrictions in the Scottish city of Aberdeen until at least 19 August. The restrictions were enacted on 5 August following the discovery of a COVID-19 cluster linked to the hospitality sector. Residents are asked not to travel more than 8 km (5 mi) from their homes, except for essential purposes such as traveling to work or school. Individuals are also advised not to travel into the city; pubs and restaurants will remain shut down. Further details regarding the restrictions outlined by the Scottish government — which are subject to review on 19 August — are available here . Authorities have identified at least 177 COVID-19 cases linked to the cluster. Additionally, an investigation into a possible COVID-19 cluster in the Stonehaven-Portlethen area is underway; however, there have been no known links to Aberdeen. 

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Algeria / Iraq / Lebanon (Security threat levels – 4 / 5 / 4): On 11 August 2020, the Algerian government lifted its ban on inter-regional travel and shortened the duration of nightly curfew for the 29 wilayas (provinces) — including the capital Algiers. The curfew now runs from 2300 to 0600 local time (2200 to 0500 UTC); the previous hours were from 2000 to 0500 local time. In addition, the restrictions on inter-regional travel via public and private transportation have been lifted except on Fridays and Saturdays. Local authorities and security personnel have been directed to strictly enforce all coronavirus-related rules and health mandates; violators are subject to fines up to 100,000 Algerian dinar (about 780 U.S. dollars) and six months in prison.

In Iraq, new entry and exit requirements for all arriving and departing passengers went into effect on 13 August until further notice. All travelers must obtain negative results from a RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours prior to their travel date in order to board the flight. Arriving passengers continue to be required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine on entry.

In Lebanon, on 13 August the government extended Beirut’s existing state of emergency for an additional month. According to the health minister, a total of four hospitals in Beirut are out of service due to the recent explosion in the port area, while the World Health Organization (WHO) found that 50% of health care facilities in the city are completely “non-functional” and that others are operating well below capacity. The minister further stated that the government will begin isolating neighborhoods and reinstating stay-at-home measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. He urged citizens to wear face masks, maintain social distancing, and avoid gatherings.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): As of 13 August 2020, Mozambique’s armed forces are conducting an operation to regain control of the Mocimboa da Praia port — located in the northern Cabo Delgado province — from Islamic State (IS)-linked militants, while the Tanzanian government has stated that it will launch an offensive operation against the militants along its border with northern Mozambique. IS-linked militants seized control of the major port town during the evening of 11 August after government troops fighting the militants retreated due to a low supply of munitions. The militants launched the initial attack overnight on 5-6 August; security forces stationed in the town and helicopter gunships operated by a South African private security firm had parried the takeover until 11 August. Additionally, IS claimed to have taken over two military bases, located in the vicinity of Mocimboa da Praia, and killed an unspecified number of soldiers. IS stated that its militants obtained weapons and ammunition from the two barracks. Such attacks began in 2017 and have increased in frequency in the province in recent months. IS-affiliated groups frequently perpetrate these attacks, including one that occurred in June 2020 for which the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) claimed responsibility.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Côte d’Ivoire (Security threat level – 4): On 13 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding ongoing political protests in the country, which reads in part as follows:

“There have been political protests in Abidjan and other areas across the country since 8 August ahead of the October 31 Presidential election. Political protests also took place in Abidjan in December 2019. Further protests are likely in the run up to the Presidential election, with the potential for violence. You should exercise caution and avoid large political rallies and gatherings, areas of demonstrations, and protests. In the event of unrest, monitor local media and follow instructions and announcements from the local authorities.”

“A reinforced police presence is likely to continue in Abidjan and nationally in the run up to the election.”

Gambia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for The Gambia, which reads in part as follows:  “To enter The Gambia, you will need to show a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before you travel. You must present a physical copy of the test results to Ministry of Health officials upon arrival. Breach of this regulation can result in a fine of up to 5000 Dalasi.” 

Nepal (Security threat level – 3): On 11 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu issued updated information regarding current coronavirus-related restrictions in effect, which reads in part as follows:

“Government Devolves Authority to Impose Local Lockdowns: On August 10 the Government of Nepal announced the decision to allow district and sub-district level officials to implement localized lockdowns. Although many restaurants and hotels are now open, some establishments, such as cinemas, salons, and spas are still closed. Trekking and mountaineering are also permitted, according to an earlier announcement. The start of long distant public transport has been postponed by two weeks from August 17 to August 31. On August 5, the government announced a re-imposition of the odd-even system of vehicle movement based on the last number of the vehicle’s license plate. (Note: This system is based on the Nepali calendar, but there is odd/even concurrence between the Nepali calendar and the Gregorian calendar at least through the end of August.)

“Lifting of Flight Suspension Deferred: The government announced August 10 that the suspension of international and domestic flight service would be extended to August 31, two weeks beyond the previously announced August 17 resumption of commercial service. Additional information may be available through the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal at http://caanepal.gov.np/ .”

Additional information is available here .

Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update regarding entry requirements for Tunisia, which reads in part as follows:

"Entry requirements into Tunisia vary depending on the prevalence of the epidemic in travellers’ country of residence. The Tunisian authorities have classified the UK as an “Orange” country.

"While the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential international travel for British nationals remains in place, Tunisian authorities permit travellers from the UK to enter Tunisia, on the condition that they abide by the following rules.

  • From the 15 August, if you wish to travel into Tunisia, you must take a PCR test (which detects the presence of the virus) 72 hours prior to your departure from the UK.
  • You must show evidence of your negative test result at the airport, and ensure that you arrive in Tunisia within 120 hours of the test being carried out.
  • Upon arrival in Tunisia you must self-isolate at your hotel or place of residence for 14 days.
  • If you wish to pay for an additional PCR test after seven days of self-isolation, you can do so at your own expense. If
  • the result of this second test is negative you will be permitted to end your quarantine early. Upon entry you must sign a declaration to confirm that you will abide by these rules."