Worldview Security Update – August 14, 2020
14-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 August 2020, authorities extended mandatory lockdown measures for the following seven areas of the capital Bogotá from 16-31 August: Antonio Nariño, Candelaria, Chapinero, Puente Aranda, Santafé Teusaquillo and Usaquén. During the lockdown period, one person per household is allowed to leave their residence for groceries and medication, nonessential businesses are closed, and a nightly curfew is in effect from 2000-0500 local time (0100-1000 UTC).

Cuba / United States (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): On 13 August 2020, the U.S. government banned charter flights between the U.S. and Cuba. According to the U.S. secretary of state, exemptions are in place for “authorized public charter flights to and from Havana and other authorized private charter flights for emergency medical purposes, search and rescue, and other travel deemed in the interest of the United States.” The ban is meant to increase pressure on the Cuban government to change select domestic and foreign policies. The U.S. government banned regularly scheduled flights to all Cuban cities — except Havana — in October 2019 and mandated in May 2020 that only 3,600 charter flights be allowed to Cuba per year.

United States (Security threat level – 2): Thousands of demonstrators plan to march on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Illinois, on 15 August 2020 to protest police brutality. The march — which organizers expect will draw about 3,000 participants — is scheduled to begin at 1200 local time (1700 UTC) at Robert Taylor Park, located in the city’s South Side, and enter the northbound lanes of the highway using the 47th street ramp. Protesters then plan to leave the highway at an exit designated by the Illinois State Police. Multiple activist groups, including Tikkun Chai Inter-National and Chicago Activist Coalition for Justice, are organizing the march as part of the Black Lives Matter protest movement, which intensified following the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late May. Violence is an ever-present concern during protest gatherings in general, and the gatherings organized in major U.S. cities to protest police brutality are especially prone to turn violent. The situation in Chicago remains tense following a recent episode of unrest in the downtown area early on 10 August, during which individuals vandalized businesses and looted luxury stores in the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping district.

ASIA

South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 14 August 2020, approximately 28,000 physicians affiliated with the Korea Medical Association (KMA), including 20,000 in the capital Seoul, participated in a nationwide labor strike to protest the government’s plan to vastly increase the number of medical students in South Korea over the next 10 years. Staff members of at least 10,584 medical facilities participated in the walkout. Despite reported disruptions at some smaller clinics, emergency medical services continued to operate during the strike.

AUSTRALASIA

New Zealand / South Korea (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): On 14 August 2020, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended the Level 3 lockdown of Auckland and Level 2 nationwide lockdown until at least 2359 local time (1159 UTC) on 26 August. The lockdowns were set to expire at 0000 local on 15 August before being extended. Under Level 3, residents are required to remain in their homes except to perform essential activities, and public venues such as gyms, libraries, markets and museums must close. In addition, residents are required to work from home unless unable to do so. Additional restrictions on movement and other health guidelines remain in place. Less restrictive measures under Level 2 will remain in place nationwide. Additional details regarding the COVID-19 alert system are available here .

In South Korea, Gov. Lee Jae-myung of Gyeonggi province — which surrounds, but does not include Seoul — issued an executive order on 14 August restricting public gatherings at all places of worship in the province due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The mandate prohibits gatherings outside of regular worship services, requires all attendees to wear face masks at all times and requires regular disinfection before and after religious services. The order will run for two weeks and comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province reached the highest level in four months, driven by recent outbreak clusters in Seoul. Health officials have indicated that more stringent social distancing measures may be implemented in the near term to curb the spread of new cases.

EUROPE

Europe: Beginning on 15 August 2020, face masks will be mandatory in areas of France’s Cote-d’Or department, and the order will remain in effect until at least 15 September. Face masks will be required for all individuals over 11 years of age in the town centers of Dijon and Semur-en-Auxois between 1000 and 0200 local time (0800-0000 UTC), as well as in markets in Chenôve, Dijon, Longvic, Talant and Quetigny. Violators of the mandate will be subject to a fine of 135 euros (160 U.S. dollars) for the first offense, and up to 1,500 euros for subsequent infractions. Individuals with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings are exempt but must provide a medical certificate to authorities.

On 14 August the Spanish health minister announced new countrywide restrictions to suppress the resurgence of the country’s COVID-19 infection rate. Nightclubs and other late-night venues will be closed, while bars and restaurants must close by 0100 local time (2300 UTC) daily. Smoking in all public spaces, where a physical distance of 1.5 m (5 ft) cannot be maintained, is banned. The minister also urged against gatherings of more than 10 people. The measures were enacted after health officials recorded a total of 8,000 COVID-19 cases since 12 August, with 2,935 cases and 26 fatalities over the past 24 hours.

Beginning at 0400 local time (0300 UTC) on 15 August, the U.K. government will require individuals arriving from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, as well as the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Turks and Caicos, to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry. Officials noted that the entry requirement was imposed after the COVID-19 infection rate in those countries exceeded 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period — the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all nonessential travel to the aforementioned countries.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Kenya / Namibia / Zambia (Security threat levels – 4 / 2 / 3): On 14 August 2020, doctors in Kenya’s Nairobi County issued a notice for a strike scheduled to begin on 21 August. In the notice to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, members of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) demanded comprehensive National Hospital Insurance Fund access — which has reportedly not been active since early July — and six months of salary arrears for specialist work. Furthermore, the KMPDU called for the creation of COVID-19 isolation centers dedicated to health care workers to protect the families of those employees.

In Namibia, the government suspended all domestic flights through at least 30 August. Additionally, all existing regional and international flight suspensions were extended through at least 20 September and 30 September, respectively. The suspension was in line with Stage 3 coronavirus-related restrictions, which the country reverted to on 12 August following an increase in COVID-19 cases. Namibia’s land borders remain closed.

In Zambia, as of 13 August officials have amended entry requirements for arriving travelers and resumed issuing business and tourist visas. In addition to the current requirement that inbound travelers provide proof of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 14 days prior to their travel date, passengers will be subject to temperature screenings and other health checks on arrival. Those with a body temperature greater than or equal to 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) will be tested for COVID-19, and may be required to quarantine at a government-designated facility until the test results are available. Travelers who test positive will remain in a government isolation center until they test negative. All passengers will also be required to complete a health questionnaire issued by their air carrier en route to Zambia and submit it to the authorities on arrival. Returning citizens and residents are required to self-isolate for 14 days at their residence; however, foreign nationals — with negative results from a COVID-19 test — will not be required to do so.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 12 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding changes to city-level quarantine measures, including the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions in the capital Santiago. The alert reads in part as follows:

"As of August 12, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 378,168 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on August 12: 

  • The introduction of quarantines for the following comunas (begins Monday, August 17 at 5:00 am): San Vicente de Tagua Tagua (VI Region)
  • The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of the “Paso a Paso” plan. This includes the lifting of quarantine from Monday-Friday (begins Monday, August 17 at 5:00 am): Santiago Centro (RM), Estación Central (RM)

"For a full list of measures implemented by the Chilean government, please visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 . This webpage is updated daily, and includes a list of all comunas currently in quarantine."

Iran (Security threat level – 3): On 13 August 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration issued a Maritime Alert regarding an ongoing threat to commercial vessels from Iranian actors in the Persian Gulf region. The alert reads as follows:

“Geographic Area: Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean

"The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) monitored the boarding of the Liberian flagged M/T WILA by Iranian forces in international waters in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz on August 12, 2020. Although the vessel and crew have been released, further Iranian actions against petroleum tankers cannot be discounted. U.S. commercial vessels operating in this area should review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2020-011 [available here ] for amplifying information and points of contact. Any maritime industry questions regarding this alert should be directed to GMCC@uscg.mil. This Alert will automatically expire on August 20, 2020. For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://www.marad.dot.gov/MSCI .”

Peru (Security threat level – 3): On 13 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Lima issued an alert regarding the expansion of curfew and quarantine restrictions throughout the country, which reads in part as follows:

“On August 12, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra signed a supreme decree  [in Spanish] expanding quarantine measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Peru. Quarantine measures are now in effect in 19 regions. Please refer to the section below for a complete list of departments and provinces subject to quarantine measures. The mandatory nightly curfew from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM [0300 to 0900 UTC] remains in effect nationwide Monday through Saturday for non-quarantine areas. The nightly curfew for quarantine areas noted below is from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM [0100 to 0900 UTC] Monday through Saturday. The all-day Sunday curfew will resume throughout the entire country beginning this Sunday, August 16. Individuals within quarantine areas may leave their residence during non-curfew hours to purchase food, pharmaceutical items, or visit the bank. Shopping is limited to only one person per family. During curfew hours, only essential service providers and those in need of medical attention may leave their residences.

“Quarantine Areas (as of August 12, 2020): Amazonas (Bagua, Condorcanqui, and Utcubamba); Ancash (Santa, Casma, and Huaraz); Apurimac (Abancay and Andaguaylas); Arequipa (entire region); Ayacucho (Huamanga and Huanta); Cajamarca (Cajamarca, Jaen, and San Ignacio); Cusco (Cusco, Anta, Canchis, Espinar, La Convencion, and Quispicanchis); Huancavelica (Huancavelica, Angaraes, and Tayacaja); Huanuco (entire region); Ica (entire region); Junin (entire region); La Libertad (Viru, Pacasmayo, Chepen, and Ascope); Lima (Barranca, Canete, Huaura, and Huaral); Madre de Dios (entire region); Moquegua (Mariscal Nieto and Ilo); Pasco (Pasco); Puno (Puno and San Roman); San Martin (entire region); and Tacna (Tacna).”

The full text of the alert is available here .