Worldview Security Update – August 27, 2020
27-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Chile / Costa Rica / Jamaica (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 3): On 26 August 2020, authorities amended city-level quarantine measures across Chile. Due to a steady increase of COVID-19 infections in southern Chile, the communities of Concepción, Hualpén, Chiguayante and Talcahuano, located in the region of Biobío, and Linares in the region of Maule, will enter quarantine as of 2200 local time on 28 August (0200 UTC on 29 August). All quarantines remain in effect until further notice. Conversely, the following nine communities in the Santiago metropolitan region are set to exit quarantine restrictions as of 31 August: Calera de Tango, Cerrillos, El Monte, Huechuraba, La Florida, Macul, Maipú, Pedro Aguirre Cerda and Talagante.

Beginning on 1 September, U.S. travelers from Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York on commercial flights will be allowed to enter Costa Rica, as well as U.S. nationals from any state who are traveling via private flights. Additionally, private yachts will be allowed to dock in Costa Rica as of 1 September. Previously, only travelers from the EU, the Schengen Area, the U.K., Canada, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia were permitted to enter Costa Rica following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Travelers must complete an electronic epidemiological health pass form , as well as present proof of international traveler’s insurance and a negative result from a RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival.

As of 26 August, authorities in Jamaica have amended several coronavirus-related restrictions, including a nationwide curfew as well as entry requirements for citizens and foreign nationals. A nationwide curfew during 2100-0500 local time (1600-0000 UTC) is in effect, although the parishes of Clarendon, Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas, have an extended curfew during 1900-0500 local time. Gatherings of more than 20 people are prohibited and residents over 75 years of age are required to remain in their homes except in the event of an emergency. Face mask and social distancing orders are in effect in all public areas. Additional restrictions in the five aforementioned parishes prevent a number of businesses — including bars, markets, public parks and restaurants — from operating beyond 0800-2200 local time. Meanwhile, travelers to Jamaica are required to obtain authorization prior to scheduled travel dates; citizens and residents of Jamaica may obtain prior authorization from this website , while authorization for foreign travelers is available here . Travelers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the U.S. are required to demonstrate negative results on a RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 10 days prior of travel. All arrivals are subject to additional health screenings and an obligatory 14-day self-quarantine at their residence or accommodation.

United States (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 0100 local time (0600 UTC) on 27 August 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph) and higher gusts, near Cameron, Louisiana, which is located about 125 mi (200 km) east of Houston, Texas, and 200 mi west of New Orleans. Weather officials warned of “unsurvivable” storm surges from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana. The surge could penetrate as far as 40 miles inland from the coast and floodwaters may not drain for several days. As of last report, approximately 437,000 homes and businesses across Louisiana were without power, while more than 110,500 homes and businesses in eastern Texas were experiencing power outages. In downtown Lake Charles and nearby areas in Louisiana, a number of vehicles and buildings sustained damage. Thus far, there have been reports of at least one storm-related fatality in Louisiana.

As of 0700 local time on 27 August, Hurricane Laura has weakened into a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and higher gusts, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Laura was located approximately 20 miles north-northwest of Fort Polk, Louisiana, and was moving north at 15 mph. On its current forecast path, the storm will rapidly weaken as it moves across western Louisiana through 27 August, becoming a tropical storm by the evening hours. Laura will then pass over Arkansas on the night of 27-28 August and weaken into a tropical depression by the afternoon of 28 August as it moves east over the mid-Mississippi Valley. The storm will continue eastward through the mid-Atlantic states through 29 August before entering the Atlantic Ocean by the early hours of 30 August.

The storm is forecast to produce the following rainfall totals through 28 August: 6-12 in (150-300 mm), with isolated maximums of 18 inches, across parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi; and 5-10 inches, with isolated maximums of 15 inches, across parts of far-eastern Texas and western Louisiana. Widespread flash flooding, isolated river flooding and dangerous storm surges are likely to continue in these areas as well as along the Louisiana and eastern Texas coastlines. In addition, 2-4 inches of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 5 inches, are expected across the mid-Mississippi Valley, parts of the Lower Ohio Valley and Lower Tennessee Valley as well as the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic states through 29 August. Tornadoes are possible through the overnight hours of 27-28 August in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and western Mississippi. At present, a Storm Surge Warning as well as a Tropical Storm Warning are in effect for areas from High Island, Texas, to the entrance of the Mississippi River.

United States (Security threat level – 2): In the late hours of 26 August 2020, police officers deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators gathered in the Nicollet Mall shopping district of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Crowds of up to 500 people had converged on the area several hours earlier, and tensions escalated as some individuals vandalized and looted stores across a 10-block area in the city center. Transportation officials suspended all metro and light rail services until the morning of  27 August, and the mayor enacted an immediate citywide curfew — which expired at 0600 local time (1100 UTC) on 27 August — and requested the deployment of the Minnesota National Guard to the city. Authorities arrested at least eight people, including two for curfew violation. There were no reports of significant injuries or deaths.

The unrest began earlier in the day after a suspect sought by authorities died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Demonstrators accused police officers of shooting the suspect, who was wanted in connection with an earlier homicide in the Nicollet Mall area.

ASIA

Mongolia (Security threat level – 1): As of 26 August 2020, the Mongolian government has extended an existing suspension of all international air and rail transportation into and out of the country until at least 15 September. The suspension was set to expire on 31 August prior to the government’s extension. Only Mongolian nationals and permanent residents are permitted to enter the country. Arriving travelers must undergo a 21-day quarantine at a government-designated facility at their own expense followed by an additional 14-day self-quarantine at their residence.

North Korea / South Korea (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): As of 0900 UTC on 27 August 2020, Typhoon Bavi has weakened into a tropical storm and was located approximately 390 km (240 mi) north of Pyongyang, North Korea, and was moving north-northeast at 48 kph (30 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Bavi was generating maximum sustained winds of 74 kph, with gusts of up to 93 kph. On its current path, the storm is forecast to continue weakening as it moves north-northeast over the eastern portions of China’s Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

The storm made landfall in North Korea’s North Pyongan province early on 27 August as a typhoon and rapidly weakened as it moved inland. North Korean state media reportedly showed footage of damaged structures, broken utility poles, snapped trees and flooded roads in coastal areas of North and South Pyongan provinces. The storm also caused flooding and scattered structural damage in western portions of Gyeonggi and South Chungcheong provinces in South Korea. However, no casualties have been reported in either country.

EUROPE

France / Norway / Switzerland (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 2): On 27 August 2020, officials in Paris, France, announced that face masks will soon be mandatory in all public areas of the city, without providing a specific timeline. Currently face masks are mandatory aboard public transportation, in enclosed areas and some districts within the city.

Authorities in Norway are set to impose a 10-day quarantine period on travelers from Germany and Liechtenstein starting on 29 August, due to a rising number of COVID-19 infections in those countries. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that quarantines are obligatory for travelers from countries with more than 20 confirmed new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the past two weeks. Norway currently restricts travel from most European countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Poland and Switzerland.

In Switzerland, authorities have mandated that individuals wear face masks in all bars, restaurants and shops in the cantons of Fribourg (starting on 28 August) and Valais (starting on 31 August) until further notice as part of the ongoing effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. A similar face mask requirement went into effect on 27 August in the Zurich canton.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Jordan / Palestinian Territories (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): In Jordan, beginning at 2300 local time (2000 UTC) on 27 August 2020, lockdowns will go into effect in the cities of Amman and Zarqa until 0600 local time on 29 August due to increasing COVID-19 infection rates. During the lockdown period, residents may only leave their homes for emergencies. A lockdown is also in effect for the city of Sahab until further notice. Additionally, a nationwide nightly curfew is in effect. All businesses must close from 2200 to 0600 local time, and individuals must remain at home from 2300 to 0600 local time.

In the Palestinian territories, Hamas on 26 August extended an existing lockdown on the Gaza Strip until at least 29 August amid a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the territory. The lockdown first took effect on 24 August and was set to expire on 26 August prior to the extension. Residents must remain in their homes except in the event of an emergency. Authorities may extend the lockdown beyond 29 August.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Rwanda / Sierra Leone / Togo (Security threat levels – 3 / 4 / 4): On 26 August 2020, authorities in Rwanda tightened a series of coronavirus-related restrictions — which are in effect until at least 10 September — due to a spike in the number of confirmed cases, particularly in the capital Kigali. The current nationwide nightly curfew now runs during 1900-0500 local time (1700-0300 UTC); the curfew previously ran during 2100-0500 local time. Public transportation between Kigali and other districts is suspended, but private transportation may continue outside of curfew hours in compliance with public health orders. Nonessential businesses and markets are permitted to operate with restrictions on staff and customer occupancy. All travelers arriving at Kigali International Airport (HRYR/KGL) must demonstrate negative results on an RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within five days prior to  travel and are subject to face mask requirements and other public health measures. Rwanda’s land borders remain closed until further notice. Additional information on current restrictions in Rwanda is available here .

In Sierra Leone, limited international commercial flight operations have resumed at Freetown International Airport (GFLL/FNA), although land and sea borders remain closed until further notice. All travelers are required to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their travel date, complete a passenger locator health form and provide payment information for a separate COVID-19 test administered on arrival. Travelers must self-isolate at their final destination until results from the on-arrival test is returned, which is typically no longer than 48 hours. Passengers who test positive will be transferred to a government quarantine facility and remain in quarantine until a negative test result is obtained. The process is administered through an online portal, which is accessible here . Travelers departing Sierra Leone are required to provide negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure unless their duration of stay is fewer than five days. Travelers in Sierra Leone must comply with local restrictions, including the mandatory use of face masks in all public spaces and airports as well as aboard public transportation. A nationwide nightly curfew during 2300-0500 local time/UTC is in place until further notice.

In Togo, authorities on 27 August imposed a nightly curfew during 2100-0500 local time/UTC in the towns of Adjengré, Tchamba and Sokodé until further notice. The decision was prompted by an increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the area, as well as by local citizens failing to abide by social distancing measures. The curfew may end along with the expiration of a nationwide state of health emergency on 15 September.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 26 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait City issued a Message regarding extensions for tourist visas and residency permits, which reads in part as follows:

"The Kuwait Ministry of Interior has automatically extended all tourist visas and residencies until November 30, 2020. This extension applies to individuals in Kuwait whose visitor visas and residencies were set to expire on or before August 31, 2020. No action nor payment is necessary for the extension to be applied."

To read the full text of the Message, please click here .
Turks & Caicos Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 27 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which reads in part as follows:

"As of 28 August 2020, a number of regulations are in place in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Any contravention of these regulations is considered an offence, which may result in a fine of up to $1000, or imprisonment of up to three months. Regulations include:

  • Curfews in place on all islands between 8pm – 5am daily, with all businesses to be closed by 7pm, with exceptions for specified essential workers, until 5am on 15 September.
  • All social gatherings, including weddings across all islands, are limited to a maximum of 10 persons, including at bars and restaurants.
  • Public beaches remain open, with social distancing in place. No more than 4 adults outside of the same household are permitted to gather in one place on the beach. No alcohol is to be taken onto or consumed on beaches unless purchased from an established and certified provider. Sports are not permitted on the beach, except for individual fitness activities.
  • Summer camps to remain closed until 15 September 2020.
  • From 28 August, high risk groups are advised to shelter in place, particularly on the island of Providenciales."