Worldview Security Update – August 31, 2020
31-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Canada (Security threat level – 2) : On 28 August 2020, the Canadian government extended existing restrictions that prevent most foreign travelers from entering Canada until at least 30 September. Canadian citizens and their immediate family members, legal permanent residents, airline crew members and diplomats are exempt from the entry ban, which officials initially imposed on 18 March in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Canadian government has a separate agreement with the U.S., set to expire on 21 September, that limits border crossings to essential travel only. Those eligible to enter Canada are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The government also maintains a global travel advisory, recommending that Canadian nationals avoid nonessential international travel until further notice. Thus far, health officials in Canada have recorded 127,940 COVID-19 cases, with at least 9,154 fatalities.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): On 29 August 2020, the central government announced guidelines for the fourth phase of the country’s reopening plan — known locally as “Unlock 4” — which will begin on 1 September. According to the guidelines, metro rail services will gradually resume on 7 September. Schools and universities may resume classes at 50% capacity, and public facilities, including sporting venues and religious sites, will be allowed to host groups of up to 100 people beginning on 21 September. However, each state may still enforce its own guidelines, which might not fully comply with those of the central government. For example, both West Bengal and Tamil Nadu have extended their existing statewide curfews until at least 30 September.

Japan / South Korea (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): As of 0900 UTC on 31 August 2020, Typhoon Maysak was located approximately 270 km (165 mi) south of Kadena, Japan, and was moving north-northwest at 33 kph (21 mph). At that time, Maysak was generating maximum sustained winds of 185 kph, with gusts of up to 230 kph. On its current path, the storm is forecast to pass over Senaga Island in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture during the early hours of 1 September before entering the Yellow Sea by 2 September. Maysak is then forecast to make landfall in South Korea along the border of Jeonnam and Gyeongnam provinces by 3 September.

EUROPE

Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On the night of 28-29 August 2020, rioting occurred in the southern Swedish town of Malmo, located approximately 40 km (25 mi) east of Copenhagen, Denmark, after videos posted on social media showed the burning of the Quran, the Islamic holy book. Rioters threw burning objects and bottles at police officers, set fire to vehicles and burned tires and debris in the streets. t At least four police officers suffered minor injuries during the violence. Authorities detained 15 people. More than 300 people had gathered in the city earlier in the day to protest the videos.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Libya (Security threat level – 5): On 28 August 2020, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj instituted a 24-hour curfew until at least 1 September, shortly after suspending the minister of interior amid protests demanding the prime minister’s resignation. Sarraj stated that the curfew was in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, although reports indicate that he may have instituted the curfew to quell the protest activity. The suspended interior minister was engaged in an escalating argument with Sarraj as armed groups opened fire on anti-government demonstrators who had gathered at Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square. Sarraj stated that the leadership of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) will investigate the use of violence against the demonstrators. In response, the interior minister has demanded that the hearings be made public.

Analyst Comment: There are unconfirmed reports that the sacked interior minister — who is a political rival of Sarraj — was planning a coup against him, which may have hastened the interior minister’s ouster.

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 31 August 2020, a gas cylinder exploded at a complex that houses two Western restaurant franchises in Abu Dhabi. The explosion killed two people and forced officials to evacuate the building and the surrounding area.

Earlier in the day, another gas cylinder exploded at a local restaurant in Dubai. The explosion killed one person and sparked a fire that damaged the ground floor of the building. Fire crews quickly controlled the resulting fire and there were no reports of additional casualties.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Ghana (Security threat level – 3): On 30 August 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo confirmed that Ghana’s air borders will reopen to international travel on 1 September. However, the country’s land and sea borders remain closed until further notice. Ghana’s borders were initially closed in March to curb the spread of COVID-19

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Hungary (Security threat level – 2): On 28 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding international border closures, which reads in part as follows:

“From 1 September, Hungary has closed its border to all foreign nationals, including UK nationals, for an indefinite period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only Hungarian nationals are currently allowed entry into the country. There are some limited exemptions where foreign nationals, including UK nationals, may be allowed entry:

  • military convoys,
  • people travelling on diplomatic or official passports,
  • people transiting through Hungary (through travel corridors),
  • special rules may be put in place for foreign nationals attending or participating in some sports events, such as the Super Cup Final scheduled for 24 September in Budapest.

“Entry rules may change at short notice. You can find the latest announcements on the Hungarian government website (in English).”

Namibia (Security threat level – 2): On 31 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy issued a Security Alert regarding crime in the city, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Windhoek

"Event: Be Alert to Follow-Home Crimes and Other Theft

"The U.S. Embassy in Windhoek advises U.S. citizens to be aware of continued incidents of crime in Namibia. The Embassy received reports of an individual in Windhoek who was followed home at a high rate of speed by a quadbike in the Eros neighborhood. The individual was able to get inside the gate before the quadbike followed, and they subsequently filed a police report. While the motive is unknown, this was most likely an attempted robbery had the suspect made it onto the property. The Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens not to drive home if being followed, but rather to go to the nearest police station, mall, or other public location where there are many people. In a separate incident, an individual reported that a purse was stolen out of her bag while inside the Woermann & Brock grocery store in the Eros Shopping Center."

The full text of the Security Alert is available here .
Palestinian Territories (Security threat level – 4): On 28 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"The de facto authority in Gaza declared an extension of the current lockdown in Gaza through August 30, in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. During the lockdown, all but essential businesses, offices, and public spaces – including mosques, halls, and sports clubs – will continue to be closed. The European hospital was designated as the pandemic-treatment center and all cases will be moved there. Visitors to hospitals with reported COVID-19 cases are banned. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced it is working under an emergency plan and will home deliver medicines to its beneficiaries and continue to provide telemedicine services. UNWRA is suspending in-person food aid deliveries and will work to activate alternate mechanisms soon. All educational facilities in Gaza are closed until further notice and the de facto Ministry of Education is shifting to active home learning. The de facto Ministry of Economy also published price caps lists for basic goods."

To read the full text of the alert, please click here .
Peru (Security threat level – 3): On 28 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Lima issued a Health Alert regarding the Peruvian government’s extension of an existing nationwide state of emergency, which reads in part as follows:

“National State of Emergency Extended: The government of Peru extended the current state of emergency for an additional 30 days beginning Tuesday, September 1. Children under the age of 14 will no longer be allowed outside for any duration of time, and adults aged 65 and older are to remain inside except when absolutely necessary. No social gatherings of any kind, including in the home with family, are permitted. The 10:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew from Monday to Saturday and all-day quarantine on Sunday remain in effect in most of Peru with the exception of the following regions of Peru where there is a quarantine and a mandatory daily curfew from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am:

“Quarantine Areas (as of August 28, 2020): Amazonas (Bagua, Chachapoyas, Condorcanqui, and Utcubamba); Ancash (Santa, Casma, and Huarmey); Apurimac (Abancay); Arequipa (Cailloma, Camaná, Castilla, Islay); Ayacucho (Huamanga,Huanta, Lucanas, and Parinacochas); Cajamarca (Cajamarca and Jaen); Cusco (entire region); Huancavelica (Huancavelica, Angaraes, and Tayacaja); Huánuco (Huánuco, Leoncio Prado, Puerto Inca, and Humalíes); Ica (Ica, Pisco, Nasca, and Palpa); Junin (Huancayo, Satipo, and Chanchamayo); La Libertad (Trujillo, Virú, Sánchez Carrión, Pacasmayo, Chepén, and Ascope); Lima (Barranca, Cañete, Huaura, and Huaral); Madre de Dios (Tambopata); Moquegua (entire region); Pasco (Pasco and Oxapampa); Puno (entire region); and Tacna (entire region).

“In the above quarantine areas, only one person per family will be allowed to leave the home during non- quarantine hours. We encourage all U.S. citizens in the aforementioned areas to comply with the Peruvian government’s quarantine measures and to follow the instructions of Peruvian authorities. Limit your time outside, carry your identification and phone, and remember that the use of a facemask is required in public. For more information (in Spanish), please visit: https://busquedas.elperuano.pe/normaslegales/decreto-supremo-que-modifica-el-decreto-supremo-n-116-2020-decreto-supremo-n-146-2020-pcm-1880528-1/

“National Health Measures Extended for 90 Days: On August 28, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra signed a supreme decree extending Peru’s Health State of Emergency for 90 days beginning Tuesday, September 8. Social distancing and the use of facemasks will be required for the foreseeable future. Peru’s Ministry of Health (MINSA), the National Institute of Health, and the EsSalud Social Health Insurance agency are continuing to develop and implement an action plan for the surveillance, containment, and care of new COVID-19 cases in Peru. Peru’s government will continue to procure the necessary good and services needed to combat the spread of COVID-19. More information (in Spanish) on the supreme decree can be found here: https://busquedas.elperuano.pe/normaslegales/decreto-supremo-que-prorroga-la-emergencia-sanitaria-declara-decreto-supremo-n-027-2020-sa-1880528-2 /."

The full text of the alert is available here .