Worldview Security Update – August 6, 2020
6-Aug-20

AMERICAS

El Salvador / Honduras (Security threat levels – 4 / 4): As of 6 August 2020, authorities in El Salvador are standing by their plan to reopen El Salvador International Airport (MSLP/SAL) in September. The airport will open 4-18 September to facilitate connecting flights and will gradually reopen to international travelers beginning on 19 September. However, officials did not provide additional information regarding coronavirus-related entry requirements for international travelers.

In Honduras, officials extended the existing nationwide lockdown and the 1700-0900 local time (2300-1500 UTC) nightly curfew until at least 9 August. All previous restrictions remain in place, including movement restrictions based on national ID or passport numbers, regulated operating hours for essential businesses — 0700-1700 local time — and lockdowns on Saturdays and Sundays.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 5 August 2020, the mayor of New York City announced that law enforcement officials will immediately begin erecting random checkpoints at major entrances into the city to ensure compliance with an existing self-quarantine requirement for inbound travelers from states deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission. Officials plan to establish checkpoints at Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal later on 6 August. The statewide requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering New York state has remained in effect since late June and currently applies to individuals arriving from 34 states and Puerto Rico. The state government also requires incoming travelers to complete a Traveler Health Form, an online version of which is available here . Travelers arriving aboard aircraft have been required to complete the travel form since 14 July. Violators of the self-quarantine requirement may be subject to a fine of up to 10,000 U.S. dollars, and those who refuse to fill out the traveler form may be subject to a fine of up to 2,000 U.S. dollars.

Additional details outlined by the government of New York City, which includes a current list of the designated 34 states, can be read here .

ASIA

China / Pakistan / Singapore (Security threat levels – 3 / 5 / 1): On 6 August 2020, authorities in Macao announced that beginning on 7 August inbound travelers from Hong Kong must provide a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test issued within 24 hours prior to arrival. Anyone without a test certificate may be denied entry to Macao; officials also instructed public transportation providers to not serve anyone without a certificate. All arrivals will still be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility.

In Pakistan, on 6 August the planning minister announced that coronavirus-related restrictions on multiple business sectors will be lifted in the coming days. Beginning on 8 August, the tourism sector may reopen. Meanwhile, sports venues, restaurants, cafes, gyms and business offices may resume operations on 10 August. Authorities have yet to declare public health requirements for reopening businesses to follow. Although the central government announced the end to restrictions, the planning minister maintained that provinces may still impose their own restrictions.

In Singapore, on 6 August the health minister stated that Malaysian nationals with work permits will be required to undergo a seven-day self-quarantine rather than a 14-day quarantine. Authorities cited that the risk of COVID-19 infection is comparable in both countries. All other travelers remain subjected to a 14-day self-quarantine.

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On the evening of 5 August 2020, an explosion occurred at a rally organized by the Jamaat-i-Islami party in the city of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Two assailants aboard a motorcycle threw a grenade near the party’s main rally truck in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. At least 39 people were injured in the ensuing explosion, one of whom later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. The Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army secessionist group claimed responsibility for the attack. The rally was staged to mark the one-year anniversary of India’s decision to remove the semi-autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir.

EUROPE

Germany / Netherlands / Spain (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3): On 6 August 2020, German authorities announced that beginning on 8 August travelers from high-risk countries — which comprises most locations outside of Europe — will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon entry unless they present a negative result of a test taken within 48 hours prior to arrival; the order will remain in effect until further notice. Arrivals from high-risk areas are already required to self-isolate for 14 days unless they present a negative COVID-19 test result upon entry. The new order follows a steady rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide in recent weeks.

In the Netherlands, as of 5 August face masks are mandatory for individuals in select busy areas in the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In Amsterdam, the mandate applies in the city center area, including the shopping streets of Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk, the Wallengebied area — which stretches west from the Warmoestraat up to Nieumarkt — and from Hotel Prins Hendrikkade in the north to the Damstraatjes in the south. Meanwhile in central Rotterdam, the mandate applies to those visiting Coolsingel and Lijnbaan streets, as well as the Alexandrium and Zuidplein shopping centers. A countrywide requirement to wear face masks on public transport has remained in effect since 1 June.

As of 5 August all Spanish and foreign tourists visiting the Canary Islands, located approximately 2,000 km (1,240 mi) southwest of the capital Madrid, will have any potential coronavirus-related costs covered by the regional government. Officials noted that the government will cover health care costs as well as expenses associated with extending holiday stays due to obligatory quarantine periods while on the islands.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1200 local time/UTC on 6 August 2020, police officers deployed tear gas at demonstrators outside the headquarters of the electoral commission in the coastal city of Abidjan. The protesters were demanding that former President Laurent Gbagbo, leader of the opposition Ivorian Popular Front party, be included on the ballot for the 31 October presidential election. The protesters have erected roadblocks and burned tires, resulting in significant traffic disruptions, especially near the Deaux Plateuax area and the Riviera 2 roundabout. Gbagbo supporters also held a demonstration on 3 August.

Sub-Saharan Africa: As of 6 August 2020, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Africa is nearing 1 million, marking an acceleration in the rate of infection since late July. Ten countries accounted for 80% of all COVID-19 testing across Africa, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauritius have each conducted more than 200,000 tests — indicating that other countries across Africa have yet to scale-up testing capacity.

In Gambia, President Adama Barrow has declared a state of emergency due to a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases. During 6-27 August, a nightly curfew is in effect from 2200 to 0500 local time/UTC. Face masks remain mandatory in public spaces, in buildings and aboard public transportation, while all borders remain closed indefinitely. On 4 August, authorities closed all nonessential public places until 2 November.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 5 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding adjustments to the city-level quarantine orders in Chile, which reads in part as follows:

"As of August 5, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 364,723 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 5: 

  • The introduction of quarantines for the following comunas (begins Monday, August 10 at 5:00 am): Tierra Amarilla (III Region)
  • The introduction for sanitary cordons for the following locations (begins Monday, August 10 at 5:00 am): Between the comunas of Concepción and Penco (VIII Region); Between the comunas of San Pedro de la Paz and Coronel (VII 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 10 at 5:00 am): Tocopilla (II Region), Lampa (RM), Providencia (RM), Curacaví (RM), Melipilla (RM), Rancagua (VI Region), Machalí (VI Region), Graneros (VI Region)
  • The downgrading of the following comuna from Phase 3 to Phase 2 of the “Paso a Paso” plan. This includes the reimposition of quarantine on the weekends and holidays (begins Monday, August 10 at 5:00 am): Punta Arenas (XII Region).

"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.

"For more information on the Chilean government’s “Paso a Paso” program, and what is permitted during each phase, please visit this website (Spanish only)."

Japan (Security threat level – 1): On 5 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo issued a Health Alert regarding nationwide COVID-19 developments, which reads in part as follows:

“The U.S. Embassy and consulates continue to monitor closely the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan. Case numbers in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and in other areas across Japan have risen significantly in the past two weeks, and many prefectural officials are requesting residents comply with specific mitigation efforts centered around refraining from visiting nightlife establishments and other non-essential outings and travel.

“In Okinawa, on July 31 Governor Tamaki implemented a state of emergency and requested that residents avoid non-essential outings. He also urged residents to refrain from travel to mainland Japan and asked that travelers from outside Okinawa carefully consider whether they should travel to the islands.

“In Hokkaido, on July 27 Governor Suzuki asked residents to carefully consider the necessity of travel outside of Hokkaido.

“In Kyushu, some local governors including those in Miyazaki, Nagasaki, and Kumamoto have issued local guidelines or updated alert levels.

“In Tokyo, Governor Koike continues to urge residents to avoid restaurants and other service establishments that lack proper infection-control and social distancing measures and has asked bars and restaurants to limit their hours. She also requests that Tokyo residents refrain from crossing prefectural borders unless necessary. More information on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s recommendations can found online here .

“In the Kansai area, including Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, COVID-19 cases have steadily increased. New cases have mainly occurred in entertainment establishments, prompting Osaka Governor Yoshima to urge the public to limit gatherings to no more than 5 people and to increase teleworking arrangements wherever possible. In addition, bars and restaurants in the south Osaka area near Namba Station have been asked to close by 20:00 from August 6 to 20. The recent incidence of COVID infection has primarily occurred among a younger demographic than was impacted earlier in the pandemic. “In Nagoya, the prefectural government raised its COVID-19 alert level to “orange” – the third highest of four levels – on July 30 in response to a sharp increase in infections. The prefecture urges residents to avoid non-essential travel, especially to Tokyo, and to avoid the so-called “three Cs – crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined spaces. Most of the individuals diagnosed have been in their 20s or 30s and are believed to have contracted the virus at one of the city’s nightlife establishments. Aichi Prefecture is asking members of that demographic to exercise particular caution and has formally requested bars and other alcohol-serving establishments in entertainment districts to close by 20:00 for a 20-day period starting August 5.

“In advance of the upcoming Obon summer holiday period, the Government of Japan is asking those with travel plans to be cautious to avoid spreading the virus in rural areas. Press reports indicate that the government may issue advice to individuals traveling to their hometowns later in the week. Additionally, many prefectural officials are requesting that people reconsider travel to their hometowns out of concern for hospital capacity. Some officials, including those in prefectures like Akita and Nagasaki, are also requesting that residents refrain from travel to high infection areas like Tokyo and Osaka.”

The full text of the alert can be found here .