Worldview Security Update – August 7, 2020
7-Aug-20

AMERICAS

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): In the early morning hours of 7 August 2020, an armed group of at least eight individuals detonated an explosive device inside a local bank in the city of Florestópolis, located in the southern state of Paraná. The assailants held three people hostage inside the bank, but released them before fleeing the scene. Authorities are searching for the assailants, whose motive for the attack remains unknown. There are no reports of injuries, although the bank and adjacent properties sustained significant damage.

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): Beginning at 2000 local time (2300 UTC) on 8 August 2020, a quarantine order will go into effect for the city of Pelotas in the state of Rio Grande do Sul — located approximately 130 km (80 mi) north of Brazil’s southern border with Uruguay — until 1200 local time (1500 UTC) on 11 August due to a local spike in COVID-19 cases. Pharmacies, gas stations, funeral homes, hospitals and health posts will be allowed to operate during the lockdown period. Conversely, supermarkets, shops, banks and lotteries will be closed. According to the local orders, one person per family is allowed to travel outside the home to procure essential goods or services.

ASIA

Vietnam / South Korea (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): On 7 August 2020, South Korean health authorities announced that an entry ban on arrivals from China’s Hubei province will be lifted on 10 August. The measure is based on an absence of new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Hubei. South Korea originally imposed the entry ban on 4 February for foreign nationals who traveled to Hubei province within two weeks prior to arrival or held visas issued by Hubei officials.

In Vietnam, on 7 August authorities announced that effective immediately travelers arriving at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tân Son Nhat International Airport (VVTS/SGN) from Da Nang will be sent to government-designated quarantine centers for 14 days. Prior to their flight, travelers must provide authorities with their personal information, including their address. The measure will remain in effect until further notice.

EUROPE

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): Beginning at 0400 local time (0300 UTC) on 8 August 2020, the government will require individuals arriving from Andorra, the Bahamas and Belgium to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry; the requirement went into effect in Wales on 6 August. Officials noted that the entry requirement follows recent increases in COVID-19 infection rates in the three countries — the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has discouraged nonessential travel to all three. The infection rate is also surging in France, and a senior U.K. official has warned that the government could add more locations to the current list of countries that are subject to the self-quarantine requirement.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): As of 7 August 2020, an investigation is underway amid ongoing recovery efforts at the Port of Beirut following a large explosion on 4 August. Currently, there are 154 recorded fatalities and approximately 5,000 injuries, as a result of the blast. The Lebanese army has set up a 24-hour call center to help manage the ongoing crisis and field any questions regarding the explosion. Individuals may dial 117 locally or (961-5) 456-900 from outside of Lebanon; reports indicate that the line is only available in Arabic.

Meanwhile, resentment against the government over the explosion remains high. On 7 August activists circulated fliers in Beirut calling for anti-government protests in Martyrs’ Square in the downtown area of the city on 8 August at 1700 local time (1400 UTC). On 6 August security personnel deployed tear gas against protesters congregated at Martyrs’ Square. Police officers clashed with demonstrators after a number of protesters attempted to storm the parliament building. Anecdotal reports indicate that several protesters suffered injuries during the clashes. There were additional protests outside the French ambassador’s residence in Beirut, which concluded without violence.

As part of the investigation into the explosion, security forces have detained at least 19 people for interrogation. There are also reports that the owner of the cargo ship that transported the ammonium nitrate which reportedly triggered the blast was arrested in Cyprus on an Interpol Red Notice.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Botswana / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 2 / 3) : On 7 August 2020, Botswana’s government reimposed a citywide lockdown in the capital Gaborone until 21 August. The lockdown was prompted by a spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases following the end of the previous citywide lockdown. Under the terms of the order, all schools are closed and temporary permits are required for travel within the city, except for essential workers. Authorities also prohibited the sale of alcohol.

In Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi declared a one-month health emergency beginning on 7 August. Under existing coronavirus-related restrictions, phase one of a gradual reopening is scheduled to begin on 18 August, which allows classes at higher educational institutions, military academies and technical training institutes to resume, and permits religious gatherings with a maximum of 50 attendees. During phase two in September, cinemas, casinos, gyms and other nonessential entertainment venues will be permitted to reopen, subject to coronavirus-related regulations. All other schools and classes are expected to resume during phase three in October. However, bars are to remain closed until further notice.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Jordan (Security threat level – 3): On 6 August 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Amman issued a Health Alert regarding the resumption of commercial flights, which reads in part as follows:

"On July 26, 2020, the Government of Jordan announced that regular commercial international flights from certain “green” countries may resume as of August 5, 2020, provided passengers meet required conditions. However, on August 4, 2020, the Government of Jordan announced that resumption of regular commercial international flights from certain countries has been delayed to at least August 18, 2020.

"Flights from these countries, which are listed below, will be allowed to land at Jordanian airports. Passengers from these countries are permitted to enter Jordan, and they do not need to quarantine provided they have resided in those countries for the past 14 days.

"Green Countries (as of August 4): Austria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand."

To read the full text of the alert, please click here .
Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 7 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Lebanon, which reads in part as follows:

"The British Embassy in Beirut has been informed by the Lebanese authorities that, exceptionally given the current situation, British nationals travelling to the UK will be permitted to depart Lebanon on an expired passport, without requiring an emergency travel document. Before travelling you should confirm with your airline that they will accept this. If you are travelling to, or transiting, another country then you will need to ensure that your passport will also be accepted there."

Vietnam (Security threat level – 3): On 6 August 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding self-isolation requirements in the capital Hanoi, which reads in part as follows:

“On 5 August 2020, Vietnamese authorities announced that all people currently in Hanoi and who have visited Da Nang from 15 July must self-isolate and contact local health authorities who will advise on whether further testing is required. This applies even if you have recently tested negative following any previous COVID-19 blood tests undertaken by the Hanoi authorities.”
World: On 6 August 2020, the U.S. Department of State annulled its “Level 4: Do Not Travel” Global Health Advisory, which had been in effect since 19 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of State released a statement that reads in part as follows:

“With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions. This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country. We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

“U.S. citizens considering traveling abroad should review the entire Travel Advisory for their destination(s) on Travel.State.gov . A full list of recent updates to Travel Advisories can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ . ”