ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Americas: As of 1 July 2020, governments in the Americas continue to implement and enforce restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Meanwhile, such restrictions are gradually being eased in some locations. Significant developments in the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru and Puerto Rico are outlined below.
In the Bahamas, authorities reopened the country’s borders for international tourism and commercial flights as part of a phased reopening of the economy. All travelers are required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within seven days of their arrival date. Additionally, travelers must present an electronic Health Visa prior to arrival. Travelers are not required to self-quarantine upon arrival.
In Bermuda, flight operations resumed at L.F. Wade International Airport (TXKF/BDA) on 1 July. All inbound passengers must complete an online authorization form , pay a 75 U.S. dollars fee before arriving to Bermuda and submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of their scheduled arrival date. Exemptions apply to legal residents, work permit holders, as well as children 9 years old and younger. Travelers are encouraged to acquire health insurance covering any potential illness and injury in Bermuda. While in Bermuda, travelers must report their temperature to the government twice a day via an online portal and take a COVID-19 PCR test on the third, seventh and 14th days of their stay on the island. Any traveler who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-quarantine and will be fitted with an electronic bracelet. More information regarding Bermuda’s COVID-19 restrictions for travelers is available here .
In the Dominican Republic, all international flights resumed on 1 July. The minister of public health on 30 June clarified that there are no current restrictions in place on travelers from specific countries or zones. The nationwide state of emergency, which expired on 30 June, has been replaced by a resolution declaring a nationwide epidemic. The resolution authorizes the continuation of social distancing measures — such as the mandate to wear face masks in public spaces and the prohibition of economic, social and recreational activities during 2000-0500 local time (0000-0500 UTC). Essential businesses and services — including pharmacies, media outlets, security operations, airports and hotels — are exempt from the order.
Haiti has also reopened its airports and border with the Dominican Republic effective 1 July. In addition, a nationwide nightly curfew has been shortened and is now in place from 0000 to 0400 local time (0400 to 0800 UTC); the curfew was previously in effect from 2000 to 0500 local time. Factories throughout Haiti can also resume operations.
In Jamaica, the government has implemented additional requirements as of 1 July for visitors from U.S. states with high numbers COVID-19 infections. Individuals from states deemed high risk — which at present include Arizona, Florida, Texas and New York — must register with the government online and submit a negative PCR test taken within seven days of their arrival date. Health screenings and risk-based assessments at ports of entry remain in place.
Meanwhile, an island-wide nightly curfew has been shortened by an hour and is now in effect from 2300 to 0500 local time (0400 to 1000 UTC) until 31 July. Public gatherings may not surpass 20 attendees. Markets and transport centers are allowed to open from 0600 to 1900 local time Monday through Saturday and must close on Sundays. Protective face masks remain mandatory in public areas.
In Peru, the country entered Phase 3 of its plan to reopen the economy on 1 July. A nationwide nightly curfew is in effect during 2200-0400 local time (0300-0900 UTC), except for the Ancash, Arequipa, Huanuco, Ica, Junin, Madre de Dios and San Martin regions, where a curfew is in effect during 2000-0400 local time. Additionally, these regions will observe 24-hour lockdowns on Sundays. Face masks remain mandatory in all public spaces.
In Puerto Rico, authorities on 30 June announced on new entry requirements for travelers, effective 15 July. All travelers must provide airport authorities with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Puerto Rico. Travelers will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they do not have test results available, refuse to submit test results or test positive for COVID-19. Travelers in quarantine must take a COVID-19 test and share results with authorities; they are also subject to randomized compliance checks. Visitors in self-quarantine face fines for failing to respond to any communications from the government, including text messages, personal visits or phone calls. A nightly curfew from 2200 to 0500 local time (0200 to 0900 UTC) remains in place. Face masks remain mandatory.
Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On the evening of 30 June 2020, an intense storm with wind gusts up to 120 kph (75 mph) and heavy rains hit southern Brazil, resulting in flooding and structural damage across the states of Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. According to local meteorologists, local rainfall amounted to 50-100 mm (2-4 in) with some locations receiving as much as 150 mm. Approximately 1.4 million residents are without power in the region, and rescue crews continue to search for more than 1,000 missing residents. Reports thus far indicate that the storm killed six people in Santa Catarina. There are multiple reports of structural damage, including a local water treatment facility in the city of São José do Cedro, Santa Catarina. More rain and strong winds are in the forecast for the region throughout 1 July.
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 30 June 2020, officials in the northeastern U.S. states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut expanded an existing 14-day self-quarantine requirement to include individuals traveling from the following eight states: California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee. The quarantine requirement was initially imposed on travelers and returning tri-state area residents from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas as of 25 June, in order to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the area. The states that record “a seven-day rolling average, of positive [COVID-19] tests in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents” are added to the list. Conversely, states that no longer meet the criteria will be removed from the list.
The New York state government maintains additional guidance regarding the COVID-19 Travel Advisory, which is available here .
China (Security threat level – 3): On the afternoon of 1 July 2020, riot police in Hong Kong deployed tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and a water cannon to disperse demonstrators gathered in Admiralty, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai and elsewhere in the city to protest the recent passage of a controversial national security law. Protesters gathered despite the coronavirus-related ban on public gatherings of more than 50 people as well as the government’s refusal to pre-authorize demonstrations, as some protest actions are now illegal under the new security law. Protesters briefly blocked all lanes of Hennessy Road, a major thoroughfare on Hong Kong Island. Total injuries remain unknown, but at least one police officer was stabbed, although authorities stated that his injuries were not life-threatening. Authorities detained at least 300 people for participating in the rally, nine were arrested under the provisions of the new law. The demonstrations largely concluded by the evening hours. However, police officers remain deployed in large numbers conducting stop and search operations in the city, including at Times Square shopping center.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 30 June 2020, the mayor of Manila announced plans to place 31 barangays (neighborhoods) in five districts of the metro area under a 48-hour “hard lockdown” from 0000 local time on 4 July (1600 UTC on 3 July) to 2359 local time on 5 July. During the lockdown, residents must remain in their homes except to perform essential activities, such as to obtain food and medicine or to seek medical care. Health workers, security forces, essential services personnel and utility workers will be exempt from the restrictions. The barangays are located in Districts I, II, III, V and VI.
In a related development, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) — the strictest quarantine level — in Cebu City will remain in effect through at least 15 July. Authorities initially re-imposed the ECQ on 15 June in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.
Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): In the late afternoon hours of 30 June 2020, three explosions occurred in the capital Addis Ababa amid protests to denounce the 29 June killing of a popular musician of the Oromo ethnic group. Authorities have not yet stated whether the blasts, which caused unspecified injuries and deaths, were directly related to the protests. The latest reports indicate that at least 50 people were killed and dozens more were injured during violent protests in Addis Ababa and surrounding towns and cities, including in the Oromia region. The government shut down internet access in parts of the country when the protests began; the service remains unavailable as of 1 July. Police officers on 30 June arrested 35 people, including a prominent politician — the leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress party — after politicians intercepted security officials transporting the dead musician’s body to Ambo, his hometown, and attempted to return it to Addis Ababa. At least one police officer was killed during the resulting standoff between security officials and the party cadres. Authorities reportedly seized eight assault rifles, five pistols and nine radio transmitters from the detained politician’s vehicle. Additional demonstrations to denounce the musician’s killing as well as to protest the detention of Oromo politician remain probable in Addis Ababa and the adjacent Oromia region.
Gabon (Security threat level – 3): On 30 June 2020, Prime Minister Julien Nkoghé Békalé announced that some coronavirus-related restrictions will ease beginning on 1 July. International airports, including Libreville’s Léon-Mba International Airport (FOOL/LBV), are set to reopen and airlines will be permitted to operate two flights per week. However, land and sea borders remain closed. The government shortened an existing nightly curfew to 2000-0500 local time (1900-0500 UTC) from 1800-0630 local time, and hotels and restaurants with outdoor seating are permitted to reopen. However, face masks are mandatory in public. The prime minister also stated that the restrictions may be reinstated if necessary.
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 30 June 2020, anti-government demonstrations broke out in the capital city Khartoum, as well as in its adjacent cities of Khartoum North and Omdurman. Hundreds of thousands of protesters chanted slogans, burned tires and marched throughout the cities to mark the one-year anniversary of the “million-man march” and call for justice against the perpetrators of violence during the 2019 march. In response to the anniversary demonstrations — which coincide with the day that former President Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989 — the government closed roads and bridges leading to Khartoum and deployed security forces. In the capital, police officers deployed tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters marching toward Khartoum International Airport (HSSS/KRT). Multiple protesters were injured during the clashes In Omdurman, one protester was shot and killed. A government spokesperson stated later on 30 June that authorities will work to fulfill the protesters’ demands.
Analyst Comment: Opposition groups are increasingly frustrated with the slow-pace of political reforms under the country’s interim government ahead of planned elections in 2022. Organizations with assets and personnel in Sudan should closely monitor the forthcoming political developments.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 30 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Greece, which reads in part as follows:
“You must complete an online Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 48 hours before your arrival in Greece. The form is online , in English. Once you have completed the form, you will receive a QR code (which you can display either on your mobile phone, or on a printed piece of paper). You will need to show this code to the Greek authorities on your arrival in Greece.”
India (Security threat level – 3): On 30 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for India regarding new guidelines for lockdown restrictions, including the times they will be in force, which reads in part as follows:
“There is a phased lifting of lockdown restrictions. This may vary by state. Lockdown restrictions remain in containment zones until 31 July.
“The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines to regulate activities in this period. Movement is currently restricted between 10 pm to 5 am [1630 to 2330 UTC] in all zones except for essential activities or medical emergencies. Other restrictions vary between states and zones, so it is important to follow local directives. . . .
“Limited train services have resumed, but metro rail services remain prohibited. Limited inter-state movements of passenger vehicles and buses is now permitted this will vary from state to state within India.
“All essential services (including groceries, pharmacies, ATMs) continue to function.
“The wearing of facial/cloth masks is compulsory in all public places. There are strict restrictions on large gatherings. You may be penalised if you violate restrictions. Restrictions may vary between states.”