Worldview Security Update – July 14, 2020
14-Jul-20

AMERICAS

Colombia / Honduras / Mexico (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 4): On 13 July 2020, Colombian authorities implemented additional isolation measures for neighborhoods in Bogotá with high numbers of COVID-19 cases. The neighborhoods have been divided into three groups that will take turns isolating under a two-week lockdown period between 13 July and 23 August. During the lockdown periods, one person per household is allowed to leave their residence for groceries and medication, nonessential businesses are closed and a nightly curfew is in effect from 2000-0500 local time (0100-1000 UTC). From 13-26 July, the Ciudad Bolívar, San Cristóbal, Rafael Uribe Uribe, Chapinero, Santa Fe, Usme, Mártires and Tunjuelito neighborhoods are under lockdown; from 27 July to 9 August, the Bosa, Kennedy, Puente Aranda and Fontibón neighborhoods will be under lockdown; and from 10-23 August, Suba, Engativá and Barrios Unidos will be under lockdown.

In Honduras, authorities extended an existing nationwide curfew until 19 July. Under the curfew, residents are permitted to leave their homes on certain days based on the last digit of their national ID or passport number between 0900-1700 local time (1500-2300 UTC). Businesses in the manufacturing and hardware sectors are allowed to operate from 0700-1700 local time, as are those deemed providers of essential services, including supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, hotels and banks. Residents may not leave their homes or places of residence on Saturdays and Sundays, during which public transportation is suspended and all businesses are closed. Additionally, only essential services are permitted to operate in the municipalities of Atlántida, Choluteca, Colón, Comayagua, Distrito Central (which includes the capital Tegucigalpa), Lempira, Olancho, San Pedro Sula and Santa Barbara.

In Mexico, 34 neighborhoods in Mexico City will be subject to “red light” coronavirus-related restrictions — the most severe level of Mexico’s 4-tiered “stoplight” restriction system — beginning on 15 July due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in those neighborhoods. Under a “red light” designation, only essential activities are allowed, hotels are allowed to operate at 25% capacity and restaurants may only provide takeout services. City authorities will review the epidemiological status of each neighborhood every 15 days and revise the restrictions in place based on the severity of the area’s COVID-19 outbreak. Separately, the “red light” restrictions are in effect for the southern half of Quintana Roo state as of 14 July, while the less restrictive “orange light” restrictions remain in effect for the northern part of the state — which includes the popular tourist cities Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancún. Specifically, the stricter measures will affect the municipalities of Felipe Carillo Puerto, José María Morelos, Bacalar and Othón P. Blanco. The state governor imposed stringent measures in the southern half of the state, citing the area’s limited health infrastructure and its high number of COVID-19 cases. More information regarding the specifications of Mexico’s 4-tiered “stoplight” restriction system can be found here .

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 14 July 2020, officials will be stationed at airports across New York state to ensure that travelers from 19 designated states are following New York’s 14-day self-quarantine requirement imposed to contain the transmission of COVID-19. Inbound travelers from those 19 states are required to complete a Traveler Health Form with their contact information and travel plans. Airlines are providing the form to passengers headed to New York, which can also be completed online here . Those who leave the airport without completing the form may face a monetary fine of up to 2,000 U.S. dollars and may be ordered to appear in court. Individuals traveling to the state via train or vehicle are required to complete the form online. Additional details, including the list of designated states outlined by the New York state government, are available here .

Meanwhile, the governor of California closed bars and suspended indoor services for card rooms, family entertainment centers, museums, restaurants, tasting rooms, wineries and zoos amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. The governor also ordered the closure of barbershops, gyms, malls, non-critical offices, personal care services, places of worship and hair salons in more than 30 counties. The closures are affect more than 80% of the state’s population, including Sacramento County, where the state capital is located.

In Hawaii, the governor on 13 July extended the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all trans-Pacific travelers until at least 31 August. However, inter-island travel will remain permissible without restriction. Authorities noted that in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the mainland U.S., Hawaii’s original reopening plan presents risks for residents. State officials seek to devise an improved reopening plan.

ASIA

Asia: As of 14 July 2020, governments throughout the Asia-Pacific region continue to amend policies in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. A stay-at-home order in Kazakhstan was extended through 2 August, while the Thai government rescinded entry privileges for diplomats and business travelers. India’s Bihar state will go into lockdown during 16-31 July, and in Turkmenistan, a face mask requirement went into effect on 13 July.

In Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on 14 July, extended the country’s stay-at-home order until 2 August. Residents are required to remain in their homes unless carrying out essential activities — such as obtaining food and medicine, seeking medical care or engaging in individual recreational activity. Residents over 65 years of age are not permitted to leave their homes. Inter-regional bus and rail travel as well as intercity public transportation services will remain suspended. All public and private gatherings are prohibited. The stay-at-home order has been in place since 5 July.

In Thailand, the government suspended all inbound flights on 14 July, and banned entry of diplomats and business travelers until further notice. Authorities made the decision after an Egyptian military officer and a daughter of a Sudanese diplomat broke quarantine requirements in separate instances on 10 July in Rayong province and Bangkok, respectively. Authorities are now working to trace potential contacts of the two infected individuals

In India, a statewide lockdown will go into effect in Bihar during 16-31 July. Under the lockdown, most government services will close, although public utilities will remain operational, as will security and emergency services. Businesses have been ordered to close, with exceptions for grocery stores, banks, communications services and media outlets. Places of worship and entertainment venues will remain closed, and large gatherings will be banned banned.

In Turkmenistan, authorities issued orders on 13 July for all residents to wear face masks in public due to “dust” until further notice. They also issued guidance advising that individuals should maintain a distance of at least 1 m (3 ft) apart while in public. Additionally, Turkmen Railways is suspending train services during 13-16 July. Despite announcing these measures, authorities maintain that there are no COVID-19 cases in the country. Local sources, however, report that hospitals in the country have been overwhelmed with patients who display symptoms of pneumonia, some of whom have succumbed to the disease.

EUROPE

Belgium (Security threat level – 3): As of 14 July 2020, travelers from European countries designated with an orange status are not required to self-quarantine upon arrival in Belgium, but they will need to be tested for COVID-19 if symptoms manifest. At present, the Belgian government designates an orange status to the following European locations: parts of the U.K., Romania, the area of Silesia in Poland, the Moravian-Silesian region in the Czech Republic, the Algarve and the Alentejo regions in Portugal, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Italian region of Trentino, the areas of Aragon and Catalonia in Spain, Croatia, Bulgaria and the region of upper Austria. More information regarding Belgium’s entry requirements can be found here .

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 13 July 2020, police officers deployed tear gas at thousands of demonstrators in Kinshasa who had gathered in opposition to the appointment of a new chairman of the national electoral commission (CENI). Demonstrators gathered on Boulevard Lumumba — a major thouroughfare in the city — and escorted a vehicle carrying a former rebel leader and current opposition leader. Police officers dispersed the escort with tear gas, while unidentified individuals in civilian clothes threw rocks at the demonstrators. At least 20 police officers were injured during the confrontations, along with an unspecified number of demonstrators. Separately, security forces also deployed tear gas to disperse demonstrations in Bukavu — located on the Rwandan border — and Kananga, the capital city of Kasai-Central province located in south-central DRC. More demonstrations are planned across the country on 19 July.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 13 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding new city-level quarantine orders in Chile, which reads in part as follows:

"As of July 13, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 317,657 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 July 12:

  • A quarantine for the following comunas, beginning at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, July 14: Arica (XV Region) and Rengo (VI 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."

Guyana (Security threat level – 3): On 14 July 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Guyana, which reads in part as follows: 

“In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all scheduled international flights from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri and the Eugene Correia Airport at Ogle have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. The closure started on 17 March 2020 and is scheduled to last until at least 1 August. Some repatriation charter flights and other specially authorised flights are being allowed to arrive and leave Guyana.”

Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 14 July 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Ireland, which reads in part as follows: 

“The wearing of face coverings on public transport is mandatory as of 13 July. There are penalties for non-compliance, but some people are exempt from wearing masks. Wearing a cloth face covering remains recommended in situations where it is difficult to practice social distancing, for example in shops. For more information, please see the Irish Government website . ”