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

AMERICAS

Bahamas / Costa Rica / Venezuela (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 5): In the Bahamas, authorities announced the closure of all airports and seaports to U.S. travelers, effective 0000 local time (0400 UTC) on 22 July 2020. Travelers from Canada, the EU and the U.K. can travel to the Bahamas via commercial flights or vessels, but must provide a negative COVID-19 RT PCR test taken within 10 days of their arrival at an accredited laboratory. All foreigners, including U.S. nationals, may still enter the Bahamas via private or chartered aircraft and water vessels but are subject to the COVID-19 RT PCR test entry requirements. Officials also announced that a nightly curfew will take effect on 20 July for Grand Bahama island from 1900 to 0500 local time (2300 to 0900 UTC). In addition, all beaches will be closed on Athol Island, New Province island — where the capital Nassau is located — as well as on Paradise Island, Rose Island and surrounding cays.

In Costa Rica, new coronavirus-related restrictions take effect as of 20 July and will remain in place through at least 31 July. Residents of provinces under an Orange Alert — which includes most of the greater San José metropolitan area, Alajuela, Cartago and Heredia, as well as the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas — may only operate motor vehicles in the daytime from 0500 to 1700 local time (1100 to 2300 UTC) based on the last digit of their vehicle’s license plate number. Businesses allowed to operate during this time in those provinces include banks, child care centers, funeral homes, hardware stores, health centers and pharmacies, hotels at 50% capacity, supermarkets and vehicle maintenance shops. The remainder of the provinces are under a Yellow Alert, which permits all vehicles to transit on weekdays from 0500 to 2200 local time and on weekends from 0500 to 1900 local time. Churches, gyms, restaurants and stores may operate at 50% capacity.

Venezuela entered a seven-day nationwide quarantine on 20 July as part of the country’s "7+7" quarantine system, during which the country observes seven days of lockdown measures followed by seven days of easing. President Nicolás Maduro directed the Presidential Commission for the Control and prevention of COVID-19 to revise the 7+7 method. Separately, local sources in Caracas indicate that nearly all clinics throughout the capital are at maximum capacity due to COVID-19 cases. The two largest health care centers in the city are at 75% capacity, while two others are at 85% and three more are at 100%.

ASIA

Asia / Australasia: As of 20 July 2020, countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region continue to maintain and amend policies intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. In China, authorities placed Urumqi — the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in northwestern China — under lockdown. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s government introduced additional restrictions in response to a continued rise in cases. In Australia’s Victoria state, a face mask requirement will go into effect in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire on 22 July. The government of India’s Uttar Pradesh state extended lockdown orders for four areas in the state capital Lucknow through 24 July. In Azerbaijan, authorities extended restrictions in several cities and districts until at least 5 August. In Turkmenistan, officials closed venues — such as banquet halls and places of worship — and suspended inter-provincial public transportation despite no officially confirmed cases in the country.

In China, authorities on 17 July canceled nearly 90% of flights in and out of Urumqi Diwopu International Airport (ZWWW/URC) and halted public transport after confirming at least 17 new cases of COVID-19 in the city. Travelers arriving on aircraft are required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days prior to arrival and display a safe health code on a smartphone app. Authorities also ordered residents to remain at home, closed shopping malls and hotels and halted private vehicles from driving on the roads. Visitors from other provinces will be quarantined for one week.

On 19 July Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that travelers from countries deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission will be required to book a hotel from a government-designated list for a 14-day self-quarantine before their arrival. Further, from 1800-0500 local time (1000-2100 UTC) each day restaurants will offer takeout services only — effective until at least 28 July — and during the daytime, restaurants will be limited to no more than four customers per table. The government is also expected to pass a mandate requiring face masks in public.

In Australia, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andres on 19 July announced that residents in the city of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire — a local government area approximately 55 km (35 mi) north of central Melbourne — are required to wear face masks while in public places beginning on 22 July. The mandate will be in effect until further notice. Violators may be fined 200 Australian dollars (140 U.S. dollars).

In India, the government of Uttar Pradesh state extended lockdowns in the Ghaizpur, Indira Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and Ashiana areas of the state capital Lucknow until 24 July. Only essential travel is permitted in these areas. Violators may be arrested and fined.

In Azerbaijan, authorities on 19 July extended quarantine measures for the cities of Baku, Ganja, Jalilabad, Masalli, Mingechevir, Sumgait and Yevlakh, and also for the districts of Absheron, Barda, Goranboy, Goygol, Khachmaz, Sheki and Siyazan, until 0600 local time (0200 UTC) on 5 August. Residents of these areas are not allowed to leave their homes unless for a specific purpose and require an SMS message authorization from the government to do so. The duration of time in which residents are allowed outside their doors has been extended from two hours to three. Public transportation for cities and districts under quarantine will be suspended during the weekends of 25-27 July and 1-3 August. Barbershops, beauty salons and cosmetic services will be allowed to operate in the cities and districts under quarantine. Face masks are mandatory in public places.

In Turkmenistan, authorities on 17 July closed churches, mosques, restaurants and large event venues such as banquet halls. Rail and bus services between provinces were also suspended. Additionally, authorities used cars and crop dusters to spray the air with a chlorine solution. Banquet halls will be closed until 23 July in order to follow disinfection procedures. It is unknown when other services will be allowed to resume. Despite these measures, authorities do not acknowledge the presence of COVID-19 in the country.

EUROPE

Europe: As of 20 July 2020, European countries continue to maintain restrictions in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. In France, a nationwide face mask requirement is now in effect for enclosed public spaces; authorities also revised restrictions for international travelers from certain countries. In Spain, authorities in Barcelona and surrounding areas advised residents to limit travel outside their homes. In the Czech Republic, authorities imposed new restrictions in the northeastern areas in response to high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Turkish government suspended flights to Iran and Afghanistan.

In France, a nationwide face mask requirement went into effect on 20 July for all enclosed public areas — including banks, shops and grocery stores. Officials issued the order in response to a sudden rise in COVID-19 infection rates across the country. Additionally, authorities revised restrictions on travelers from multiple countries. Additional details regarding travel restrictions are available in the Government Warnings section below.

In Spain, authorities in the northeastern Catalonia region have advised residents in the city of Barcelona and its surrounding neighborhoods not to leave their homes except for essential needs amid an increasing number of local COVID-19 infections. Restrictions across Barcelona and 12 municipalities in its metropolitan area, as well as Lleida region of La Noguera and the municipality of Segriá, include reduced capacity at bars and restaurants and the closures of entertainment venues, cultural activities and gyms. The municipalities affected by the new ordinance are El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, Sant Joan Despí, Sant Boi, Cornellà, Sant Just Desvern, Esplugues de Llobregat, Montcada i Reixac, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Adrià de Besòs, and Badalona. Later, officials added stay-at-home advisories for the towns of Figueres and Vilafant, in the province of Girona, and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, near Barcelona. The government has stopped short of issuing mandatory coronavirus-related orders, although officials warn that the region may revert to a lockdown if COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

In the Czech Republic, health officials stated on 19 July that the country has 4,764 confirmed active cases in the country, the highest active case total thus far. In response, officials added new coronavirus-related restrictions in the northeastern parts of the country. Face masks are again compulsory in public, restaurants must abide by limited operating hours, and cross-border commuters face more health checks.

In Turkey, Transport Ministry officials on 19 June suspended flights to Iran and Afghanistan due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Officials did not specify the reason for the suspension, but both countries have a high number of confirmed active cases. Turkey initially began resuming international flights on 11 June.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israel (Security threat level – 3): On 18 July 2020, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government’s COVID-19 response. In Tel Aviv, several thousand demonstrators protested the Israeli government’s economic response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Protesters gathered in Charles Clore Park and marched to Habima Square. Security forces arrested several individuals and used water cannons and pepper spray to disperse protesters.

Meanwhile, in Jerusalem approximately 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside Prime Minister Netenyahu’s home and called for his resignation amid corruption charges. Police officers used water cannons and mounted units in an effort to prevent the protesters from blocking Paris Square. There were no reports of casualties, but authorities arrested an undisclosed number of demonstrators.

Libya (Security threat level – 5): On 18 July 2020, Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) extended the country’s COVID-19 lockdown until at least 2 August. A nightly curfew remains in effect in areas under GNA control from 2000 to 0600 local time (1800 to 0400 UTC) on weekdays, but officials canceled the 24-hour curfew that had been in effect on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays). Nonessential businesses and places of worship remain closed, and all public gatherings remain prohibited.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Sub-Saharan Africa: On 15 July 2020, inter-island flights and maritime transportation resumed between all islands in Cabo Verde. Individuals originating from the islands of Santiago and Sal are required to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to travel. Meanwhile, Cabo Verde remains under a “state of calamity”; social distancing measures and restrictions are in place for businesses, and all individuals are required to wear a face mask. International commercial flights are expected to resume in August, although a specific date has not yet been announced.

In Niger, on 17 July officials announced plans to reopen the country’s air borders on 1 August. Incoming travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival; they will also be subject to a health screening upon arrival and a 14-day period of self-isolation. Individuals departing Niger will also be required to present a negative COVID-19 test.

In Zimbabwe, officials stated that police officers and the Zimbabwe National Army have increased enforcement of lockdown measures amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. According to the national police spokesperson, more than 1,000 people were arrested on 18-19 July for violating lockdown regulations, such as failing to wear a face mask or abide by movement restrictions. Additionally, President Emmerson Mnangagwa stated that he seeks to impose more restrictive measures.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

France (Security threat level – 3): On 17 July 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice regarding COVID-19 related restrictions, which reads in part as follows:

“Travellers arriving in France from the UK, European Area, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay are no longer required to self-isolate, to demonstrate their travel is essential or to hold an international travel certificate.

“Arrivals from countries other than those specified above will still need to complete an international travel certificate, which certifies that your journey is essential and confirms that you have not been suffering from a set of listed symptoms associated with Covid-19. This travel certificate is available on the French Ministry of the Interior ’s website. You should also produce any supporting paperwork to substantiate the essential nature of your travel. If you are flying into Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports from any country from which you are required to present an international travel certificate, from 18 July you will be invited to provide a negative Covid19 RT-PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure. Those unable to take this test before departure will be offered a free RT-PCR test on arrival.

“Border checks may also be in place at points on France’s land borders with Italy, Spain, Belgium and Germany.”

Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 20 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Conakry issued a Security Alert regarding ongoing protests in the city, which reads in part as follows:

“We have received reports of sporadic protest activity and clashes between protestors and Guinean security elements in Conakry. Areas that are reportedly experiencing flashes of tension include the sector of Rue Le Prince between Hamdallaye and Bambeto circles, and the district of Wanindara. Additionally, there are reports of small groups of protestors attempting to disrupt roads and vehicular traffic by setting up unauthorized roadblocks.

“Embassy personnel have been instructed to avoid the sector of Rue Le Prince between Hamdallaye circle, Bambeto circle, and the Cosa intersection for the remainder of July 20, 2020.

“As always, sporadic pop up protest activity may occur anywhere in Conakry at any given time. Typical locations for protest activity often include, but are not limited to, Rue le Prince from the Cosa intersection, to the Bambeto traffic circle, to the Hamdallaye traffic circle. When violence occurs during these periods of unrest, it often takes the form of blocked traffic, burned tires in the streets, and rocks and debris thrown at passing vehicles.”

The full text of the Alert is available here .