Worldview Security Update – July 21, 2020
21-Jul-20

AMERICAS

Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): On 20 July 2020, the Dominican Ministry of Health announced the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency until at least 3 September due to a recent surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases. A nightly ban on economic, recreational and social activities from 2000 to 0500 local time (0000 to 0900 UTC) remains in effect with exemptions for essential businesses, including health care and pharmaceutical services, hospitality services, private security, ports and airports. Public transportation will operate at a reduced capacity in accordance with social distancing measures. All public and private events have been either suspended or postponed. Individuals must wear face masks outdoors and comply with social distancing regulations. Additional restrictions — including a nationwide nightly curfew — may be announced with little advance notice under the emergency declaration.

ASIA

China / Nepal (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 20 July 2020, Chinese authorities lowered Beijing’s COVID-19 alert level to Level III from Level II. Additionally, the risk level for Huaxiang township, located in the southwestern Fengtai district, was revised to low from medium; Huaxiang was the final area assessed as medium risk. Venues that were previously required to close, such as movie theaters, will now be allowed to reopen. However, despite being classified as low risk, communities with more than five confirmed cases of COVID-19 may still be subject to movement controls. In related developments, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced on 21 July that all travelers arriving on international flights must provide proof of a negative result from a nucleic acid test performed within five days prior to arrival. The test must also be administered by entities approved by Chinese diplomatic missions in the respective departure countries.

In Nepal, the government announced on 20 July that the country’s land and air borders will remain closed through 16 August. A Cabinet minister attributed the extension to the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in the neighboring Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. International and domestic flights are set to resume on 17 August and will be subject to additional health and safety requirements. The government is expected to publish a list of countries from where travelers will be allowed to enter Nepal.

EUROPE

Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 0930 local time (0730 UTC) on 21 July 2020, an armed man seized a passenger bus with 20 people aboard near Teatralnaya Square in the northwestern town of Lutsk, located approximately 150 km (95 mi) northeast of the city of Lviv. Authorities stated that the man is believed to be in possession of explosive devices; officials at the scene reportedly defused a grenade thrown by the assailant. Gunshots were also heard in the area and the bus appeared damaged. Police officers have cordoned off the city center and urge individuals to avoid the area. A large number of law enforcement officials are at the site and hostage negotiators have engaged the assailant. The situation is ongoing and additional information has yet to emerge.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 20 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde issued a Health Alert regarding entry and exit requirements for Cameroon, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that while the Cameroonian border is still technically closed, three airlines, Air France, Brussels Airways, and Ethiopian Airways, have been permitted international flights by the government. The U.S. Embassy will not organize any further charter flights to evacuate U.S. citizens at this time. Americans wishing to return to the United States should contact these airlines. U.S. citizens seeking to travel to other countries should carefully review any possible conditions or restrictions on entry that may exist.

"U.S. citizens seeking to fly into Cameroon may undergo a rapid test at the airport upon arrival and if positive will be required to be in isolation at home or in a government-contracted hotel at their own expense depending on their symptoms. If negative, they are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Travelers must also present a negative test result from within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Cameroon. Any updates to these requirements will be posted on Embassy Yaoundé COVID-19 page.”

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 20 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued a Message for U.S. citizens regarding coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows:

"Restrictions on Vehicular Mobility: In the departments of Guatemala, Escuintla, Sacatepequez, Suchitepequez, Izabal, El Progreso, Zacapa, Santa Rosa and Quetzaltenango, all personal vehicles with license plates that end in an odd number (for example P001AAA) are permitted to circulate Tuesday, July 21; Thursday, July 23, and Saturday, July 25. All personal vehicles with license plates that end in an even number (for example P002AAA) are permitted to circulate on Monday, July 20; Wednesday, July 22; and Friday, July 24. Motorcycles, pedestrians, and other modes of non-vehicular transportation are exempt from these restrictions. All private vehicular mobility will be restricted on Sunday, July 26.

"Curfew Hours: Guatemala’s national mandatory curfew remains in place, running from 6:00 p.m. each evening through 5:00 a.m. the following day. In addition, an extended curfew will be in place on weekends, beginning Saturday, July 25 at 2:00 p.m., and extending through 5:00 a.m. the following Monday. This means that a full 24-hour curfew will be in place on Sunday, July 26. Every individual in Guatemala — including U.S. citizens — is required to remain inside their domicile during curfew hours (with exceptions for health and security, restaurant delivery services, certain media and legal personnel in pursuit of their duties, and patients receiving urgent treatment for chronic conditions).

"Guidance on Inter-Department Travel: The suspension on inter-departmental travel has been lifted, but the government of Guatemala has urged individuals to avoid travel into, out of, or between the departments of Guatemala, Escuintla, Sacatepequez, Suchitepequez, Izabal, El Progreso, Zacapa, Santa Rosa and Quetzaltenango. U.S. citizens should remain cautious while traveling between departments as some municipalities maintain their own restrictions and checkpoints and may only permit local residents to enter their communities."

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 21 July 2020, the U.S Embassy in Beirut issued a Security Alert for Lebanon, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: Lebanon is experiencing a severe economic crisis that is creating hardships for its residents and visitors. These include a nationwide shortage of U.S. dollars; a rapid decline in the value of the local currency; restrictions on bank withdrawals; sharply increased food prices; sporadic fuel shortages; blackouts; and increased incidence of street crime and burglaries. Some Lebanese health care providers also report having difficulties paying staff and importing medicines and medical equipment. Many shops, restaurants, and hotels that reopened following a COVID-19 lockdown have now closed for economic reasons.

"Beginning in October 2019, Lebanon witnessed frequent demonstrations by protesters dissatisfied with government policies. While these protests, which were largely peaceful, have decreased in size and frequency, the country is still seeing street protests, and some of them have turned violent."

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 21 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a Message regarding upcoming closures during the Eid al-Adha holiday, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and the U.S. Consulates General in Dhahran and Jeddah will be closed from Sunday, August 2, through Thursday, August 6, for the Eid-al-Adha holidays, resuming operations on Sunday, August 9.

"For emergencies requiring immediate assistance, please contact appropriate local Saudi authorities. First responders can be reached at:

  • Police: 999
  • Fire: 998
  • Ambulance: 997
  • Abuse Hotline: 1919
  • Child Protective Services: 116111"

To read the full text of the Message, please click here .