Worldview Security Update – July 6, 2020
6-Jul-20

AMERICAS

  • Brazil / Mexico / Lesser Antilles
  • United States

ASIA

  • Japan

AUSTRALASIA

  • Australia / Bangladesh / China

EUROPE

  • Spain / United Kingdom

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

  • Iran / Saudi Arabia

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

  • Cameroon
  • Kenya / Madagascar

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

  • Costa Rica
  • Haiti

Hot Spots Report

AMERICAS

Brazil / Mexico / Lesser Antilles (Security threat levels – 3 / 4 / 1): In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro approved new legislation on 3 July 2020, mandating the wearing of face masks in public spaces nationwide, including in public parks, and on public transportation — including taxis and aircraft. Violators may be subject to fines of varied amounts based on the discretion of municipal and state governments. However, Bolsonaro vetoed provisions of the law that would have required face masks inside of commercial and industrial establishments, places of worship, and other indoor public spaces. Additionally, Bolsonaro vetoed provisions of the law that would have required commercial enterprises to provide free face masks to employees and would have obligated the Brazilian government to provide complimentary masks to economically vulnerable residents. Looking ahead, Congress has 30 days to override Bolsonaro’s presidential veto with an absolute majority vote.

In Mexico, officials in the capital Mexico City postponed plans to reopen shopping malls and department stores until at least 15 July, citing the continued growth of COVID-19 cases. Officials had originally planned for retail establishments to reopen on 6 July.

In Saint Lucia, authorities announced that as of 9 July, pre-travel testing for COVID-19 will be mandatory for all travelers to the country. Travelers will be required to show proof of a negative PCR (Polymerized Chain Reaction) test within seven days of travel. However, travelers arriving from the following locations are exempt from the testing requirement: Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. All arriving passengers at the airport will undergo screening, including temperature checks. Face masks are required on all forms of public transportation and in all public spaces.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 3 July 2020, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott imposed a statewide order mandating the use of face masks at all times in public places amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the state. Until further notice, the order applies to Texas counties with 20 or more confirmed cases; a list of counties exempt from the order is available here . First-time violators face a warning and a fine of 250 U.S. dollars for each subsequent violation. Limited exemptions exist for children under 10 years of age, residents with medical conditions, persons driving in a private vehicle alone or with members of their household, as well as other specified situations, including when seated at a restaurant or otherwise consuming food. The text of the order is available here .

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Illinois, an emergency order requires travelers to the city from 15 U.S. states that are “experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases” to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The requirement applies to visitors from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. 

In the state of Florida, a countywide nightly curfew from 2200 to 0600 local time (0200 to 1000 UTC) is in effect in Miami-Dade County — where the city of Miami is located — until further notice. During curfew hours, residents must stay in their homes and restrict outside travel to essential activities. Essential personnel, such as first responders and health care workers, are exempt from the curfew. In addition, the scheduled reopening of public venues — including entertainment facilities, concert halls and other similar establishments — will be delayed for an indeterminate period. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, and residents engaging in social activities must wear face masks at all times and practice social distancing of at least 6 ft (2 m). 

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has announced plans to implement coronavirus-related restrictions statewide, including a directive prohibiting businesses from serving customers not wearing a face mask or not complying with other restrictions. The new regulations are scheduled to go into effect on 7 July. In addition, the governor imposed a two-week pause on the state’s four-phase plan to resume economic activities. 
In the state of Ohio, officials in the city of Cincinnati passed a city ordinance requiring individuals to wear face masks in all indoor public facilities, including grocery stores, restaurants and retail establishments. The ordinance specifies that the mask must cover the nose and mouth and that the city’s health department will issue fines of up to 25 U.S. dollars for violating the law. Additionally, the mayor of Cleveland signed an order requiring residents to wear face coverings in public places, such as businesses and restaurants. The mayor’s order also sets the maximum capacity for restaurants and bars at 50% of occupancy. Gatherings of more than 10 individuals are banned.

ASIA

Japan (Security threat level – 1): During the weekend of 4-5 July 2020, heavy rains caused flooding and landslides in Kumamoto, Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures. The flooding cut off roads, washed away buildings and destroyed houses. More than 4,650 homes were left without power in Kumamoto prefecture. Some areas received as much as 50 cm (20 in) of rain. Authorities have ordered more than 200,000 residents in Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures to evacuate. At least 50 individuals have been killed in the flooding and landslides. A full accounting of the damage is not yet available. As much as 25 cm of additional rain is forecast for 6-7 July for Kyushu and Shikoku islands and the Tokai subregion on Honshu, the country’s main island.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia / Bangladesh / China (Security threat levels – 2 / 4 / 3): In Australia, the border between the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria will close as of 7 July 2020, and will remain closed until further notice. The closure will be enforced on the New South Wales side. Violators of the border closure order may face up to six months in jail and a fine of 11,000 Australian dollars (7,642 U.S. dollars).

In Bangladesh, authorities placed the Wari section of the district of Dhaka – located approximately 15 km (9 mi) south of the city of Dhaka – under lockdown during 4-25 July. Within Wari, only pharmacies and grocery stores will be allowed to remain open. Only emergency workers may leave the area during the quarantine period.

In China, officials in Beijing announced the containment of a local outbreak of COVID-19 in the city, and subsequently lifted travel restrictions as of 4 July for low-risk areas of the city, which allows residents to travel from these areas without taking a COVID-19 test.

EUROPE

Spain / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): In Spain, authorities have imposed regional lockdowns due to local spikes in COVID-19 infection rates. As of 0000 local time on 6 July 2020 (2200 UTC on 5 July), the regions of A Mariña Central, A Mariña Occidental and A Mariña Oriental, located in the northwestern Lugo province, entered a lockdown until 10 July. Under the order, residents are not allowed to travel outside of the affected regions. Additionally, bars and restaurants are required to operate at 50% capacity and close nightly by 0000 local time. Separately, officials in the Catalonia region of Spain declared a lockdown in Segria county on 4 July until further notice. Segria county includes the city of Lleida, which has a population of 200,000 people. Individuals will be allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes only, such as traveling to work or obtaining groceries.

In the United Kingdom, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on 3 July published a list of countries from which travelers are not required to self-quarantine upon arrival to the U.K. The countries include Germany, Norway, Jamaica, Turkey and Mauritius. To view the full list of countries, please click here .

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iran / Saudi Arabia (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 5 July 2020, a mandatory mask order for individuals visiting public places went into effect nationwide. President Hassan Rohani also declared that government employees should not serve individuals who do not wear face masks, and employees without masks are to be sent home and declared absent from work that day. Private businesses that fail to comply with face mask rules will be closed for a week.

In Saudi Arabia, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Weqaya) on 5 July released new rules for the hajj — expected to occur between 28 July and 2 August – that are intended to protect against the spread of COVID-19. All guides, pilgrims and workers are subject to temperature checks throughout the pilgrimage. Face masks are required at all times. Hand sanitizer will be placed near all ATMs, and luggage will be disinfected and sanitized upon arrival.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): During the evening of 2 July 2020, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in the Damas neighborhood of the capital Yaoundé. At least 20 people were wounded, but there were no reports of fatalities; two similar attacks occurred in the area in recent weeks. No group has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, but English-speaking separatist fighters based in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions are believed to have coordinated the bombings from detention centers in the city. Following the attack, the governor of the Central Region — where Yaoundé is located — convened a special security meeting and increased security patrols in the city.
Analyst Comment: The most recent explosion took place shortly after a meeting between separatist leaders and government officials to discuss a possible ceasefire. Fighting between various English-speaking separatist groups located in the Anglophone regions and government forces has been ongoing since 2017. During the conflict, more than 3,000 people have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Kenya / Madagascar (Security threat levels – 4 / 3): On 6 July 2020, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a phased reopening of the country. Effective at 0400 local time (0100 UTC) on 7 July, movement restrictions into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area as well as Mombasa and Mandera counties will be lifted. Furthermore, domestic flights may resume on 15 July and international flights may resume on 1 August. However, Kenyatta extended the current nationwide nightly curfew from 2100 to 0400 local time for an additional 30 days.

In Madagascar, authorities imposed a new lockdown on the Analamanga region, where the capital Antananarivo is located, on 6 July following a spike in cases of COVID-19. The lockdown is expected to remain in effect until at least 20 July. Under the order, only one member per household is allowed to leave their residence between 0600-1200 local time (0300-0900 UTC) daily; while traffic into and out of the region is also prohibited.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 2 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in San José issued a Travel Alert regarding additional coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows:

"On July 2, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) placed much of Costa Rica’s Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) under an Orange Alert and expanded the national vehicular extension. For all regions under an orange alert, commercial activities are permitted from 5am to 7pm on weekdays. On weekends, supermarkets, hospitals, and pharmacies are among the only businesses that are allowed to operate. The nationwide night time vehicular restriction now lasts from 7pm to 5am every night, regardless of whether the region is under a yellow or orange alert. Daytime restrictions based on the last digit of a vehicle’s license plate still apply. In certain border regions, the night time restrictions apply from 5:00pm to 5:00am. These measures will be in force until at least July 13. All regions remaining under a yellow alert remain in “Phase 3” which allows for most commercial businesses to remain open on weekends."

The full text of the Alert can be read here .
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 5 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert warning of a planned demonstration for 6 July, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Petionville and Downtown Port au Prince

"Events: There is a call for a peaceful march by a civil society group on Monday, July 6, 2020. Beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m., participants are expected to gather at the Ministry of Education and march along Nazon and Lalue to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), located on Avenue Charles Sumner in the downtown area, where they plan to conduct a sit-in outside the facility."

The full text of the Security Alert can be read here .