Worldview Security Update – July 8, 2020
8-Jul-20

AMERICAS

Americas: As of 7 July 2020, the Latin America and the Caribbean region had surpassed 3 million COVID-19 cases and reported more than 130,000 fatalities. The countries of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru account for more than 80% of the region’s cases. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Latin America and the Caribbean has become the epicenter of the pandemic.

The governor of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state extended coronavirus-related restrictions until at least 21 July. Under the executive decree, face-to-face classes in schools throughout the state remain suspended and locations that attract large gatherings — including cinemas, theaters and gyms — remain closed. The governor also issued an advisory to residents against frequenting beaches, lagoons, rivers, public pools and clubs. Conversely, since 2 July some activities and businesses have been allowed to resume. Places of worship are allowed to open provided social distancing of at least 1 m (3 ft) is observed. Additionally, some bars and restaurants are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. During 4-5 July, the first weekend of Rio’s limited openings, more than 130 establishments were fined for failing to comply with state coronavirus-related restrictions, and at least five were forced to close.

In Colombia, authorities on 7 July extended an existing nationwide lockdown until at least 1 August. Residents are required to remain in their homes and only travel for essential activities, such as to procure food and medicine or to seek medical care, visit a bank or ATM or walk a pet. Officials have stipulated that only one resident per household is permitted to leave at a time. The use of face masks is mandatory on public transportation and other public spaces. Additional restrictions vary across regions, with stricter restrictions in areas with higher COVID-19 infection rates. In areas with lower infection rates, nonessential businesses — including recreational facilities, restaurants and theaters — may reopen in compliance with specific public health measures.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 7 July 2020, officials in the U.S. states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut expanded an existing 14-day self-quarantine requirement to include individuals traveling from the states of Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma. The quarantine requirement initially went into effect on 25 June for inbound travelers to the tri-state area from eight southern and western states with high rates of COVID-19 infection; an additional eight states were included on 30 June. 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, those 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 . Additionally, the New Jersey state government has published responses to a list of frequently asked questions, which is available here .

ASIA

Asia / Australasia: As of 8 July 2020, governments across the Asia-Pacific region maintain measures intended to limit the spread of COVID-19. In Australia, the Northern Territory will require travelers from Victoria state to quarantine on arrival for 14 days. In India, the state capital of Bihar will undergo a lockdown during 10-16 July. In Pakistan, authorities lifted restrictions in a section of the capital Islamabad, whereas lockdowns are set to be imposed in parts of Lahore. Uzbekistan’s government announced a nationwide lockdown during 10 July-1 August.

In Australia, authorities in the Northern Territory — where Darwin is located — announced on 7 July that until further notice travelers from Victoria state will be required to observe a 14-day quarantine period in a government-designated facility at the traveler’s expense. The chief minister of the Northern Territory announced the decision ahead of the region’s scheduled reopening of its borders with other Australian states on 17 July. As of that date, inbound travelers to the Northern Territory from elsewhere in Australia — except Victoria — will be permitted to enter without restrictions or quarantine periods. Residents of the Northern Territory returning from Victoria or other COVID-19 hot spots will also be subject to quarantine requirements.

In India, the city of Patna — the capital of Bihar state — will undergo a lockdown during 10-16 July. Under the order, residents will be permitted to leave their homes to procure essential goods and services, such as food and medical care. However, grocery stores may only open during 0600-1000 local time (0030-0430 UTC) and 1600-1900 local time. Government offices and places of worship will be closed, and all large gatherings will be banned.

In Pakistan, authorities in the capital Islamabad lifted lockdowns in the city’s G-6/1, G-6/2 and G7/2 sectors due to a decrease in COVID-19 cases in these areas. Meanwhile, the Punjab provincial government announced that the following seven areas of Lahore, the provincial capital, will be placed under lockdown for seven days beginning on 9 July: A-2 block of Township, DHA-EME, Wapda Town, block C of Johar Town, Chungi Amar Sadhu Main Bazaar and adjacent areas, Punjab Government Scheme and Green City.

In Uzbekistan, the government announced that it will re-impose a nationwide lockdown from 10 July to 1 August in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Under the order, vehicular movement will be limited; inter-regional travel will be banned except for essential purposes; celebrations — such as weddings — will be banned, and funerals may only permit a maximum of 15 attendees; amusement parks, bazaars, department stores, gyms, public pools, restaurants and guest houses will be required to close; and international flights will be reduced by 50%. Crews operating cargo aircraft will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in order to enter the country.

EUROPE

Belgium / Romania / Serbia (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3): The state-owned National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB) announced on 7 July 2020 that police officers will fine commuters not wearing face masks while aboard SNCB trains. Previously, police officers conducted random checks — in accordance with the 4 May mandate requiring masks on public transport — but did not penalize violators. Travelers violating the mandate can be fined up to 250 euros (280 U.S. dollars).

Travelers arriving in Romania from 22 countries are exempt from coronavirus-related entry requirements as of 7 July. Exempted countries include members of the EU and the European Economic Area, including Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. A complete list of countries exempted from coronavirus-related entry requirements can be found here . At present, travelers from non-exempt countries must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Romania.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has imposed a countrywide ban on gatherings of more than five people as of 8 July amid a notable increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, particularly in the capital Belgrade. Additionally, a curfew is set in Belgrade for 1800 local time (1600 UTC) on 10 July until 0500 local time on 13 July. Following the president’s announcement on 7 July, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Belgrade to denounce the reimplementation of a curfew. At approximately 2200 local time, a group of protesters briefly broke through a police cordon and entered the National Assembly building before police officers deployed tear gas to disperse the crowd. During the ensuing confrontation, at least 60 people suffered injuries, including 43 police officers. As of the latest reports, authorities have erected barricades around the National Assembly in anticipation of additional protests later on 8 July.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Portugal (Security threat level – 2): On 8 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon issued a Health Alert regarding U.S. travelers to Portugal, which reads in part as follows:

"All approved U.S. travelers to Portugal must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding. Failure to do so may result in refusal to board, refusal of entry or mandatory testing at the cost of the passenger and quarantine upon arrival.

"Visit our COVID-19 page for more information on qualifying travel, entry/exit requirements, restrictions, and resources: pt.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/ "

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum issued a Health Alert regarding the revised curfew time and ongoing restrictions in the city, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: Effective Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the Government of Sudan has moved to a 6:00pm to 6:00am curfew in Khartoum. This curfew will remain in effect until further notice. All persons are able to move freely, including across bridges, from 6:00am to 6:00pm local time. Public transportation will begin operating on July 8, 2020 in response to the loosened restrictions. From 6:00pm to 6:00am, movement, including across bridges, is restricted.

"The airport remains closed to commercial flights through July 12, 2020; however, the U.S. Embassy is aware of limited OUTBOUND commercial flights. Please see previous messages for more information.

"We strongly recommend that all persons comply with the new curfew the government put in place. All persons in Sudan, regardless of nationality, are subject to the curfew as well as all local laws. If you are detained or arrested, the U.S. government can neither secure your release nor act as your legal representative. All U.S. Embassy personnel are required to comply with the curfew."

The full text of the alert is available here .

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 8 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a Citizen Alert regarding COVID-19 restrictions in the UAE, which reads in part as follows:

"Foreign Travel for UAE Residents: The UAE government has reportedly relaxed its requirements for international travel from the UAE with the intent to return. Residents may now travel outside of the UAE for “general reasons” provided they adhere to the below requirements:

  • "Receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of international travel
  • "Obtain international health insurance for the entire duration of travel
  • "Adhere to health regulations of the country they are traveling to
  • "Obtain a negative COVID-19 test result 48 hours before their return to the UAE
  • "Quarantine upon return to the UAE

"Abu Dhabi movement restriction update: The Abu Dhabi government updated travel rules to allow residents to take 48-hour trips outside the emirate after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. Additionally, commuters traveling into Abu Dhabi from other emirates must have a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to arriving at the Abu Dhabi border. Please click here  for more information."

The full text of the alert is available here .