Worldview Security Update – June 12, 2020
12-Jun-20

ASIA

Armenia (Security threat level – 3) : On 12 June 2020, authorities extended the nationwide state of emergency until 13 July. Concurrently, several restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 have been loosened; public transport is operational and most businesses in the country have reopened. Individuals are required to wear face masks in public places. Authorities plan to permit international flights to resume in mid-July.

China (Security threat level – 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 12 June 2020, Tropical Depression 02W was located approximately 715 km (445 mi) southeast of Hong Kong and was moving west-northwest at 28 kph (17 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 56 kph, with gusts of up to 74 kph. On its current path, the storm is forecast to make landfall in southwestern Guangdong province by 14 June. Authorities predict that 02W will strengthen into a tropical storm prior to landfall. Authorities in Macao  have issued a Signal Number 1 — the lowest alert level on a 10-tier scale — to warn residents of potential flooding due to heavy rainfall.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): Beginning at 1430 local time (1230 UTC) on 13 June 2020, demonstrators plan to march from Place de la République to Place de l’Opéra in the capital Paris to protest racism and police violence. Authorities have requested that businesses along the protest route close down and clear any public areas of items, such as furniture or displays, which could be used to cause damage. Additional demonstrators are expected in Marseille’s Old Port area, Lyon’s La Place Bellecour, Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie, Nantes’ Place du Bouffay, Saint-Nazaire and Strasbourg. Travelers and expatriates in these French cities should avoid all large gatherings, as such demonstrations are likely to turn violent and could collaterally affect those in the vicinity of protest sites.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On the night of 11 June 2020, demonstrators gathered across Lebanon to protest economic hardship and a notable devaluation of the Lebanese pound. Demonstrators blocked the country’s main coastal highway with burning tires and barricades in Beirut, the capital, and also in Tripoli. In Beirut, police officers deployed tear gas against demonstrators in Riad al-Solh square, and demonstrators barricaded roads, set fires in the area and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers. Demonstrators also attempted to breach the central bank on Hamra Street but were repelled by security personnel. Supporters of the Hizballah and Amal groups also reportedly joined the demonstrations. Meanwhile in the northern city of Tripoli, demonstrators set fire to the central bank building and threw rocks at security personnel who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. At least 41 individuals were injured in Tripoli. Additional protests occurred in the cities of Akkar, Sidon, Tyre, Nabatieh and the Bekka Valley.

The overall situation remains tense in Lebanon and the likelihood of additional protests in Beirut and elsewhere in the country later on 12 June and during the weekend of 13-14 June is high. Organizations with assets and personnel in Lebanon should monitor the situation closely. Prime Minister Hassan Diab held an emergency Cabinet Meeting earlier on 12 June and decided to introduce additional dollars into the market to prevent further devaluation of the Lebanese pound. The Lebanese pound has lost about 70% of its value since protests initially started in October 2019. The official exchange rate is 1,500 pounds to one U.S. dollar; however, the street value is reportedly about 6,000 pounds to one U.S. dollar.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 10 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding the Chilean government’s city-level quarantines, which reads in part as follows:

“As of June 10, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 148,493 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 June 10:

  • Extension of quarantine for Gran Santiago as well as six nearby comunas until Friday, June 19
  • Extension of quarantine for Iquique and Alto Hospicio until Friday, June 19
  • A quarantine for the following comunas, beginning at 10:00 pm Friday, June 12:  Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, San José de Maipo, Peñaflor, Melipilla, Curacaví, Til til, and Pozo Almonte
  • Establishment of a sanitary cordon for the comunas of Pirque and Alto Bio-Bío (beginning Friday, June 12 at 10:00 pm)"

The entire alert is available here .

Iceland (Security threat level – 1): On 12 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Iceland, which reads in part as follows: “From 15 June all passengers arriving in Iceland can chose to be tested for COVID-19 (free of charge until 30 June, and ISK 15,000 per test thereafter) or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later will be exempt from both testing and self-isolation.”

Morocco (Security threat level – 3): On 11 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Morocco, which reads in part as follows:

"The Moroccan Government announced on 9 June a further extension to the State of Health Emergency until 10 July, along with details of its strategy for easing restrictive measures. The strategy, which comes into effect from 11 June, categorises provinces/prefectures in Morocco into two zones according to the pandemic situation in each province/prefecture. Economic and industrial activities (some of which have already resumed) as well as small businesses will reopen, but restaurants and coffee shops (unless for takeaway/delivery), Turkish baths, cinemas and theatres remain closed. The wearing of face masks in public spaces remains mandatory."

To read the full text of the warning please click here .

Turkey (Security threat level – 4): On 12 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued an updated Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"Health Alert: COVID-19 Related Restrictions in Turkey

"New Updates:

  • "International flights have resumed, mostly into Europe. U.S. citizens in transit can book these flights on routes back to the U.S. starting immediately, as long as they continue to meet the Schengen and U.K. exceptions as passengers in transit.
  • "Turkish Airlines has announced flights to the United States from Turkey starting on June 19. However, flights in the coming days or weeks may be subject to change.
  • "Foreign travelers without a Turkish identification card have noted problems in applying for HES codes using the SMS system. In the instructions below, travelers are recommended to try either their surname or number of days you will travel for part(d). To submit the request via SMS, send a text message to phone number 2023 that includes (a) the letters “HES”, (b) your Turkish kimlik number (c) the last four digits of the series number of your ID, and (d) Surname or the number of days you will be traveling, plus 7 days. Put a single space between each item.
  • "The Ministry of Interior has announced new policy changes affecting people who overstay their visa. Foreign travelers should be prepared to pay administrative fines as they depart. Travelers may be able have fines waived by showing they had tickets but were unable to travel. Final determination of fines and penalties will be determined by the Turkish government. Please review the Ministry of Interior website for the full list of circumstances: Ministry of Interior: Visa Overstay
  • "People under the age of 18 will be able to go out any time, in the company of a parent.
  • "People above the age of 65 will be able to go out every day, between 10:00-20:00."

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