Worldview Security Update – June 22, 2020
22-Jun-20

AMERICAS

Peru / Venezuela (Security threat levels – 3 / 5): On 22 June 2020, Peruvian authorities expanded the nightly 2100-0400 local time (0200-0900 UTC) curfew that was already in place for some areas to the entire country in an effort to slow the growing transmission of COVID-19. The curfew will remain in effect until at least 30 June. Previously, eight regions — Ancash (comprising of the coastal provinces of Canta, Huarmey and Santa), Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Tumbes and Ucayali — were under a nightly curfew during 1800-0400 local time.

In Venezuela, authorities imposed a series of quarantine measures over portions of 10 of the country’s 24 states as of 22 June in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. Until further notice, the measures will apply to the Capital District — which includes the capital Caracas — and the states of Apure, Aragua, Bolívar, La Guaira, Lara, Miranda, Táchira, Trujillo and Zulia. Inter- and intra- state and municipality travel has been heavily restricted under a special traffic management regime. Major highways and roads are closed, and authorities have established checkpoints and other containment measures outside of urban areas to enforce the restrictions. In addition, public transportation services — including the Caracas metro service and the Valles del Tuy railway — are temporarily suspended; buses have been deployed to transport essential personnel to and from their workplace. Furthermore, all nonessential business sectors authorized to resume operations must halt operations until further notice. Additional security forces have been deployed throughout the affected states to ensure compliance with the restrictions.

United States (Security threat level – 2): In the early hours of 22 June 2020, several gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a street party celebrating the Juneteenth holiday near Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park in northern Charlotte, North Carolina. At least two individuals were killed and seven others suffered gunshot wounds. Vehicles fleeing the scene struck and injured at least five additional individuals. Police officers responded to a call regarding reports of a pedestrian hit by a vehicle; multiple shots were fired after emergency services arrived at the scene. The assailants remain at large, and authorities have launched an investigation into the shooting.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia / Fiji (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): On 21 June 2020, officials in Australia’s Victoria state, where Melbourne is located, extended the state of emergency imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 until 19 July. The order prohibits private home gatherings of more than five non-residents and public gatherings of more than 10 participants. In addition, no more than 20 people at a time may visit community centers, museums, places of worship, restaurants or other public gathering sites until at least 12 July. Meanwhile, officials are urging residents to continue working remotely and to avoid returning to their workplaces until at least 31 July. Police officers will enforce social distancing rules by conducting spot checks of homes and venues. Violators may be fined "on the spot", with individuals facing up to 1,652 Australian dollars (1,129.32 U.S. dollars) and businesses facing up to 9,913 Australian dollars. Violators may also face court, which may assess fines of up to 20,000 Australian dollars for individuals and 100,000 Australian dollars for companies.

In Fiji, authorities shortened the existing nationwide nightly curfew by two hours — in effect from 2300 to 0400 local time (1100 to 1600 UTC) — beginning on 22 June as the country transitions to the second phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the curfew ran from 2200 to 0500 local time. In addition, gyms, hotels and other recreational facilities may reopen, and theaters and sporting arenas will be permitted to resume operations at 50% capacity. Public gatherings with up to 100 people will be permitted at public establishments, including cafes, restaurants, places of worship and wedding venues, subject to compliance with social distancing.

EUROPE

Germany (Security threat level – 3): On the night of 20 June 2020, riots broke out in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, where several hundred individuals smashed windows, broke into shops, and looted businesses in Schlossplatz and Königstrasse — an area known as the "shopping mile". The riots began after police officers searched a 17-year-old individual for an alleged drug offense at a park in the city center. Approximately 100-200 people threw rocks and bottles at police officers. The gathering swelled to include 400-500 people who attacked police vehicles and damaged a total of 40 businesses, nine of which were looted. At least 19 police officers were injured, and 12 police vehicles were damaged during the violence. Police officers arrested 24 individuals, including 12 foreign nationals, suspected of perpetrating the violence.

Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 19 June 2020, Ireland’s acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that the country’s 14-day mandatory self-quarantine requirement for international travelers will remain in place at least until 9 July. The prime minister stated that his intent was to coordinate Ireland’s reopening with those of other European countries, where COVID-19 cases are declining. The 14-day mandatory self-quarantine requirement for international travelers to Ireland was implemented on 28 May.

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1900 local time (1800 UTC) 20 June 2020, a 25-year-old man armed with a knife stabbed a number of people in the Forbury Gardens public park in central Reading, located approximately 65 km (40 mi) west of downtown London. Eyewitness reports indicate that the assailant moved between groups of people at the park attempting to stab them. At least three people were killed, including a U.S. national, and three others suffered non-life-threatening wounds during the attack. Police officers arrested the assailant at the scene; the individual is reportedly of Libyan origin and has been known to authorities since at least 2019 for suspected aspirations of traveling abroad for terrorism purposes. Authorities believe that the perpetrator acted alone and are further investigating the terrorist attack.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Morocco / Saudi Arabia / United Arab Emirates (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 2): Moroccan authorities plan to further ease restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, categorizing provinces and prefectures as either Zone 1 or Zone 2. Beginning at 0000 local time on 24 June 2020 (2300 UTC on 23 June), cafes, gyms, restaurants, Turkish baths and other commercial activities in Zone 1 — which comprises all regions except for Assilah, Kenitra, Larache, Marrakesh and Tangier — will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity, including dine-in services at eateries. Travel restrictions will be eased to permit additional road and rail travel between cities in Zone 1, and public beaches and sporting arenas will reopen. On 25 June domestic flights will resume services. Meanwhile in Zone 2, residents will not be required to obtain a movement permit from local officials to travel within the zone effective 24 June. In addition, hair salons, other commercial retailers and public spaces, such as gardens and parks, may reopen at 50% capacity. Residents may also leave their homes for recreational activities. However, theaters, museums, wedding venues and funeral parlors will remain closed throughout the country until further notice.

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, officials annulled the nationwide curfew on 21 June. Businesses are now allowed to reopen and movement restrictions are no longer in effect. However, international commercial flights into and out of the country remain suspended, and land and sea borders are still closed. In addition, public and private gatherings of more than 50 people remain prohibited. Officials have yet to announce whether they will permit the annual Hajj pilgrimage, scheduled to begin in late July.

In the UAE, authorities in Dubai on 22 June lifted travel restrictions for Emirati nationals and permanent residents, who are now permitted to reenter the country provided they present a health declaration form prior to boarding their flight. Upon entry, all arrivals must take an RT-PCR COVID-19 test and may be subject to self-quarantine for 14 days if they test positive. On 23 June, all UAE residents will be permitted to travel abroad subject to approval from the destination country. Furthermore, foreign nationals will be permitted to enter Dubai beginning on 7 July. Travelers must take an RT-PCR test within four days of their travel date and provide evidence of a negative test result upon entry into Dubai. Visitors may be subject to additional health screenings and mandatory quarantine procedures on arrival.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 20 June 2020, authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo extended the nationwide state of health emergency enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic until at least 4 July. The measure was previously set to expire at 0000 local time on 21 June (2300 UTC on 20 June). Restrictions on businesses, travel and public gatherings will remain in place for the duration of the emergency. Officials had imposed a lockdown on the cities of Lubumbashi, Kasumbalesa and Kipushi — all three located in Haut-Katanga province — during the past weekend.

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): As of 22 June 2020, members of the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco) are observing a strike in Gauteng province — where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located — leaving hundreds of commuters stranded. In Pretoria, police officers reportedly fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters on 22 June; however, there were no reports of additional clashes or injuries. Taxi drivers began the indefinite labor action on 21 June over loss of wages and fears that the banks will start collecting debts as of 1 July.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Azerbaijan (Security threat level – 3): On 19 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Azerbaijan, which reads in part as follows:

“The authorities have extended the quarantine regime in Azerbaijan to 1 August with significant restrictions in place from 00:00 on 21 June 2020 until 06:00 on 5 July. Unless specifically exempted, people are not permitted to leave their places of residence in Baku, Sumgayit, the Absheron Peninsula, Ganja, Yevlakh, Masalli, Jalilabad and Lankaran unless for a permitted purpose and have SMS message authorisation or are registered in the Government database. You can read more information about the stricter quarantine regime here .

“Any individual and their vehicle(s) working in permitted fields must be registered on to the Government database icaze.e-gov.az by their employer using an electronic signature.
“Restrictive measures are in place until 1 August to combat the spread of COVID-19. The wearing of face masks is now mandatory in a number of circumstances and failure to do so could lead to being fined. Some restrictions on internal travel around Azerbaijan remain in place.”

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 21 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia issued an alert regarding the extension of Brazil’s existing border closures, which reads in part as follows:

"On June 20, Brazil extended the decree that foreigners are banned from entering the country by air, land, and sea for 15 days (through July 5). This is an extension of previous border closures. Those in the following categories are exempt:

  • Brazilian citizens, born or naturalized
  • Permanent residents of Brazil National Immigration Registry Card Holders (Registro Nacional Migratório – RNM)
  • Foreign professionals employed by a non-governmental aid organization recognized by the Brazilian government Foreign officials accredited by the Brazilian government
  • Spouse, domestic partner, son or daughter, father or mother, or caregiver of a Brazilian citizen
  • Any person whose entrance into Brazil is deemed by the government to be in the public interest
  • Travelers in transit in one of the following categories:  cargo delivery International passengers making a connection who do not leave the international transit area, passengers required to disembark for aircraft refueling or repairs, flight crews.

"The announcement does not prevent individuals from departing on commercial flights. Commercial flights between the United States and Brazil continue to run on a regular basis. Flights are limited and subject to change. Please contact airlines directly for the most current schedule information."

The entire alert is available here .

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 21 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert regarding protests scheduled to take place on 22-23 June in Port-au-Prince, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Petionville, and potentially other areas of Port-au-Prince.

"Event: There have been public calls for protests on economic and social grievances in Petionville and other areas of Port-au-Prince for Monday, June 22, and Tuesday June 23, 2020. The protest routes and times are currently unknown, but the Haitian National Police (HNP) is aware and has alerted their officers, including those serving at the Petionville HNP Commissariat. The Embassy will provide updates as needed. Out of an abundance of caution, effective Monday June 22 at 0700 hrs through Wednesday, June 24 at 0700 hrs, all U.S. Mission personnel are restricted from travel to Petionville."

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

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 20 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City issued a Security Alert regarding reports that unknown groups have erected roadblocks in multiple cities in Guanajuato state. The alert reads in part as follows:

“Location: Mexican State of Guanajuato

“Event: The Embassy has received reports of ongoing unofficial roadblocks in the municipalities of Celaya, Juventino Rosas, Cortázar, Dolores Hidalgo, Apaseo el Alto, Apaseo el Grande, Salvatierra, Tarimoro, San Luis de la Paz, and San Jose Iturbide. Active gunfire is reported in San Luis de la Paz.

“Actions to Take:

  • Avoid highways in these municipalities until the unofficial roadblocks are cleared.
  • Monitor the local news for updates, follow directions from local officials, and in case of emergency call 911.”