Worldview Security Update – June 4, 2020
4-Jun-20

AMERICAS

Costa Rica / Panama (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 3 June 2020, Costa Rican officials extended vehicle restrictions in several northern cities and districts, prohibiting vehicular traffic during 1700-0500 local time (2300-1100 UTC) in the cities of Guatuso, La Cruz, Los Chiles, Rio Cuarto and Upala as well as in the districts of San Carlos, Guácimo, Pococí, Sarapiquí and Siquirres. Additional security forces are expected to deploy throughout the areas to enforce the restrictions. Essential workers, government officials, emergency vehicles and personnel are exempt from all movement restrictions.

In Panama, the government mandated that as of 3 June all residents must wear face masks when in public until further notice. Officials issued the order to prevent community-based transmission of COVID-19. Individuals who fail to comply with the order are likely to face penalties, such as fines or arrest.

Mexico / Guatemala / El Salvador / Belize / Honduras (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 4 / 3 / 4): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 4 June 2020, Tropical Storm Cristobal was located approximately 70 km (110 mi) southeast of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, and was traveling southeast at 4 kph (2 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph with higher gusts. On its current path, the storm is expected to cross over eastern Mexico on 4-5 June as it weakens to become a depression. The depression is then forecast to move across the southern Gulf of Mexico on 5 June and re-strengthen into a tropical storm. Heavy rains and subsequent flooding have damaged roads and buildings in the Yucatán Peninsula. According to a senior government official, emergency crews evacuated approximately 500 residents in six affected states in southern Mexico. One person died after strong winds blew a tree on top of him in the municipality of San Cristobal in Chiapas state, located approximately 480 km south of Ciudad del Carmen.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to produce 15-30 cm (6-12 in) of rain in the Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán, with isolated maximums of up to 65 cm. Meanwhile, southern Guatemala and El Salvador are forecast to receive rainfall of between 35-50 cm and 25-35 cm, respectively. Approximately 7-15 cm of rain is in the forecast for Belize and Honduras. A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for an area stretching from the city of Campeche, located in Campeche state, to Coatzacoalcos, located in Veracruz state. Heavy rainfall in the area is likely to cause flooding and mudslides.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 4 June 2020, a nightly curfew during 2000-0500 local time (0000-0900 UTC) remains in effect in New York City through 8 June following violent protests in response to the 25 May death of an African American man while in police custody in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While protests in New York City on the night of 3 June remained largely peaceful — aside from minor confrontations between police officers and protesters in Brooklyn — an armed assailant attacked three police officers in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood. The assailant stabbed a police officer, then stole a handgun from one of the officers and shot two other policemen at the scene. Other officers responding to the sounds of gunfire shot and wounded the assailant, who remains in critical condition; the three officers are undergoing treatment for non-life-threatening wounds

In Minneapolis, a commemorative event to honor the deceased is scheduled to occur at a sanctuary on the campus of North Central University at 1300 local time (1800 UTC). Hundreds of people are expected to participate in the event. A nighttime curfew during 2200-0400 local time remains in effect for the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan region on 4-5 June.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): As of 4 June 2020, several roads in Mumbai remain inundated with flood waters due to persistent heavy rains, following the landfall of Cyclone Nisarga along the coast of Maharashtra state’s Raigad district, approximately 50 km (30 mi) south of Mumbai. The cyclone caused significant damage to the low-lying coastal districts located to the south and southeast of Mumbai, with widespread damage to property, numerous uprooted trees and downed power lines. At least four storm-related fatalities were reported in Raigad and Pune districts, which were among the areas worst affected by the storm. Operations at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (VABB/BOM) resumed on the evening of 3 June, while numerous flights to and from Pune Airport (VAPO/PNQ) were disrupted due to inclement weather conditions in the late hours of 3 June.

Cyclone Nisarga has largely dissipated as of 4 June after weakening to become a depression during the afternoon of 3 June. The storm’s remnants are continuing to track east-northeast over the inland Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and toward the western Himalayan region in Nepal.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia / Indonesia / Sri Lanka (Security threat levels – 2 / 4 / 4): On 4 June 2020, Australian air carrier Qantas increased the number of domestic flights it conducts after officials eased domestic travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The airline plans to gradually increase its capacity in June and into July. The airline will implement a series of measures — which include contactless check-in, enhanced cleaning, free masks and hand sanitizing wipes for all passengers — beginning on 12 June. Meanwhile, the Australian and New Zealand governments are currently in discussions regarding the resumption of flights between the two countries.

In Indonesia, officials on 4 June outlined plans to ease restrictions in the capital Jakarta over the coming days. Beginning on 5 June houses of worship will be allowed to reopen, with social distancing measures in place. Malls and shopping centers will be allowed to reopen as of 15 June. Officials emphasized that the plan is subject to change if the rate of COVID-19 infection increases in the city.

In Sri Lanka, officials imposed a 24-hour curfew from 1000 local time (1630 UTC) on 3 June to 0400 local time on 6 June in order to limit further spread of COVID-19. The curfew is intended to prevent communal gatherings during the Buddhist holiday of Poson Poya on 5 June, which marks the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

EUROPE

Europe: As of 4 June 2020, governments in Europe are continuing to revise and adjust restrictions enacted to stem the spread of COVID-19. Additional details for Belgium, Cyprus, Spain and Italy are detailed below.

In Belgium, Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes on 3 June announced new measures, which are expected to take effect on 8 June, during the third phase of the deconfinement plan. During this time, the hotel and catering sector will reopen while worship and sports activities will be allowed to resume. Residents must continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and maintain a distance of 1.5 m (5 ft). Meanwhile, beginning on 15 June the country is expected to reopen its borders to and from the U.K., all EU member countries and four countries in the passport-free Schengen Zone: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

In Cyprus, authorities on 3 June confirmed that inbound flights from 19 countries will be allowed to use Larnaca International Airport (LCLK/LCA) and Paphos International Airport (LCPH/PFO). The gradual reopening of airports will occur in two phases, the first of which begins on 9 June. During Phase One, travelers en route to Cyprus from these permitted 19 European countries must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight. before they will be allowed to board. Travelers from countries with limited testing availability must pay for COVID-19 testing upon arrival at Cyprus airports, a cost of approximately 60 euros (68 U.S. dollars). During Phase Two, which begins on 20 June, only travelers from Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Switzerland will be mandated to follow the COVID-19 testing protocol previously mentioned. Any traveler who has traveled to a country not part of the 19 designated countries within 14 days of their trip will not be permitted to enter Cyprus.

In Italy, officials lifted the entry ban on citizens of the EU, passport-free Schengen Zone countries and the U.K. on 3 June. Travelers are no longer required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Italy. All international flights are expected to operate through the main airports, including Milan Malpensa Airport (LIMC/MXP), Naples International Airport (LIRN/NAP) and Rome-Fiumicino International Airport (LIRF/FCO). Meanwhile, officials also announced that residents will be permitted to move freely within the country; however, movement restrictions may be re-imposed without warning if the rate of COVID-19 infection rate abruptly increases. At this time, it is unknown how the new measures will affect land and sea borders.

In Spain, Congress voted on 3 June to extend the existing state of alarm for what government officials stated would be the final time. This is the sixth time the state of alarm — which will remain in place until 21 June — has been extended. The end of the extension coincides with the end of the country’s quarantine measures through its four-phased plan to ease coronavirus-related restrictions. After the state of alarm expires, Spain’s land borders with Portugal and France will open on 22 June, according to Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. Additionally, officials announced that as of 1 July Spain will allow tourists from the EU without the obligatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 4 June 2020, officials announced that transit flights will resume operations through airports in the UAE, as coronavirus-related restrictions are being gradually annulled. A specific date has yet to be announced. All passenger flights to and from the country were suspended in March. All transit flights will be permitted to resume at the country’s three main airports: Abu Dhabi International Airport (OMAA/AUH), Dubai International Airport (OMDB/DXB) and Sharjah International Airport (OMSJ/SHJ). Indviduals should note that at present, officials in Abu Dhabi require individuals to present booking confirmation or a copy of their airline ticket to enter the emirate through 9 June. Airlines are expected to announce additional details, procedures and the start date in the forthcoming days. All inbound and outbound passenger flights remain suspended until further notice.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Sub-Saharan Africa: As of 4 June 2020, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Africa has surpassed 163,000 as governments continue to implement and modify restrictions in an effort to prevent further spread of the virus. The most recent notable developments in Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda are outlined below.

In Madagascar, protesters gathered in Toamasina — the country’s second largest city — on the evening of 3 June following allegations that police officers had physically assaulted a street vendor who violated a nightly ban on commercial activities. Protesters burned tires, blocked roads and threw stones at police officers, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. There were no reports of widespread injuries or arrests. A lockdown remains in place in Toamasina, where the majority of the country’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred.

In Rwanda, the government has adjusted movement restrictions, which are now prohibited nationwide during 2100-500 local time (1900-0300 UTC), except with special permission. Additionally, travel between the capital Kigali and rest of the country is allowed, except for movement to and from Rusizi and Rubavu districts. Public transportation in the two aforementioned districts remains suspended. Masks are required in public, including aboard public transportation.

In Senegal, authorities on 4 June lifted a ban on inter-regional travel and reduced the hours of the nationwide nightly curfew following widespread protests against government restrictions on 2-3 June. On the evening of 3 June hundreds of residents gathered in the capital Dakar to denounce the nationwide nightly curfew, which is now in effect during 2300-0500 local time/UTC through 2 July; protesters burned tires and threw stones at security forces who deployed to the scene to enforce social distancing measures. The protests in Dakar followed similar protests that occurred on the previous night in the cities of Diourbel, Mbacke, Tambacounda and Touba. In Touba, located approximately 190 km (120 mi) east of Dakar, protesters set fire to an ambulance and looted multiple office buildings in the city center; in Mbacke, protesters vandalized a local state-run radio station. Police arrested more than 70 people during protests nationwide since 2 June.

In Uganda, authorities extended the nationwide nightly curfew as of 3 June — during 1900-0630 local time (1600-0330 UTC) — through at least 23 June. Meanwhile, several forms of public transportation — including minibus, bus and passenger train — are expected to resume operations with reduced capacity on 4 June. In districts that are located along Uganda’s borders with neighboring countries, both public and private transportation are suspended until further notice. Authorities have not authorized tuk tuks or boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) to resume operations.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding the Chilean government’s extension of city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows:

"As of June 3, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 113,628 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 3:

  • Extension of quarantine for Gran Santiago as well as six nearby comunas until Friday, June 12
  • Extension of quarantine for Iquique and Alto Hospicio until Friday, June 12
  • Lifting of quarantine for the comuna of Lonquimay beginning Friday, June 5 at 10:00 pm."

The full alert is available here .
Côte d’Ivoire (Security threat level – 4): On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Northern and Northeast Border Region of Cote d’Ivoire, specifically:

  • Areas more than 10 kilometers north of highway A-12
  • Areas within 10 kilometers of the border with Burkina Faso or Mali
  • North, East or inside of Comoe National Park
  • Northeast of highway A-1, from Ghana’s border, to Bondoukou and Comoe National Park at Kotouba

“Event: Extremist groups continue to carry out attacks in adjacent areas of Mali and Burkina Faso. Security forces from Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire have been carrying out joint counter-terrorism operations along the northern border with Burkina Faso.

“U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to the northern and northeast border region, as delineated above, limiting the ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Note this prohibition does not include travel within the city limits of the following major cities: Odienne, Madinani, Boundiali, Korhogo, Ferkessedougou, or Bondoukou.”
Hungary (Security threat level – 2): On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Hungary issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests in the city on 4 and 5 June, which reads in part as follows:

"Demonstration Alert – U. S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary (June 4-5, 2020)

"Event: On Thursday, June 4th and Friday June 5th there will be numerous commemorations about the Trianon Treaty in the downtown Pest area.

"Locations:

  •  
  • Place: Batthyány Eternity Flame – Szabadsag Square – Vertanuk Square – Kossuth Square – Batthyány Eternity Flame Date/Time: June 4th / 1400-1600 Organizer: Private individual
  • Place: Kossuth Square Date/Time: June 4th / 1500-1800 Organizer: World Federation of Hungarians
  • Place: Szabadsag Square, between Hutte Café and Russian Monument Date / Time: From 0900 on June 4, 2020, until 2130 on June 5, 2020 Organizer: Private individual
  • Place: Heroes Square flash mob dancers Date/Time: June 4th / 1600-1730 Organizer: Ypsylon Media Kft and Hungarian Theater Society
  • Place: Heroes Square – Andrássy út – Jozsef Attila utca – Sas utca – Szabadsag Square Date/Time: June 5th / 1930 – 2100 Organizer: 64 Vármegye Mozgalom"

North Macedonia (Security threat level – 3): On 4 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued updated travel advice for North Macedonia, which reads in part as follows:

"On 3 June, the Government of North Macedonia announced the restriction of movement in some municipalities. There will be a curfew in all Skopje municipalities, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Stip, Karbinci, Tetovo, Bogovinje, Brvenica, Tearce, Zhelino and Jegunovce from 9 pm on Thursday 4 June until 5 am on Monday 8 June.

"In the remaining municipalities across the country, the curfew will begin at 9 pm on Thursday 4 June until 5 am on Friday 5 June, and then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday curfew hours will be from 4 pm until 5 am each day.

"Friday 5 June has been declared a non-working day for all citizens. During the extended weekend, citizens are banned from visiting cemeteries for the whole territory of North Macedonia, except for funerals."

Suriname (Security threat level – 2): On 3 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Suriname, which reads in part as follows: 
“The government have announced that a nationwide lockdown will be in place from 18.00hrs on 4 June to 06.00hrs on 12 June 2020. This has been introduced as a counter measure to the spread of COVID-19. All international borders are closed (including the ferry to Guyana). Everyone is urged to stay at home.

“The government of Suriname has blocked road and air travel into and out of the eastern part of the country, including traffic on the East-West Connecting Road at the point of Stolkersijver.

“Supermarkets, small vegetable stands, bakeries, butchers, fuel stations will be allowed to remain open between 08.00hrs – 17.00hrs, as will restaurants and pharmacies offering a collection service. Nightclubs and casinos will remain closed.” 
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in London issued a Demonstration Alert that reads in part as follows:

“Location: Central London, Edinburgh, Belfast – United Kingdom

“Event: Numerous demonstrations are being planned for June 3 to 7, 2020 across the United Kingdom. The majority of the demonstrations will be focused in central London. Several of the events are expected to attract large crowds.

Demonstrations and marches are expected to take place:

  • Friday, June 5 at 12:00 PM in Trafalgar Square
  • Saturday, June 6 at 12:00 PM in Parliament Square (a march)
  • Saturday, June 6 at 3:00 PM at the U.S. Embassy London
  • Saturday, June 6 at 3:00 PM in downtown Belfast
  • Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 PM at the U.S. Embassy London
  • Sunday, June 7 at 1:00 PM in central Edinburgh”

Analyst Comment: These demonstrations are being organized in response to the 25 May police killing of an African American man in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, while in police custody. A similar demonstration organized by the Black Lives Matter activist group in central London drew thousands of participants on 3 June. Protesters gathered in Hyde Park, from where they marched to Victoria Station and on to Parliament. Minor clashes occurred between protesters and police officers, but there were no reports of significant injuries. Police officers arrested at least 13 protesters.

Travelers and expatriates in the U.K. should avoid the aforementioned protest venues, as violence is an ever-present concern during such gatherings and could collaterally affect individuals in areas where clashes may occur.