Worldview Security Update – June 5, 2020
5-Jun-20

AMERICAS

Argentina / Peru (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 4 June 2020, Argentinian officials extended the mandatory lockdown in the capital Buenos Aires until 28 June due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city. The extension is in effect in Buenos Aires province, where the capital is located, and other areas with a higher concentration of COVID-19 cases. During the lockdown, residents may leave their homes for essential purposes based on the last digit of their ID or passport number. In addition, only essential workers are permitted to use public transportation. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has begun to transition to the next phase of easing restrictions, which emphasizes mandatory and preventive social distancing measures for all residents who leave their homes for nonessential purposes.

In Peru, the government extended the existing nationwide health emergency until 7 September. All travelers to Peru must submit a Sworn Declaration of Traveler’s Health, while travelers from China, France, Italy and Spain are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Peru.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the evening of 4 June 2020, clashes broke out during a large-scale demonstration at the Palacio de Gobierno in Guadalajara, Jalisco’s state capital, organized to protest police brutality following the death of a local resident in police custody. Protesters marched along Juárez Avenue from Revolution Park toward the state Capitol, vandalizing buildings located along the route. Upon arrival at the Capitol, protesters forcibly entered the premises and damaged government offices before police officers arrived at the scene. Police officers deployed tear gas and used pressurized water hoses to disperse protesters near the building. The confrontations left at least six police officers injured; authorities arrested 28 protesters.

Mexico / Guatemala / El Salvador (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 4): As of 0400 local time (0900 UTC) on 5 June 2020, Tropical Storm Cristobal was located approximately 130 km (80 mi) south-southeast of Campeche, Mexico, and was traveling southeast at 11 kph (7 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 55 kph with higher gusts. Overnight on 4-5 June, Cristobal weakened to a tropical depression but is expected to re-strengthen to a tropical storm as it moves over the Yucatán Peninsula and into the southern Gulf of Mexico. On 4 June the storm brought heavy rainfall and strong winds to the states of Chiapas, Campeche, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. Landslides were reported in at least 15 cities while extensive flooding caused widespread damage to infrastructure. Flight operations at airports in the region remain unaffected.

Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to produce an additional 10-20 cm (4-8 in) of rain in El Salvador and the Mexican states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatán, with isolated maximums of up to 65 cm. Meanwhile, southern Guatemala and the southern Mexican state of Chiapas are forecast to receive rainfall of between 20-30 cm of rain. Elsewhere in the region, rainfall levels of approximately 3-7 cm and 5-10 cm are in the forecast for Belize and Honduras, respectively. The Mexican government has issued a Tropical Storm Watch from Punta Herrero to Río Lagartos in the eastern Yucatán Peninsula.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): In the evening hours of 4 June 2020, police officers deployed tear gas to disperse a group of approximately 2,000 protesters gathered near the Place de République in the northern city of Lille. The demonstrators gathered in the area to protest the recent death of an African American man in police custody in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as to pay tribute to a black Frenchman who died in police custody in 2016. There were no reports of injuries during the clashes, which continued between a small number of protesters and police officers throughout the late evening hours.

Meanwhile, on 5 June French police officials announced that they will not allow another demonstration against police brutality scheduled outside of the U.S. Embassy in Paris on 6 June to go forward. Officials cited the potential for unrest, as well as public health concerns, as the reasons for not authorizing the demonstration. A nationwide ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people, enacted to prevent further spread of COVID-19, remains in place.

Russia (Security threat level – 3): On 4 June 2020, President Vladimir Putin declared a regional state of emergency following a large diesel fuel spill near the Siberian city of Norilsk. The spill occurred on 29 May after a fuel tank collapsed at a power plant located along the Ambarnaya River; an estimated 20,000 tons of diesel has since spread at least 12 km (7 mi) from the site. Authorities detained the director of the power plant, who failed to immediately report the spill, and the Investigative Committee of Russia (SK) has launched a criminal investigation into allegations of negligence and environment pollution. Emergency workers have deployed in an effort to contain the spill, which has thus far contaminated a 350 sq km (135 sq mi) area.

Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On 4 June 2020, officials announced plans to ease domestic travel restrictions beginning on 13 June. Under the new measures, travelers will be permitted to travel within the country for both essential and leisure purposes. The government recommends that travelers should be free of COVID-19 symptoms and should maintain social distancing rules at airports and other public places. Those who exhibit symptoms must undergo a COVID-19 test prior to boarding an aircraft.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Middle East and North Africa: As of 5 June 2020, governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to adjust restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Details for the latest developments in Israel, Jordan, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia are detailed below.

In Israel, hundreds of protesters gathered near Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on the evening of 4 June to denounce proposed laws that would expand police authority amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Clashes broke out along Gabirol Street, where protesters blocked traffic and threw projectiles at nearby vehicles and police officers. In addition, several protesters physically assaulted police officers, who forcibly dispersed the crowd and arrested at least 12 people.

In Jordan, officials plan to ease coronavirus-related restrictions beginning on 6 June. All residents will be permitted to travel without restrictions, except during the nightly curfew hours scheduled for 0000 to 0600 local time (2100-0300 UTC). Officials have annulled vehicle restrictions and lifted the ban on travel between governorates and cities. Domestic flights are also expected to resume, and a limited number of tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and cafes will reopen.

In Tunisia, officials eased restrictions on domestic travel and other activities on 4 June. Officials have allowed hotels, cafes, restaurants and places of worship to reopen. Additionally, public transportation has resumed at 50% capacity. Officials stated that the country’s borders are scheduled to reopen on 27 June.

In Saudi Arabia, officials will reimpose restrictions on the city of Jeddah on 6 June following a spike in COVID-19 cases. Under the restrictions, residents will be required to work from home; additionally, individuals will not be allowed to pray in mosques or dine at restaurants. The restrictions will remain in place until 20 June.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 4 June 2020, the U.S. Mission in Australia issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Locations: Sydney, Newcastle, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth

“Event: Demonstrations are scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2020, at the following locations and times:

  • 20 Lee Street, Sydney – 3:00 pm • Civic Park, Newcastle – 2:00 pm
  • Byron Bay Recreation Grounds, Byron Bay – 2:00 pm • King George Square, Brisbane – 1:00 pm
  • Queen Street Mall, Brisbane – 12:00 pm
  • Parliament House, Melbourne – 2:00 pm
  • Victoria Square (Tarndanyangga), Adelaide – 12:00 pm
  • S. Embassy, Canberra – 3:00 pm “A demonstration is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, at 12:00 pm at Hyde Park, Perth.

“The groups intend to protest the death in the United States of George Floyd and the deaths of people of color in police custody. Demonstrations may occur at other locations and times.”

Italy (Security threat level – 3): On 4 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Rome warned of planned protests in the cities of Rome, Florence, Naples and Milan, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Rome, Florence, Naples, Milan – Italy

"Event: Numerous demonstrations are being planned for June 5 to 7, 2020 across Italy to protest racism. Several of the events are expected to attract large crowds.

"Demonstrations are expected to take place:

  • Friday, June 5 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm in Rome on Piazza Barberini
  • Saturday, June 6 at 2:00pm in Naples across the street from the U.S. Consulate General on the Lungomare (Via Caracciolo)
  • Saturday, June 6 from 7:30pm to 8:30pm in Florence near the U.S. Consulate General
  • Sunday, June 7 at 4:00pm in Milan on Piazza Duca d’Aosta (in front of the Central Station)"

The full text of the alert is available here .

Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 4 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which reads in part as follows:
“A night curfew, from 10pm until 5am, is in effect until 22 June 2020.

“From 5 June 2020, weddings and social gatherings of a maximum of 10 persons and non-contact and non-team sporting activity will be permitted. Church and funeral services will also be limited to a maximum of 10 people.

“From 22 June 2020, a maximum number of 25 persons may be permitted to attend weddings and social gatherings.

“From 6 July 2020, all sporting events and contact sports may resume. Movement of people between islands is discouraged.”

Analyst Comment: The borders of the Turks and Caicos Islands remain closed until 22 July. Authorities initially closed the territory’s borders on 21 March.

Seychelles (Security threat level – 1): On 5 June 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Seychelles, which reads in part as follows: “Seychelles International Airport [FSIA/SEZ] reopened on 1 June. However, commercial options to travel to or from Seychelles are not currently available. Inter-island public transport has resumed with revised timetables and guidelines for passengers. If you intend to travel between islands, you should consult the relevant ferry and airline service schedules.”

Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 5 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bern issued a Demonstration Alert for Switzerland, which reads in part as follows: 
“Numerous demonstrations are being planned for the next week in various locations in Switzerland over concerns about racial discrimination and civil rights in the United States.  Some events are expected to attract large crowds.

“Demonstrations and marches are expected to take place:

  • Friday, June 5, 2020 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. outside the U.S. Mission in Geneva
  • Monday June 8 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. outside the U.S. Mission in Geneva
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. a march from the Place de Neuve to the Place des Nations in Geneva

“While demonstrations in Switzerland are generally expected to be peaceful, they will likely result in traffic and public transportation disruptions. There will also be an increased police presence.”