Worldview Security Update – June 9, 2020
9-Jun-20

AMERICAS

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 8 June 2020, hundreds of people staged a demonstration in central Mexico City for a fifth consecutive day to protest police violence. The protesters marched along Paseo de la Reforma, a main thoroughfare, and chanted slogans in front of the National Palace office buildings at Constitution Plaza. While most protesters remained peaceful, a group of black-clad individuals marching with the protesters vandalized metro bus stations and buildings in the area — including the Palace of Fine Arts, a Bank of Mexico building and the Benito Juárez Hemicycle monument — after tearing down security barriers. The demonstrators also threw stones at the Attorney General’s Office in the Doctores area of the city and looted a luxury sportswear store. Authorities temporarily closed the Zócalo metro station until the demonstrators dispersed later in the evening. Minor confrontations between protesters and police officers occurred but there were no reports of significant injuries. Additional protests could occur on Paseo de la Reforma and at Constitution Plaza on 9 June and violence is an ever-present concern during such gatherings. Travelers and expatriates in Mexico City should avoid all large gatherings as a precaution.

ASIA

Malaysia / Sri Lanka (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): On 8 June 2020, Malaysia Airlines — the national air carrier — announced that it will resume international flights on 1 July. The airline is expected to resume international operations for essential travelers and offer twice-weekly services to several countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia and Japan. A limited number of domestic flights resumed on 1 June and have since been operating through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (WMKK/KUL), Kuching International Airport (WBGG/KCH) and Penang International Airport (WMKP/PEN), among other major airports in the country. The airline also announced that additional safety measures are in place for passengers to prevent community-based transmission of COVID-19. All passengers are required to undergo a temperature check at the airport and wear a face mask in the facility as well as on board the aircraft.

In Sri Lanka, public transportation services in the capital Colombo and the adjacent city of Gampaha resumed on 8 June amid the declining number of COVID-19 cases in the area. All bus and train services resumed normal operations; however, individuals are required to wear face masks and vehicles may only carry a limited number of passengers in order to maintain physical distancing. Services will operate outside of the nationwide nightly curfew, which is in effect during 2300-0400 local time (1730-2230 UTC) until further notice.

EUROPE

Portugal (Security threat level – 2): On 9 June 2020, government officials in Portugal approved the reopening of commercial centers in the capital Lisbon starting on 15 June. Most areas of the country commenced reopening businesses more than a week ago, although Lisbon and the Vale do Tejo region have been slower to lift coronavirus-related restrictions due to the region containing a more severe outbreak as compared to the rest of the country. Additionally, on 4 June Portugal opened its borders to foreign travelers from select countries — including members of the Schengen Zone, Brazil and other Lusophone countries, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. — without an obligatory quarantine upon arrival. Officials have placed some restrictions on travel to the Azores and Madeira autonomous regions, including demonstrating proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival for travelers.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Middle East and North Africa: As of 9 June 2020, governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region continue to revise and implement restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Details regarding the latest developments in Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are available below.

In Qatar, on 8 June officials announced a four-phase plan to begin lifting restrictions. The first phase is expected to begin on 15 June, during which a limited number of flights will be permitted to depart the country and mosques will reopen. The second and third phases are scheduled to begin on 1 July and 1 August, respectively. During this time, flights from low-risk countries will resume operations and most nonessential businesses — including restaurants, shopping malls and markets — will reopen. Lastly, in the fourth phase, which is expected to begin on 1 September, additional flights may resume and large gatherings may take place. It is unclear at this time when arrival flights will be allowed into the country, and the phased plan may be delayed or new restrictions imposed if the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increases.

Tunisian President Kais Saied annulled the nationwide nightly curfew on 8 June amid a declining COVID-19 infection rate. The curfew — which had been in effect during 2300-0500 local time (2200-0400 UTC) — was previously shortened on 13 May. To date, officials have lifted several restrictions, allowing a number of nonessential businesses to reopen, including cafes, hotels and public beaches. International commercial flights remain suspended until 27 June when borders are expected to reopen for foreign tourists.

In the UAE, officials in the emirate of Abu Dhabi on 8 June extended the ban on all travel into and out of the emirate until 16 June. Exemptions exist for employees in essential industries, air passengers and others on a limited basis. All travelers exempt from the order must first obtain a permit from authorities.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Namibia (Security threat level – 2) : On 8 June 2020, Namibia’s Erongo region reverted to the status of a Stage 1 lockdown, which is the most restrictive phase, to prevent further spread of COVID-19. The region will remain at the first stage until 22 June. Walvis Bay, located in Erongo region, was scheduled to enter Stage 2 on 8 June before officials extended the measures throughout the region. According to President Hage Geingob, the decision to revert to Stage 1 from Stage 3 was prompted by residents in the region failing to adhere to restrictions. Most areas in the country are currently under Stage 3.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cyprus (Security threat level – 2): On 9 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia issued a Health Alert regarding the resumption of commercial flights, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Cyprus

“As of June 9, regularly-scheduled commercial flights to and from the Republic of Cyprus have resumed. U.S. citizens are advised to work with airlines and travel operators to find available flights.”

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

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 9 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa issued a Demonstration Alert regarding an ongoing protest in the city, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Zando Market, Kinshasa, DRC

“Event: Ongoing confrontation between protesters and police at Zando Market, Kinshasa

“Please be advised, there is an ongoing confrontation between protesters and police at the Zando Market near Bokasa and Kasavubu Avenues near Centre Medical D’urgence (CPU) in Kinshasa. There are multiple reported casualties. U.S. government personnel are advised to avoid the Zando Market area until further notice.”

The full text of the alert is available here .