AMERICAS Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 21 January...
Americas: The governments of Peru and Panama implemented nationwide curfews beginning on 18 March 2020 in order to restrict the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Meanwhile, Bolivia announced a total border closure. Additional restrictions are being enforced in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Grenada and Guyana.
In Peru, security forces are enforcing the nightly curfew from 2000- 0500 local time (0100- 1000 UTC). During the curfew, individuals are required to remain indoors. President Martín Vizcarra stated that the curfew is intended to prevent the need to extend the 15-day period of “social isolation” that was ordered on 15 March. In Panama, the nightly curfew is in effect from 2100- 0500 local time (0200- 1000 UTC).
The government of Bolivia is enacting several measures intended to limit the spread of COVID-19, including an entry ban, flight restrictions and a curfew. Between 20 and 31 March all non-resident foreign nationals will be banned from entering the country. Beginning at 0000 local time (0400 UTC) on 21 March, all international and domestic flights will be suspended. Additionally, a nationwide nightly curfew from 1700-0500 local time went into effect on 18 March. Authorities also reduced the national work day hours to 0800-1600 local time and banned public gatherings of more than 100 people.
In Brazil, the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency; as part of the declaration, the state government is urging bars and restaurants to reduce their capacity to 30% for 15 days, and buses and ships to reduce their capacity by 50%. It also encourages shopping malls to close and advises all people to avoid beaches and public pools. Additionally, all schools and universities suspended classes beginning on 17 March and all public events are suspended.
In Chile, President Sebastian Pinera declared a 90-day state of catastrophe beginning on 19 March. The measure gives the government enhanced powers to restrict freedom of movement and guarantee the country’s basic services and food supply. The measure provides more security for hospitals, protects supply chains for medical supplies and allows authorities to enforce quarantines.
In Colombia, President Iván Duque declared a state of emergency, which allows him to issue decrees without the prior authorization of Congress. After issuing the declaration, Duque immediately ordered the mandatory preventive isolation of all people over the age of 70 from 20 March-31 May. On 18 March Duque overturned curfews imposed by the governors and mayors and rejected the Colombian Medical Federation’s recommendation to impose mandatory quarantines nationwide. Additionally, the government has banned all international arrivals for 30 days.
In Guyana, the government has announced a ban on all international flights to the country for 14 days beginning on 18 March. Meanwhile, in Grenada, the government announced a ban on all foreign nationals arriving in the country who have recently traveled to mainland China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and Germany, France and Spain, within the last 14 days. Additionally, cruise ships have been banned from disembarking at Grenadian ports.
United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 19 March 2020, the U.S. has recorded more than 9,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the death toll has exceeded 150. Local officials continue to impose travel and movement restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. In the state of California, San Diego County officials ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, such as gyms, fitness centers and establishments that serve primarily alcoholic beverages; food establishments can cater to carryout and delivery services only. Officials also stated that any gatherings of more than 10 people in the county should be limited, although airports, public transportation, emergency shelters, government buildings, hospitals, law enforcement facilities and other essential services are exempt. All travelers arriving in San Diego County from a country on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 3 travel advisory list are required to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. Meanwhile, additional shelter-in-place orders were issued for residents in the state’s northern San Francisco Bay Area. A shelter-in-place order in Napa County is scheduled to go into effect from 0000 local time (0700 UTC) on 20 March until 7 April.
In the state of Hawaii, Kauai’s mayor instituted an indefinite island-wide nightly curfew from 2100-0500 local time (0700-1500 UTC) beginning on 20 March. Meanwhile, officials in Maui County ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, including bars, theaters, tourist attractions and other public venues, effective 0745 local time on 20 March. Residents have been ordered to remain indoors unless they are obtaining essential supplies, seeking medical treatment or engaging in an essential function. Travel is restricted to local traffic only on the Pi’ilani Highway from Ulupalakua to Kipahulu, on Kahekili Highway from Waihee to Kahakuloa village and on Hana Highway from Kaupakalua Road to Hana Town.
Asia: Indian authorities announced that all international commercial flights will be banned for one week beginning on 22 March 2020, as part of overall efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. A curfew will also be in effect between 0700 and 2100 local time (0130 and 1530 UTC) on 22 March. Additionally, the government ordered the rail and aviation sectors to suspend services for individuals who qualify for concessions, except for students, medical patients and individuals with disabilities. On 18 March an entry ban for travelers from Europe, Afghanistan, Malaysia and the Philippines went into effect through 31 March.
In Indonesia, officials will suspend visa on arrival services beginning on 20 March. All visa applicants will be required to provide a health certificate to be issued by a health professional from their respective country. In a related development, authorities began implementing limits on food purchases on 17 March in order to ensure the availability of staple foods and to prevent panic buying. Under the new limitations, customers at grocery stores will only be allowed to purchase up to 10 kg (22 lbs) of rice, 2 kg (4 lbs) of sugar, 4 liters (1 gallon) of cooking oil and two boxes of instant noodles per visit. Authorities will enforce the measures until further notice.
In Singapore, on 18 March the Ministry of Health (MOH) advised citizens against traveling abroad due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The MOH had previously warned against nonessential travel abroad. Additionally, beginning at 2359 local time (1559 UTC) on 20 March all arrivals, including Singaporean nationals, will be issued a 14-day Stay Home Notice. Notably, travelers from Hubei province in China will be required to undergo quarantine for 14 days.
On 18 March, Laos suspended visa on arrival services for all foreign travelers for 30 days, effective immediately. These measures follow the implementation of a self-quarantine requirement for travelers without the symptoms of COVID-19 who come from countries — with no shared borders with Laos — that have recorded more than 100 cases of the coronavirus. Travelers without symptoms who come from countries that share a border with Laos and have more than 10 cases — or those who come from neighboring provinces with more than three cases — must also self-quarantine for 14 days.
Australasia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all non-citizens and non-residents will be denied entry to Australia beginning at 2100 local time (1000 UTC) on 20 March 2020 in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Australian nationals may return, but will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Limited exemptions to the ban will be made for health professionals.
On 18 March, officials from Qantas Airways and Jetstar Airways announced a suspension of all international flights due to reduced demand given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Qantas and Jetstar — both owned by the Qantas Group — are also reducing their respective workforces by approximately two-thirds, a total of around 30,000 individuals. The flight suspensions and the workforce stand-down are set to go into effect as of 31 March and continue through 31 May 2020.
In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that all non-citizens and non-residents will be banned from entering the country as of 2359 local time (1059 UTC) due to the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19. Only New Zealand residents, their spouses and children will be allowed entry.
Europe: As of 19 March 2020, confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to significantly increase across Europe. At present, there are three countries that have surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases: Italy (35,713), Spain (15,014) and Germany (13,093). Significant disruptions to flight operations and public transportation services continue across the continent as officials attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 cases.
Officials across Europe are considering implementing new lockdowns or extending existing lockdowns. In Austria, officials implemented a quarantine of the western state of Tyrol through 5 April. Residents have been ordered to remain in their homes. In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that the existing lockdown would be extended beyond its initial 3 April end date; the public announcement on the extension is expected soon. In Germany, Bavarian officials have also warned of a possible lockdown in the southern state.
Meanwhile, in the U.K., Transport for London (TfL) announced a partial shutdown of the London Underground system. More than 40 underground stations will be closed and bus services across London will be reduced. Officials added that the Waterloo & City line will shut down beginning on 20 March and TfL will begin reducing service capacity as of 23 March. Additionally, officials announced that schools in England will close due to the spread of COVID-19 beginning in the afternoon of 20 March — which is expected to extend through the summer vacation. The declaration follows announcements by Scotland and Wales that schools in the two locations will close by the end of the week; Northern Ireland will close its schools by 23 March.
Spanish officials also ordered the closure of all hotels and tourist accommodations beginning on 24 March. The order was announced as part of the continued state of emergency and lockdown through 31 March. Travelers have been advised to make arrangements to leave the country.
Additionally, Georgia implemented a 14-day entry ban on all foreign nationals on 18 March. The restriction also applies to foreign nationals with residence permits. Serbia has also banned all commercial flights to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (LYBE/BEG) and Niš Constantine the Great Airport (LYNI/INI) as of 19 March.
Middle East and North Africa: As of 19 March 2020, governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are continuing to impose domestic and international travel restrictions as part of overall efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Notably, the UAE, Oman, Israel and Turkey implemented new restrictions on inbound foreign travelers. Meanwhile, Egypt and Jordan implemented new restrictions on domestic travel.
Officials in the UAE issued a ban on all foreign nationals entering the country during 19 March-2 April. Under the terms of the ban, diplomats are exempt and passengers in transit will be allowed through Emirati airports, but they will not be allowed to leave the facilities.
Omani authorities have indefinitely banned the entry of foreign nationals into the country as of 18 March. The ban does not restrict foreign nationals from leaving Oman.
Israeli authorities announced that foreign nationals will not be granted entry, effective 1912 local time (1712 UTC) on 18 March. Prior to this, Israel had only banned foreign nationals if they could not prove an ability to self-quarantine for 14 days. The new ban will apply at all border crossings and ports of entry. Permanent residents will be exempt from the ban.
Turkish authorities closed the country’s border crossings with Greece and Bulgaria on 18 March as part of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19. The Pazarkule and Ipsala crossings with Greece and the Derekoy, Hamzabeyli and Kapikule crossings with Bulgaria will close to both vehicular and rail traffic. Cargo traffic is exempt from the closure. Turkish officials also stated that the recent border closure with Bulgaria and Greece will not affect their policy of allowing migrants to leave Turkey.
In Egypt, officials closed all restaurants, retail shops, social clubs and cafes from 1900-0600 local time (1700-0400 UTC) between 19 and 31 March, in order to limit the transmission of COVID-19.
In Jordan, the military closed all entry and exit points in the capital Amman at 0700 local time (0500 UTC) on 19 March until further notice. The military and security services will grant written permission for certain individuals to enter and leave the city.
Sub-Saharan Africa: As of 19 March 2020, a number of countries across Sub-Saharan Africa continue to implement and expand travel restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In Central and East Africa, Angolan and Rwandan officials announced the suspension of all international commercial flights beginning on 20 March. The flight restrictions will not extend to cargo flights entering either country, or to emergency flights arriving in Rwanda. In Angola, the ban is scheduled to last until further notice, while Rwanda instituted the ban for an initial period of 30 days. Angolan nationals, expatriates and other long-term residents will be allowed entry to the country, but will be required to quarantine for 14 days if returning to Angola from China, France, Iran, Italy, Portugal, South Korea or Spain. Angola has also closed its land and sea border crossings to passengers arriving from the aforementioned COVID-19-afffected countries.
In West Africa, Sierra Leonean officials announced the suspension of all international commercial flights, excluding “emergency flights,” beginning on 21 March. Similarly, in Senegal, officials expanded the country’s current air travel restrictions to include the suspension of all commercial flights arriving in the country beginning at 1159 local time/ UTC on 20 March. Cargo, humanitarian and medical evacuation flight operations are exempt from the restrictions, which are set to remain in effect through at least 17 April. Previously, Senegal had only suspended flights to and from seven COVID-19-affected countries.
In Mali and Niger, officials announced that the countries will close their respective borders, suspending all international commercial flights beginning on 19 March. Cargo aircraft arriving in Mali will be exempt from the suspension; in Niger, cargo, domestic and military flights will continue to operate normally. Niger will also close its land border crossings, except to allow for the transport of goods.