Worldview Security Update – May 27, 2020
27-May-20

AMERICAS

United States (Security threat level – 2): On the evening of 26 May 2020, police officers clashed with protesters in southern Minneapolis, Minnesota, during a demonstration against the death of an African American man in police custody the previous day. Violence broke out at the city’s third police precinct station — where a group of protesters vandalized a police vehicle, shattered the station’s glass front door and defaced the building. Officers in riot gear confronted the protesters and deployed tear gas canisters and non-lethal projectiles at the crowd. Protesters threw rocks and other objects at the officers. However, there were no reports of injuries. Earlier in the day, hundreds of protesters gathered near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue S. — where four police officers detained the man who died in custody — many of whom peacefully marched to the police station, located more than 2 mi (3 km) from the arrest site.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): On 26 May 2020, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG) will resume a limited number of transit flights for foreign nationals beginning on 1 June. Authorities banned entry to foreign nationals and suspended transit services at the airport on 25 March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, it remains unknown whether travelers of some nationalities will continue to be banned from transiting the facility. All passengers, including transiting passengers, must undergo a health screening and temperature check upon arrival, and are required to wear face masks.

Elsewhere in China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) reportedly plans to begin allowing some charter aircraft transporting highly skilled foreign workers from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.K. to enter the country. Aircraft operators must obtain prior authorization from provincial CAAC offices located in the provinces where they plan to operate. Arriving travelers will then be subject to applicable national and local health measures.

China (Security threat level – 3): On 27 May 2020, protests broke out across Hong Kong after trade unions called for a general strike in response to the central government’s proposed national security legislation and a proposed national anthem law in the local legislature. Clashes occurred in multiple areas — including Central near the Legislative Council Complex and Causeway Bay — after crowds of demonstrators took to the streets in violation of coronavirus-related bans on gatherings of more than eight people. Police officers deployed multiple rounds of tear gas, baton charges and pepper balls to clear the roads and deter protesters away from the Legislative Council Complex. Elsewhere in the city, protests also occurred in Wan Chai and Mong Kok, where police officers searched and arrested dozens of protesters. Reports indicate that police officers detained over 300 people as protests continued throughout the city. Several injuries have also been reported; however, the exact number is unknown at this time.

EUROPE

Europe: As of 27 May 2020, governments across Europe are easing coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses, gatherings and travel in an effort to resume economic activities, whereas others on the continent are extending existing restrictions. Significant developments in Bulgaria, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland and Turkey are outlined below.

In Bulgaria, health officials on 27 May announced that they will allow restaurants, cafes and bars to reopen at full capacity beginning on 1 June. Indoor entertainment venues may reopen at 30% capacity, and outdoor venues may reopen at 50% capacity on the same day. However, nightclubs and piano bars will remain closed until at least 14 June.

In Hungary, officials on 26 May announced plans to lift the nationwide state of emergency on 20 June, which will also end Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s power to rule by decree. Most of the country, including the capital Budapest, has already begun to ease restrictions; however, residents are required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear face masks when in public. Meanwhile, border crossings have partially reopened for commuters and local citizens. At 2359 local time (2159 UTC) on 26 May, Hungary reopened its borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic to allow visits of up to 48 hours without the need to undergo a mandatory quarantine. Officials plan to reopen all land borders by mid-June.

In Luxembourg, the government began easing restrictions on 27 May in an effort to reopen the country. Cafes and restaurants with outdoor spaces reopened, and civil and religious ceremonies were allowed to resume under stringent social distancing guidelines. Indoor restaurant spaces, cinemas, theaters and gyms are expected to reopen on 29 May; however, residents must adhere to social distancing guidelines and are strongly advised to wear face masks when visiting public spaces. Meanwhile, mass COVID-19 testing has been ongoing since 20 May to prevent a potential second wave of infections. While the tests are voluntary, health officials noted that their goal is to test everyone in the country and to isolate asymptomatic patients. Thus far, at least 17 testing stations have been set up to test citizens and cross-border commuters from Belgium, Germany and France.

In Poland, authorities will lift requirements for residents to wear face masks in public spaces on 30 May, while cinemas, gyms and theatres will be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity on 6 June. Residents will still be required to wear face masks aboard public transportation as well as in enclosed shops, such as indoor entertainment venues, government buildings and religious facilities until further notice. Officials are also expected to allow outdoor public gatherings of up to 150 people in the coming days as the country continues to ease its restrictions.

In Turkey, officials with Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure announced that high-speed rail service in the country will resume beginning on 28 May. Trains will be running at half capacity until further notice, and cleaning crews will frequently disinfect trains before and after the service.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Guinea-Bissau (Security threat level – 4): On 26 May 2020, authorities began to ease coronavirus-related travel restrictions despite the ongoing countrywide state of emergency, which remains in effect through 10 June. The country has reopened its borders and allowed commercial flights to resume; however, all arriving travelers must present a medical certificate indicating that they have tested negative for COVID-19. Details regarding the new requirement have yet to emerge. Travel between the nine administrative regions remains prohibited and a nightly curfew remains in effect from 2000-0600 local time/UTC; residents may move freely within their own region for one hour each day between 0700 and 1800 local time. Individuals are required to wear face masks on public transportation, which has resumed nationwide at reduced capacity.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 26 May 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia issued a Health Alert regarding Brazil’s border closures, which reads in part as follows:

"On May 22, Brazil decreed that foreigners are banned from entering the country by air, land, and sea for 30 days (through June 21). 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, and flight crews."

The entire Health Alert is available here .

North Macedonia (Security threat level – 3): On 26 May 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Skopje issued a Health Alert regarding coronavirus-related restrictions in North Macedonia, which reads in part as follows:

"Only citizens and legal residents of North Macedonia will be permitted entry into North Macedonia. The Government of North Macedonia requires all travelers to present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 performed within 72 hours prior to entering the country. Travelers must then self-isolate at home for 14 days, or for 21 days for those arriving from countries considered high risk by the Ministry of Health (http://zdravstvo.gov.mk/korona-virus/). Travelers arriving without PCR tests will be required to complete a PCR test upon entry and quarantine at a state institution pending the test results."

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