ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Brazil / Colombia / Dominican Republic / Guatemala (Security threat levels – 3 / 4 / 3 / 4): As of 29 May 2020, governments throughout the Americas continue to implement and enforce restrictive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Significant developments in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala are outlined below.
In Brazil, the city of São Paulo — the country’s most populous city and the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak — remains under state-level quarantine orders despite actions to reopen some businesses with social distancing and public health measures. According to the mayor of São Paulo, shopping malls, car dealerships and street shops will be allowed to resume operations after signing and filing health, hygiene and testing protocols with the city. The mayor did not release specific details on the city’s requirements of businesses planning to reopen, but noted that the city will begin accepting the protocol documents as of 1 June. Meanwhile, quarantine measures in the state of São Paulo — where the city of São Paulo is located — have been extended through 15 June as the governor granted local officials the authority to open businesses with a five-phase plan that is in part contingent upon local coronavirus-related hospital occupancy.
In Colombia, President Ivan Duque on 28 May extended the nationwide quarantine until 1 July; the order was due to expire on 31 May. The renewed measure provides exceptions for libraries, museums, salons and shopping centers to reopen with social distancing requirements. Large public gatherings remain banned, and bars and clubs remain closed.
In the Dominican Republic, lawmakers on 28 May approved President Danilo Medina’s request to extend the country’s ongoing state of emergency until 27 June, including the countrywide nightly curfew from 1900 to 0500 local time (2300 to 0900 UTC) on Monday through Saturday and from 1700 to 0500 local time on Sunday. Under the extension, residents must remain in their homes except to procure essential goods and services. In addition, all air, land and sea borders remain closed, and travel between municipalities and provinces remains prohibited.
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamattei ordered a 24-hour nationwide curfew beginning at 1700 local time (2300 UTC) on 29 May until 0500 (1100 UTC) local time on 1 June. Under the measure, private vehicles are banned from the roads, and all work activities are suspended. Additionally, residents must remain at home, but stores may open from 0800-1100 local time. Fuel transporters, employees of grocery stores and pharmacies, essential services personnel and residents with emergencies are exempt from the curfew. Additionally, face masks and social distancing are mandatory while in public. Those found outdoors without an acceptable reason will be fined and are subject to imprisonment. A similar measure was in place during the weekend of 15-18 May.
United States (Security threat level – 2): Overnight on 28-29 May 2020, violent protests occurred in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a third consecutive day following the 25 May death of an African American man in police custody. Protesters forcibly entered the city’s Third Precinct police station and set fire to the building as the Minneapolis Police Department evacuated its personnel from the premises at approximately 2200 local time (0300 UTC). At least five nearby buildings were also set on fire. Clashes between protesters and police officers continued in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan “Twin Cities” area overnight on 28-29 May. Earlier in the day, police officers fired tear gas and clashed with the crowds gathered outside retail establishments in the Midway area of St. Paul, where approximately 170 buildings were looted or torched. Separately, thousands of demonstrators peacefully gathered across the Twin Cities, including in downtown Minneapolis.
In response to the violence during the past three days, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in the metropolitan area at the request of local officials and activated approximately 500 National Guard personnel on 28 May. The soldiers have been stationed near the St. Paul Capitol complex, other government buildings and near retail establishments in order to deter looting. The situation remains tense and protests are likely to continue in the Twin Cities over the upcoming weekend.
Elsewhere in the U.S., hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Louisville, Kentucky, where a police officer had shot and killed an African American woman in her residence in early March. Gunfire broke out and at least seven people suffered gunshot wounds during the gathering on 28 May. Protests also occurred in several other U.S. cities, including Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona; police officers fired tear gas at protesters in both cities. Additionally, in New York City, police officers arrested more than 40 people in Union Square, where minor scuffles between police officers and protesters took place. Further protests are expected to occur in major U.S. cities later on 29 May and over the upcoming weekend. Gatherings organized to protest police-involved killings of members of racial minority groups often turn violent, as evinced during past such actions.
Japan / Pakistan / Philippines (Security threat levels – 1 / 5 / 4): In Japan, the governor of Tokyo announced that additional coronavirus-related restrictions will be further eased in the prefecture beginning on 1 June 2020. Movie theaters, gyms, test-preparation schools and retail businesses selling nonessential goods will be allowed to resume operations as long as they frequently sanitize all areas and adhere to social distancing guidelines. However, videogame arcades, karaoke parlors and pachinko arcades will remain closed until further notice. Bars and restaurants will continue to be prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages after 2200 local time (1300 UTC). Additionally, indoor public gatherings may not exceed 100 attendees or 50% of the venue’s maximum occupancy; outdoor events are limited to 200 attendees.
In Pakistan, the government announced that outbound international flights may resume from all airports — except Gwadar International Airport (OPGD/GWD) and Turbat International Airport (OPTU/TUK) — beginning at 2359 local time (1859 UTC) on 29 May. Foreign airlines will also be allowed to operate. Domestic flights resumed on 15 May.
Philippine authorities, citing slowing new COVID-19 cases, announced that the Metro Manila area will transition to a less restrictive General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on 1 June. Under the GCQ, additional nonessential businesses will reopen and public transportation will operate at 50% capacity. Residents will also no longer be required to obtain passes in order to leave their homes. However, jeepneys will continue to be prohibited and religious gatherings will remain banned.
France / Turkey (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the country will ease additional coronavirus-related restrictions on 2 June 2020. Philippe released a revised map, which divides the country into two separate color-coded areas based on the number of confirmed cases in an area and the ability of an area’s hospital system to control the spread. In “green” areas — which is the entirety of the country except for the Île-de-France region that encompasses the greater Paris area — restaurants, bars and cafes may reopen on 2 June. Meanwhile in “orange” areas, which include the Île-de-France region along with the overseas départements of French Guiana and Mayotte, these establishments may reopen to outdoor seating only and at reduced capacity. Additionally, on 2 June authorities will lift the nationwide ban on travel of more than 100 km (62 mi).
In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the country will begin easing some coronavirus-related restrictions beginning on 1 June, including lifting the ban on travel between cities. Additionally, business establishments, such as restaurants, cafes, spas and pools will be allowed to remain open until 2200 local time (1900 UTC).
Egypt / Kuwait / Morocco (Security threat levels – 4 / 2 / 3): On 28 May 2020, the governor of Menoufia governorate in Egypt quarantined the villages of Shintina Al-Hajar and Umm Saleh – both located in the Nile Delta approximately 80 km (50 mi) north of Cairo – due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the area. Residents are required to remain in their homes, and authorities have sealed the entrances and exits to the villages until further notice.
In Kuwait, authorities on 28 May announced that beginning on 31 May the nationwide 24-hour curfew will be shortened to a nightly curfew from 1800-0600 local time (1500-0300 UTC) until further notice.
In Morocco, officials on 29 May allowed cafes and restaurants to reopen across the country as long as they adhere to health measures, including allowing only takeout and delivery orders, providing face masks to customers, enforcing social distancing, and frequently cleaning public and private areas of their establishments
France (Security threat level – 3): On 29 May 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“Location: Between Place de Madeleine and Place de Republique in Paris
“Event: A demonstration by a group of protesters is planned for Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 14:30 in Paris, France. All gatherings greater than 10 people remain prohibited. However, certain groups could defy these instructions and carry on with planned demonstrations, prompting police intervention.”
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 29 May 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Athens issued updated coronavirus-related information that comprises a list of 29 countries, from where visitors will be allowed to enter Greece as of 15 June. The update reads in part as follows:
“Entry and Exit Requirements:
The full text of the alert is available here .
Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 28 May 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Ireland, which reads in part as follows: "From 28 May there is a legal requirement for passengers arriving in Ireland from overseas to complete a Public Health Passenger Locator Form , with penalties for non-compliance as detailed in the form. The form may be used by health authorities to contact you to verify your location in the country. It will also help contact tracers get in touch with you if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus on your flight or ferry."
Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 29 May 2020, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Mozambique, which reads in part as follows:
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advise against all but essential travel to the districts of Nangade, Quissanga, Ibo, Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, Palma, Meluco, Mueda and Muidumbe in Cabo Delgado province, including the islands off the coast, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism.”
Analyst Comment: The FCO’s upgraded level of advice for Cabo Delgado follows an increase in the frequency and prominence of attacks perpetrated by Islamist militants based in the province. Since March 2020, the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) — a regional Islamic State affiliate — has claimed responsibility for several large-scale attacks in the province. Individuals with travel plans to this region should only do so after undertaking a thorough threat assessment; if travel is deemed absolutely essential, travelers should make extensive security arrangements.