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Worldview Security Update – October 1, 2020


Colombia / Lesser Antilles (Security threat levels – 4 / 1): On 30 September 2020, the Colombian government extended the closure of its land, sea and river borders until at least 1 November to curb the spread of COVID-19. The borders have been closed since 17 March. Exceptions remain in place for humanitarian emergencies, cargo transportation and the departure of foreign nationals. Colombia resumed international flights on 19 September.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, authorities on 30 September imposed new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. During 30 September-14 October, non-essential inter-island travel is banned. Health screening measures are in place at airports and seaports. A nationwide nightly curfew is in effect during 2000-0500 local time (0000-0900 UTC). All businesses are required to close by 1900 local time, and only essential workers are exempt from the curfew order. All bars and restaurants are limited to 30% capacity.


Czech Republic (Security threat level – 2): On 30 September 2020, the government announced that new coronavirus-related restrictions — including a 30-day state of emergency — will go into effect on 5 October. According to the minister of health, additional measures in high-risk areas include closing secondary schools, restricting mass gatherings at both indoor and outdoor venues, and prohibiting refreshments in theaters. Officials have suggested that the policy may be extended beyond this 30-day declaration.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): On 30 September 2020, central government authorities barred residents from entering or leaving Madrid and its nine surrounding municipalities — except for the purpose of work, school, health care or shopping for essential goods. Inside the Madrid region, bars and restaurants are required to close at 2300 local time (2100 UTC). Previously, only portions of the Madrid region were under coronavirus-related restrictions. Madrid has 735 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest infection rates of any region in Europe and double Spain’s national rate.

Analyst Comment: The regional government in Madrid opposes the new coronavirus measures, although it is unclear what legal steps officials may pursue. The central government’s decision to impose new coronavirus-related measures on Madrid follows a failed attempt earlier on 30 September to standardize health metrics and coronavirus-related restrictions across cities, including those in Spain’s autonomous communities, with a population of 100,000 or more.


Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 30 September 2020, unidentified militants launched an undetermined number of rockets at Erbil International Airport (ORER/EBL). Reports indicate the attack targeted the eastern section of the facility, where U.S. military personnel are based, but the rockets landed outside the airport grounds. There were no reports of casualties as a result of the attack, nor were there any reports of disruptions at the airport. U.S. military personnel at the facility were ordered to take cover as a precaution. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but video footage posted by Iranian-linked militant groups suggests they may be responsible.


Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 30 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued the following Health Alert regarding the State of Calamity, which reads in part as follows: "The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala wishes to inform U.S. citizens that the State of Calamity will come to an end at midnight, September 30th. The nationwide curfew in place from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. will end, though the sale of alcohol will remain prohibited between 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. All businesses, entertainment facilities, and public spaces will be allowed to open, with appropriate measures for social distancing following Locality-Specific Tiered Health Alerts.

"Additionally, the Guatemalan government has announced updates to its COVID-19 testing requirements for arriving passengers. All persons aged 10 or over arriving by air or land in Guatemala must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result, conducted within 72 hours of arrival. All persons arriving by air must also complete, in advance of arrival, a Heath Pass, available at https://sre.gt. Note that air carriers will request proof of negative test and completion of the Heath Pass prior to boarding. Health protocols are in effect at ports of entry for the screening of arriving and departing passengers. Any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala."

Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 1 October 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Antigua and Barbuda, which reads in part as follows: 

“On arrival, you will be subject to health screening. The Ministry of Health and Wellness of Antigua and Barbuda advise that all arrivals will be monitored for coronavirus for up to 14 days.

“In practice, tourists with pre-booked hotel accommodation will normally be permitted to travel to their accommodation after screening. If you’re staying with family, friends, in private accommodation or in your own place of residence, you will be subject to an interview to determine your suitability to leave for your private accommodation arrangements. You may be required to self-isolate for a period up to 14 days, at the discretion of the Quarantine Authorities. Those not deemed to have suitable private accommodation arrangements will be obliged to remain in government quarantine at their expense for between seven and 14 days.” 

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 20 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issues a Demonstration Alert regarding a protest planned for 2 October, which reads in part as follows:

"Event: Supporters of Malian singer Sidiki Diabaté, who was recently detained on a charge of assault, are planning a demonstration on Friday, October 2 at 2:00 PM at the Monument de l’Indépendance to demand his release.

"Demonstrations sometimes turn violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, blockage on the roads and bridges, throwing of rocks at vehicles, the deployment of tear gas, and small arms fire."

The full text of the Demonstration Alert is available here .