Worldview Security Update – October 9, 2020
9-Oct-20

AMERICAS

Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 8 October 2020, authorities announced that foreign nationals from all Central American countries will be permitted to enter Costa Rica beginning on 15 October. Travelers from the six countries — El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama — must follow specific coronavirus-related entry requirements, including filling out a Health Pass form , presenting negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours upon arrival and proof of travel insurance that would cover costs related to COVID-19 care. Additionally, beaches will open to the public from 0500 to 2200 local time (1100 to 0400 UTC) Monday through Friday, and from 0500 to 2000 local time Friday through Sunday as of 15 October. Present regulations mandate the closure of beaches from 1430 to 0500 local time.

Costa Rica (Security threat level – 3): On 8 October 2020, officials reported the presence of at least 20 roadblocks nationwide, a significant decrease from the number of barricades reported in previous days. Protesters blocked off the main Paso Canoas border crossing with Panama with tires and stones to prevent trade. In the city of Quepos, where 25 police officers were injured on 7 October during clashes with demonstrators, protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police officers who attempted to lift a roadblock. Police officers have cleared the majority of blockades on Routes 1, 27, 32 and 34. On 8 October one of the leaders of the opposition National Rescue Movement group, the organizer of the demonstrations, called for an end to the roadblocks and protests due to members of organized crime groups using the movement for their own purposes. Travelers should be prepared for the possibility of significant transit delays throughout Costa Rica on 9 October.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 9 October 2020, Hurricane Delta was located approximately 160 mi (255 km) south of Cameron, Louisiana, and was moving north at 12 mph (19 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, Delta had maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast track, the storm will begin turning toward the northeast and make landfall potentially as a Category 3 storm along the coastal area between the cities of Lake Charles and Lafayette in southwestern Louisiana by the late afternoon or evening hours of 9 October.

Heavy rains associated with Delta have begun affecting southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, and the following rainfall accumulations are in the forecast through 10 October: 5-10 in (125-255 mm), with isolated maximums of up to 15 inches, from southwest into central Louisiana; 3-6 inches, with isolated maximums of up to 10 inches in far-eastern Texas, northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi. In addition, 1-3 inches of rain, with higher isolated maximums, is expected in parts of the Tennessee Valley and western mid-Atlantic during the weekend of 10-11 October. The heavy rainfall could cause flash floods in the affected areas. Tornadoes remain a possibility in southern Louisiana and Mississippi through 9 October.

A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect from High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect from High Island to the entrance of the Pearl River, Louisiana, including lakes Borgne and Calcasieu and Vermilion Bay. In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from west of High Island to Sargent, Texas, east of Morgan City to the entrance of the Pearl River, including New Orleans and lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain.

ASIA

Japan (Security threat level – 1): As of 1700 local time (0900 UTC) on 9 October 2020, Typhoon Chan-Hom had weakened slightly and was located approximately 305 km (190 mi) east-southeast of Kagoshima, Japan, and 475 km (295 mi) south-southwest of Osaka, according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the typhoon was moving north-northeast at 13 kph (8 mph) and had maximum sustained winds of 130 kph, with gusts of up to 157 kph. Chan-Hom is forecast to gradually turn toward the northeast and east by early 10 October and will pass along the southern coast of Japan through 11 October. The storm is not currently forecast to make landfall; however, strong winds, high tides and heavy rains are likely in areas of southern Japan, including the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, especially along the coastline. Authorities in the town of Susami, Wakayama prefecture, and in Hachijo, Tokyo prefecture, issued evacuation preparation orders to approximately 4,000 and 7,500 residents, respectfully, in anticipation of severe coastal flooding.

Kyrgyzstan (Security threat level – 4): On 9 October 2020, an unidentified assailant fired shots during an anti-government demonstration in Ala-Too Square in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Preliminary reports indicate that the assailant fired at a vehicle carrying former Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev. At least one person has been reported injured due to the event, but further details on the situation — including the potential for other casualties — are unavailable at this time.

Separately, Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov issued a decree imposing a state of emergency in Bishkek, which — pending the approval of parliament — will go into effect at 2000 local time (1400 UTC) on 9 October and last until 0800 local time on 21 October. The state of emergency will include a nightly curfew, extensive restrictions on movement, state control of the media, and restrictions on protest activities.

EUROPE

Spain / Poland (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): On 9 October 2020, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved a new state of alarm in the region of the capital city Madrid due to a significant spike in COVID-19 cases that continues to outpace that of any other European city. The new declaration comes one day after the highest court in Madrid annulled a central government order to impose coronavirus-related lockdown measures. The new state of alarm would likely allow the central government to impose new regulations on Madrid and its nine adjacent municipalities. At present, it does not appear that travel or business restrictions on the region are in effect; however, it is likely that an announcement will be forthcoming given that the central government deployed 7,000 police officers and civil guard members to Madrid. The ministers of health and interior are expected to hold a press conference later today.

Elsewhere in Spain, the high court in Castilla and León ratified new lockdown measures — in place since 6 October — in the northwest cities of León, Palencia and Andres de Rabanedo – all of which have surpassed 500 cases per 100,000 residents. The restrictions include a ban on entering or exiting the city — except for the purposes of work, school, health care or shopping for essential goods. Inside the cities, bars and restaurants are required to close at 2300 local time (2100 UTC). It remains unknown how long restrictions will be in effect.

On 8 October Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that beginning on 10 October face masks will be mandatory in all public areas until further notice due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israel / Morocco / Oman (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 2): On 8 October 2020, Israeli authorities extended a ban on public gatherings — including political demonstrations — until at least 13 October due to increasing COVID-19 case numbers. Officials initially instituted the ban, which limits public gatherings to within 1 km (0.6 mi) of one’s home, on 1 October. Separately, the government extended the closure of non-essential workplaces until 14 October.

In Morocco on 8 October authorities extended the country’s health state of emergency until at least 10 November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials initially declared the state of emergency on 19 March and have extended it six times. The order allows the government to institute emergency disease control measures, such as lockdowns and travel bans, and to deploy the military as needed to enforce such measures.

In Oman, authorities announced that they will impose a nightly curfew beginning on 11 October and lasting until at least 24 October. Under the curfew, all nighttime movement will be banned, and all public places will be closed from 2000 to 0500 local time (1600 to 0100 UTC).

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 8 October 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding adjustments of city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: "As of October 8, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 476,016 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on October 8:

  • The imposition of a quarantine for the following comunas (begins Saturday, October 10 at 5:00 am): Fresia (X Region), Los Muermos (X Region)
  • The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 1 (Quarantine) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the removal of quarantine from Monday-Friday (begins Tuesday, October 13 at 5:00 am). Viña del Mar (V Region), Valparaíso (V Region), Licantén (VII Region), San Clemente (VII Region), Hualqui (VIII Region), Lonquimay (IX Region), Maullín (X Region)
  • The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 3 (Preparation). This includes the lifting of quarantine on the weekends and holidays (begins Tuesday, October 13 at 5:00 am): Quillota (V Region), Linares (VII Region)
  • The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 3 (Preparation) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the reimposition of quarantines on the weekends and holidays (begins Saturday, October 10 at 5:00 am): Cañete (VIII Region), Collipulli (IX Region), Pucón (IX Region)"

The full text of the alert is available here .