Worldview Security Update – September 21, 2020
21-Sep-20

AMERICAS

Barbados / Ecuador (Security threat levels – 1 / 3): As of 19 September 2020, the government of Barbados is requiring travelers arriving from countries deemed high or medium risk for COVID-19 to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival in Barbados. Meanwhile, officials strongly advise those arriving from countries deemed low risk to bring proof of negative results from a test taken within the five days before their arrival. Those arriving from countries deemed very low risk are exempt from the aforementioned requirements. All incoming travelers must complete and submit an Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) form no later than 24 hours prior to travel. Additional information regarding entry requirements is available here .

Ecuadorian health officials extended on 20 September the national public health emergency they had imposed earlier in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — a different policy than the nationwide state of emergency that ended on the same day — at least through 12 December. Under the extension, Ecuador’s land borders with Colombia and Peru remain closed until further notice. Additionally, a number of coronavirus-related mandates remain in place, including the wearing of face masks in public places; social distancing and hand washing measures; school closures; remote work where possible; a prohibition on public gatherings; and the recommended use of a nationwide contact tracing app. Local governments may enact additional localized restrictions based on the scale of COVID-19 infections in their communities.

Bermuda / Canada (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): As of 0900 local time (1200 UTC) on 21 September 2020, Hurricane Teddy was located approximately 260 km (160 mi) southeast of Bermuda and was moving northward at 15 kph (9 mph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 155 kph, with higher gusts. On its current track, Teddy is expected to continue moving northward and pass east of Bermuda through 21 September, then turn toward the northeast and weaken into a powerful post-tropical storm as it approaches the Canadian province of Nova Scotia by the morning of 23 September.

The storm is forecast to produce 50-100 mm (2-4 in) of rain, with isolated maximums of 150 mm, across parts of Atlantic Canada from 22-24 September. Tropical storm conditions and heavy rainfall are expected in Bermuda through 21 September.

A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for Bermuda, while a Tropical Storm Watch is in place across the southern coast of Nova Scotia from Lower East Pubnico to Main-a-Dieu. Swells generated by the storm will continue to create hazardous surf and riptide conditions for Bermuda as well as the Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles, the eastern coast of the U.S. and Atlantic Canada through the next several days.

United States (Security threat level – 2): As of 0700 local time (1200 UTC) on 21 September 2020, Tropical Storm Beta was located approximately 70 mi (110 km) south-southeast of Port O’Connor, Texas, and about 120 miles south-southwest of Galveston Island, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the storm was moving westward at 6 mph (9 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts. On its current forecast track, Beta will make landfall along the central Texas coast near Port O’Connor by the nighttime hours of 21 September before making a sharp turn toward the northeast on 22 September. The storm is expected to continue the northeastward movement, weaken into a tropical depression and remain close to the southeastern Texas coastline through 22 September.

The storm is forecast to produce 5-10 inches (125-255 mm) of rain, with isolated maximums of up to 15 inches, from the mid-Texas coastline to southeastern Louisiana through 25 September. Additionally, 3-5 inches of rain is expected farther inland over the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region as well as the Lower Mississippi Valley. Storm surges of between 3-5 ft (1-1.5 m) are possible from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Sabine Pass; between 2-4 ft from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass and from Sabine Pass to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge; and 1-3 ft from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and from the Rio Grande River to Port Aransas. The combination of heavy rainfall and the storm surge will likely create hazardous conditions along the Texas and Louisiana coasts as well as dangerous flash floods and urban flooding, while tropical storm-force winds could extend up to 175 miles from the center of the storm and cause damage to infrastructure. Tornadoes are also possible along the storm’s impact area through the night of 21-22 September.

A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect from Port Aransas, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana, and a Storm Surge Warning is in effect for areas from Port Aransas to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana — including Aransas Bay, Copano Bay, Galveston Bay, Lake Calcasieu, Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay. Meanwhile, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for areas located north of Baffin Bay, Texas, to Port Aransas. Tropical storm conditions are currently affecting parts of the warning area and will spread to the watch area by the afternoon hours.

ASIA

South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 20 September 2020, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun extended current countrywide Level 2 restrictions through at least 27 September in a continued effort to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections. Under the restrictions, strict social distancing and face mask mandates will remain in effect. Indoor gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people, while those occurring outdoors are allowed no more than 100 people; tighter restrictions on social gatherings are expected to be announced for the upcoming Chuseok holiday from 30 September-2 October. Establishments deemed high risk for COVID-19 transmission — such as bars, cultural centers, museums, nightclubs and other public gathering venues — remain closed.

EUROPE

Denmark / Greece / Spain (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 3): Beginning on 19 September 2020, public gatherings in Denmark are restricted to a maximum of 50 people, dropping from the previous limit of 100 people. Bars, cafes and restaurants must close by 2200 local time (2000 UTC) and a face mask must be worn at all times when not seated. These restrictions — the details of which are available here — will remain in effect until at least 4 October. Additional guidelines regarding social distancing, general business operating hours and other mandates currently in place can be accessed here .

As of 21 September, stringent restrictions on public gatherings are in effect in the Greek capital Athens and the Attica region, which encompasses Athens, due to an increasing rate of COVID-19 infection in the region. No more than nine people are allowed to attend outdoor gatherings, while all indoor and outdoor musical concerts are banned. Social events, such as weddings and funerals, may have up to 20 attendees. These restrictions will remain in place until 4 October. Additionally, residents over 65 years of age are advised to avoid using public transportation and to limit their movements to the extent possible.

As of 21 September, Spanish authorities in the Madrid region are observing new coronavirus-related restrictions for select localities. The new restrictions are set to remain in place for the next 14 days in the capital Madrid, Getafe, Parla, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Alcobendas, Fuenlabrada, Humanes de Madrid and Moraleja de Enmedio. Individuals living in these locations are only allowed to leave their homes for essential activities, such as school, work or caring for dependents. Stores and other commercial establishments are allowed to operate at 50% occupancy and must close by 2200 local time (2000 UTC). Additionally, the new order prohibits social gatherings of more than six people and shuts down public parks.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 18 September 2020, authorities in Abu Dhabi announced that all inbound international travelers will be provided a tracking device to be worn throughout their 14-day quarantine. Additionally, they clarified updated entry requirements, which now include a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival as well as on the 12th day of quarantine. International travelers arriving from other emirates who have been in the country less than 14 days will also be required to quarantine, but their time in other emirates will be subtracted from the time they are required to quarantine. Additionally, authorities banned social gatherings, including family gatherings and funerals, of more than 10 attendees. The use of face masks remains mandatory nationwide.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Côte d’Ivoire / Mauritania (Security threat levels – 4 / 4): As of 19 September 2020, the government of Côte d’Ivoire has implemented additional requirements for all travelers arriving in, departing from, or transiting through the country. Travelers must complete and submit an Air Travel Declaration Form (DDVA) via an online portal at a cost of 2,000 CFA francs (about 3.60 U.S. dollars) and upload a negative result from a RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to traveling. Departing travelers will be required to pay 48,000 CFA francs for a COVID-19 test. In addition, arriving travelers will be subject to health screenings and possible self-isolation if their body temperature is 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher. If permitted to enter, visitors must provide their contact information and will be monitored via SMS tracking for 14 days.

In Mauritania, on 19 September authorities reopened airports as well as the land borders with Mali and Senegal, although the land border with Morocco remains closed for non-commercial vehicle traffic. A limited number of international flights to select destinations have resumed and are subject to delays and cancellations. All arriving travelers must show proof of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their travel date and will be subject to temperature screenings and potential quarantine in a government facility at the discretion of health authorities.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bahrain (Security threat level – 3): On 21 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Manama issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"U.S. Embassy Manama reminds U.S. citizens of the need for caution and awareness of personal security.

"The Embassy encourages all U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans, remain aware of their surroundings, including local events, and maintain a high-level of vigilance."

Analyst Comment: Organizations with assets and personnel in Bahrain should exercise heightened vigilance. On 20 September security forces in Manama disrupted an Iran-linked terrorist cell that was reportedly planning to conduct attacks on Western diplomatic personnel in the country, including a bomb attack on Badia Street — where several diplomatic residences are located.

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 21 September 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: "The movement “France Dégage” has called for a rally on Tuesday, September 22, at 2:00 PM at the Monument de l’Indépendance to denounce France’s involvement in Mali’s political affairs.

"Spontaneous demonstrations are also possible in other areas of Mali. 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."

Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): On 20 September 2020, the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for Myanmar to read in part as follows: “Some townships in Yangon are currently under ‘Stay at Home’ orders, these include; Thingangyun, Insein, North Okkalapa, Thaketa, Pazuntaung, Mingalardon, Hlaing, South Okkala, Tamwe, Mayangone, Kamaryut, North Dagon, Hlainf Thar Yar, San Chaung, Botataung, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, South Dagon, Yankin, Dagon, Kyimyindaing, Kyauktada, East Dagon, Ahlone, Bahan, Dagon Seikkan, Daw Pone, Lanmataw and Hlegu.

“From 8am on 21 September, this will change with all townships in Yangon, except for the Coco Island Region, coming under a ‘Stay at Home’ order. The rules state that residents should stay in their own homes. Only one person per household is allowed to go out for essential supplies, or two people can leave the home to visit a hospital or clinic. Only the driver and one passenger can travel in a car at the same time, unless travelling to a hospital or clinic, in which case, there can be two passengers. Those who work in ‘essential private services’ are excluded from this order. Essential private services are defined by the Government of Myanmar as banks, financial services, petrol stations, livestock and refrigeration industries, production and distribution of pharmaceutical products, production and distribution of drinking water and personal items. A curfew from 11pm until 4am each day is currently in effect in Yangon.”