January 20, 2021

AMERICAS

Brazil / Colombia (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): According to reports from 18 January 2021, authorities in three Brazilian states — Amazonas, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo — have tightened local coronavirus-related restrictions since 15 January. In Amazonas, a statewide curfew from 1900 to 0600 local time (2300-1000 UTC) has been imposed until at least 24 January. In the state of Minas Gerais, most localities have some limits on business operations and recreational venues, including parks. Officials in the city of Belo Horizonte have issued a directive that allows only essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, to remain open. Bars and restaurants are only allowed to provide takeout and delivery services. In the state of São Paulo, most localities are under Phase 3 of the state’s five-tier economic recovery plan that permits businesses as well as entertainment and recreational facilities to operate for up to eight hours a day with up to 40% occupancy. The city of Marilia, which is located approximately 445 km (275 mi) northeast of the city of São Paulo, remains under the state’s most restrictive measures, with authorities advising individuals to remain at home except to perform essential tasks and banning large group events. Separately, health authorities on 18 January started a nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign as many hospitals report a shortage of oxygen supplies and officials announce that two new variants of the virus — one that is more contagious — have been discovered in Brazil.

Colombian authorities in Bogotá on 19 January imposed a citywide nightly curfew from 2000 to 0500 local time (0100-1000 UTC) until 28 January. Additionally, the mayor of Bogotá announced additional citywide restrictions from 2000 local time on 22 January to 0400 local time on 25 January. Only essential businesses will be allowed to operate, and only one person per household will be allowed to leave their residence to acquire essential goods, such as groceries and medicine.

United States (Security threat level – 2): The 59th U.S. Presidential Inauguration is expected to begin at approximately 1130 local time (1630 UTC) on 20 January 2021 at the western front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during which President-elect Joe Biden, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will be sworn into the office for a four-year term. The U.S. Secret Service is leading operations for the National Special Security Event, for which the Department of Defense has deployed 25,000 National Guard personnel to the city. Much of the federal district is restricted to authorized vehicles only and a relatively larger area is restricted to vehicles belonging to local residents or businesses. A 7 ft- (2 m)-high security perimeter fence topped with barbed wire surrounds the Capitol. In addition, perimeter fences are set up around the White House and other federal buildings and barricades are in place in the downtown area. The National Mall is expected to remain closed through 24 January, and there is limited access to the city through 21 January. The Secret Service has published a map and details regarding road and bridge closures, along with parking restrictions, which can be viewed here.

EUROPE

Germany (Security threat level – 3): On 19 January 2021, authorities extended an existing coronavirus-related nationwide lockdown through at least 14 February. Additionally, new rules have been introduced, including a requirement to wear N95 masks aboard public transportation and in stores, as well as a mandate for businesses to allow employees to work from home when possible. Existing limits on gatherings and nonessential businesses remain the same.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1500 local time (1400 UTC) on 20 January 2021, a large explosion occurred in a building on Calle Toledo, located in the central area of the capital Madrid. Local officials reported that a gas leak in the residential areas of Virgen de la Paloma parish is suspected as the cause of the explosion. Emergency personnel have evacuated nearby buildings as inspectors survey the area for additional structural damage. At least two people were killed in the explosion.

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): Heavy rains stemming from a powerful storm are causing significant disruptions across central and northern England as of 20 January 2021. The U.K. Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain — the second-highest level on a three-tier color coded system — for areas in northern, central and eastern England until 1200 local time/UTC on 21 January. Rainfall of between 40-70 mm (1.5-2.75 in), with isolated maximums of up to 200 mm, is in the forecast for the amber warning area, which includes Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Wakefield, Lincoln, Nottingham, Leicester and Peterborough. Authorities have issued more than 50 flood warnings across the region, and trains have been canceled. The lowest yellow level warning for rain is in effect for the rest of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and southern areas of Scotland.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): Overnight on 19-20 January 2021, violent protests occurred throughout Tunisia for a fifth consecutive day, including in the capital Tunis, where approximately 250 protesters gathered on Bourguigba Avenue in the city center. Security forces used tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest in the city of Sidi Bouzid, the town where the 2010 Arab Spring began. Clashes between protesters and security forces also occurred in the Ettadamen, el-Tadamen and Sijoumi neighborhoods in Tunis. Labor unions and other rights groups have announced their support for peaceful protests against the government. The protest activity has continued even as the four-day lockdown from 15 January concluded; the COVID-19 restrictions, along with ongoing economic hardships, have sparked the demonstrations.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): On 19 January 2021, Tropical Cyclone Eloise made landfall near the town of Antalaha, which is located in northeastern Madagascar. Heavy rainfall affected the Diana region, and structural damage has been reported in the port city Antsiranana and the rural area of Antsiranana-II. At least two individuals have been reported missing after their vehicle was swept away by fast moving water as they were traveling over a bridge. There have been no reported injuries or casualties from the storm.

As of 1200 local time (0900 UTC) on 20 January, Eloise was located approximately 370 km (230 mi) north of Antananarivo, Madagascar, and was moving west toward Mozambique at 29 kph (17 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Eloise was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph, with gusts of up to 84 kph. On its current forecast path, Eloise will continue westward and weaken as it moves over Madagascar before entering the Mozambique Channel on 21 January. The storm is expected to strengthen before making landfall on 23 January in the area between Inhambane and Gaza provinces, located in southern Mozambique, according to the Mozambican National Meteorological Institute (INAM).

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Czech Republic (Security threat level – 2): On 19 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Prague issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Announced gathering points include, but are not limited to, the following areas in Prague, Czech Republic:

  • U.S. Embassy Prague
  • Old Town Square
  • Malostrankse Namesti

“Event: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 1300 – 2100, three separate demonstrations will take place at Malostrankse Namesti, in front of U.S. Embassy Prague, and at Old Town Square. Organizers are expecting approximately 100 participants. The demonstrations are in support of the outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations and against local government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The full text of the alert is available here.

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 19 January 2021, the U.S Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Political opposition groups intend to demonstrate throughout Port-au-Prince on Wednesday, January 20. The U.S. Embassy is a possible demonstration site. Please remain vigilant as large gatherings of this sort, while largely peaceful, can become unpredictable.”

January 19, 2021

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 15 January 2021, authorities extended the closure of Colombia’s land and river borders until 1 March to curb the spread of COVID-19. The measure, which has been in effect since March 2020, was due to expire on 16 January. International air travel remains unaffected by the extension.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): On 19 January 2021, Hong Kong authorities extended social distancing orders through 27 January in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Under the measures, gatherings of more than two people are banned, entertainment venues are closed, and restaurants must suspend dine-in services by 1800 local time (1000 UTC). Lunar New Year markets will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Furthermore, the government has mandated COVID-19 testing for residents living between Nathan Road, Jordan Road, Ferry Street and Kansu Street due to several clusters of cases. Travelers from Brazil and Ireland are also banned until further notice.

EUROPE

Azerbaijan / Italy / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 4 / 3 / 3): As of 19 January 2021, Azerbaijani authorities have extended the nationwide “special quarantine regime” until at least 1 April and are set to lift a number of restrictions on businesses and movement. Since 18 January, individuals in five cities — including the capital Baku — and 12 districts are no longer required to obtain travel authorization in order to leave their residence. Commencing on 25 January, restrictions will be lifted on travel between districts and municipalities as well as on nonessential businesses. Additionally, cafes, restaurants and similar establishments will be allowed to reopen to the public as of 1 February. However, public transportation services remain suspended in Baku and a number of additional municipalities until at least 1 April.

On 15 January Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a new decree extending the state of emergency the government had imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The decree extends the state of emergency to 30 April and reinstates the color tier system of restrictions based on the number of COVID-19 cases. A nationwide travel ban and a 2200 to 0500 local time (2100 to 0400 UTC) nighttime curfew remain in effect from 16 January until 15 February. The decree reinstates the color tier system to determine the degree of restrictions in a specific region from 17 January until 5 March. The decree also announced the upcoming election date, with parliamentary and municipal elections scheduled for 20 May. Regions with the highest number of COVID-19 cases will be designated as red and placed under the most severe restrictions, including the closure of nonessential businesses and stay-at-home orders. The regions of Lombardy, Sicily and Bolzano are designated as red regions. In regions designated as orange, restaurants and bars are required to close, although shops are allowed to remain open. Fourteen regions are currently designated as orange regions. In regions labeled as yellow, restaurants and bars are allowed to operate until 1800 local time. Five regions are designated as yellow. The decree also created a new color tier, the white region. Regions designated as white would not fall under any of the restrictions outlined in the red, orange or yellow color tiers, but may have specific protocols.

As of 0400 local time/UTC on 18 January, all inbound travelers to the U.K. are required to demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 viral test taken within 72 hours before departing for the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that the requirement will be in effect until at least 15 February. Requirements to complete a Passenger Locator Form and self-isolate for 10 days also remain in effect. Travelers can opt to leave quarantine by obtaining a negative result on an additional test after five days of self-isolation. Those who arrive in the U.K. without a negative test result could face a fine of up to 500 British pounds (680 U.S. dollars). Additional information provided by the U.K. government is available here.

France (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1635 local time (1535 UTC) on 16 January 2021, police officers deployed tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators at Place du Pont Morand on Bellamy street in the city of Nantes, after demonstrators attempted to create a roadblock. Police officers also deployed water cannons and tear gas at the Botanical Gardens near the city center after demonstrators threw objects at authorities. Officials detained at least three people. Demonstrators were protesting a new security law that allows police officers to use body cameras and drones to film and surveil citizens. The new law will also ban publishing pictures of police officers, if the intent of the publication is to do harm to the officer.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On the weekend of 15-18 January 2021, violent protests occurred across Tunisia for four consecutive nights. Security forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters, many of whom were burning tires, erecting blockades in major thoroughfares, and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers. In Tunis, clashes occurred in the Ettadamen, Mallassin, Fouchana, Karm and Sijoumi neighborhoods and along Bourguiba Avenue, where demonstrators had gathered and blocked roadways. Protests were also held in the Jemla, Ras Djbel, Ksar Hlel and Beja areas of Tunis. Meanwhile, clashes were reported between protesters and security forces in the cities of Bizerte, Gafsa, Kalaa Kebira, Kasserine, Kef, Monastir and Sousse. According to a Defense Ministry spokesperson, authorities have arrested at least 600 individuals and deployed troops to the cities of Bizerte in the north, Sousse in the east, and Kasserine and Siliana in central Tunisia. The violent protests began on 15 January in response to economic hardships and a government decision to enact a nationwide four-day lockdown beginning on 14 January to curb the spread of COVID-19.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Angola / Cabo Verde / Rwanda (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3): As of 19 January 2021, governments across Africa continue to implement and extend measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 as it resurges across the globe. Most recently, the governments of Angola, Cabo Verde and Rwanda have enacted such measures, with more countries likely to follow.

The Angolan government announced plans to introduce entry restrictions on arrivals from a number of countries, commencing on 24 January (2300 UTC on 23 January) and remaining in effect until further notice. From that date, arrivals from Brazil, Portugal and South Africa may not enter Angola, including Angolan citizens and residents. All other travelers to Angola are required to demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival and complete a passenger information form also within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers must undergo COVID-19 testing on entry and self-quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved facility, followed by an additional test on or after day 10 and subsequent release from quarantine with a negative result. Travelers who test positive either on arrival or during quarantine will be transferred to a government isolation facility for treatment and further testing. Previously, on 12 January, authorities extended an existing nationwide state of calamity through 9 February. Individuals are required to wear face masks in all public areas, including anytime they are outside a residence or hotel room or aboard public transport.

In Cabo Verde, as of 19 January the island of São Vincente remains in a state of calamity while all other islands are designated at a lower level state of contingency. Restrictions on businesses, public gatherings and beach access remain in place, and all individuals are required to wear a mask in public places and maintain social distancing guidelines. Meanwhile, all travelers to Cabo Verde must demonstrate a negative result from a PCR or RDT (rapid) COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers are subject to health screenings and required to complete a health questionnaire on arrival, although they are not required to observe a quarantine period. Inter-island travel by air or sea remains operational, but all travelers are required complete an online health surveillance form and demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours of travel if arriving from outside the islands of Boa Vista, Brava, Maio, Sal and São Nicolau.

In Rwanda, authorities extended existing nationwide coronavirus-related restrictions and introduced further restrictions for the capital Kigali through 2 February. An amended nationwide nightly curfew runs 1800-0400 local time (1600-0200 UTC), and restrictions on businesses, intercity and inter-district travel, and social activities remain in place. Workers must continue to perform their jobs remotely where able. Meanwhile, a total lockdown is in place for Kigali. Individuals must remain in their homes and limit outside travel to essential activities, such as to procure food or medicine or seek emergency medical care. Individuals must obtain a travel permit from the authorities prior to leaving their residence. Public and private transport in Kigali is prohibited except for the movement or delivery of essential goods.

Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 1100 local time (0900 UTC) on 19 January 2021, Tropical Cyclone Eloise was located nearly 665 km (415 mi) northeast of Antananarivo, Madagascar, and was moving toward the southwest at about 7 kph (4 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Eloise was generating maximum sustained winds of 93 kph, with gusts of up to 120 kph. On its current forecast path, Eloise will continue to track in a southwesterly direction and make landfall in northeastern Madagascar on 19 January. The storm is then expected to weaken as it moves inland and is forecast to re-intensify after reaching the Mozambique Channel on 21 January. Eloise is likely to make a second landfall near the town of Vilankulos in southern Mozambique on 22-23 January.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 19 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding upcoming planned protests, which reads in part as follows:

“Events: A demonstration is planned for Wednesday, January 20 at 2 pm. The demonstration will be held at the Monument de l’Indépendance. The purpose of this demonstration is to demand the removal of French “Barkhane” forces deployed in Mali. This demonstration has not yet been approved by the host government.

“A second demonstration is planned for Thursday, January 21 at 2 pm. This demonstration will be held in Djelibougou, near Restaurant Savannah. The purpose of this demonstration is to call for the release of activist Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, also known as Ras Bath, from prison. This demonstration has not been approved by the host government.

“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 Alert is available here.

January 15, 2021

AMERICAS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 14 January 2021, officials at the Chilean Ministry of Health announced modifications to city-level quarantine measures, in effect until further notice, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Officials stated that the city of Puren, located in the region of Araucanía, will be downgraded to Phase 3 (Preparation) from Phase 4 (Initial Opening) as of 0500 local time (0800 UTC) on 16 January. At that time, businesses deemed nonessential are required to close, including theaters and cinemas, and indoor seating at restaurants is banned. As of 0500 local time on 16 January, the cities of Traiguen and Curacautin, both of which are located in the region of Araucanía, will be downgraded to Phase 2 (Transition) from Phase 3 (Preparation) — which includes additional movement restrictions during weekends and holidays. The cities of Tome, located in the region of Biobio, and Paillaco, located in the region of Lagos, will be downgraded to Phase 1 (Quarantine) from Phase 2 (Transition) — which includes movement restrictions every day of the week. As of 0500 local time on 18 January, the city of Los Sauces, located in the region of Araucanía, will be upgraded to Phase 3 (Preparation) from Phase 2 (Transition) — lifting movement restrictions during weekends and holidays. The Ministry of Health has confirmed 656,712 cases of COVID-19 in Chile.

Jamaica (Security threat level – 3): On 14 January 2021, authorities announced an extension to coronavirus-related restrictions currently in place until 31 January. This includes a nationwide nightly curfew, which is in effect from 2100 to 0500 local time (0200 to 1000 UTC), a ban on social gatherings and a limit of 15 attendees for weddings and funerals. The stricter curfew currently in effect in Westmoreland parish, in place from 1900 to 0500 local time, will expire on 15 January.

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): Preliminary damage reports have emerged on 15 January 2021, following a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that struck earlier in the day at 0228 local time (1828 UTC on 14 January) approximately 35 km (22 mi) south of Mamuju in West Sulawesi province. At least 34 people have been reported dead, more than 600 others have been injured, and more than 15,000 people have been displaced as a result of the earthquake. In addition, 62 homes and other structures — including the Hotel D’Maleo Mamuju and a medical center in Majene — sustained moderate to severe damage. Sporadic power disruptions and outages have been reported across portions of the impact area, and authorities have not indicated when services will be restored. Meanwhile, at least three landslides have blocked portions of the Majene-Mamuju roadway, which runs along the western coast, complicating rescue and recovery efforts, which remain ongoing. Officials stated that the number of casualties and damaged structures may increase as authorities continue relief efforts.

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 15 January 2021, Philippine authorities extended an existing travel ban on arrivals from a number of countries until at least 31 January. The entry ban was set to expire on 15 January before being extended and expanded to include more than 30 countries, including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. In addition, the entry restriction now applies to all travelers — including Filipino nationals and residents — who have visited or transited a prohibited country prior to traveling to the Philippines.

EUROPE

Denmark / France / Spain / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 3 / 3): On 15 January 2021, governments across Europe adjusted coronavirus-related restrictions as many countries continue to experience record-breaking surges of local infections. Details are provided below for Denmark, France, Spain and the U.K.

Authorities in Denmark extended existing nationwide restrictions until 7 February. The restrictions were set to expire on 17 January. Under the restrictions, schools, shopping malls and other nonessential businesses are closed, including bars, cafes, cinemas, gyms, libraries, museums, restaurants, sport centers, swimming pools and theaters. Restaurants and cafes are permitted to operate takeout services only. Additionally, public gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people.

In France, Prime Minister Jean Castex on 14 January announced that an existing nationwide curfew will be expanded by two hours to 1800-0600 local time (2200-0500 UTC) for 15 days beginning on 16 January. The curfew currently runs from 2000 to 0600 local time nationwide, although in 25 departments the new hours were already in effect.

In Spain, regional authorities on 15 January imposed a new wave of coronavirus-related restrictions that will be in effect until further notice. In the region of Madrid, a regionwide nightly curfew will commence at 2300 local time (2200 local time), an hour ahead of the nationwide curfew, and hospitality businesses are required to close at 2200 local time. Additionally, authorities have confined 47 localities and 19 municipalities, which bars travel in or out of these communities. In Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon, health officials announced that effective immediately the borders to the three provincial capitals — Huesca, Teruel and Zaragoza — will close to travelers. In addition, residents of six other municipalities are not allowed to leave the city limits. In the northern region Castilla y León, officials have requested that residents remain at home, unless traveling for work, school or to procure essential goods as well as imposed a nightly regionwide curfew commencing at 2100 local time. As of 18 January, a regional curfew in Galicia, located in northern Spain, will commence at 2200 local time, and hospitality businesses in Galicia are required to close at 1800 local time and operate at reduced capacities. Officials noted that 60 municipalities will be under more restrictive measures. In Basque Country, authorities noted that they will review the existing state of alarm to determine whether the regional curfew could commence at 1800 or 2000 local time. The Ministry of Health stated that infections during the last 14 days across Spain have climbed to 522 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

In the U.K., authorities on 14 January announced a ban on travel from all South American countries, along with Portugal, Panama and Cabo Verde, due to concerns over a new strain of the coronavirus in Brazil. The ban will take effect on 15 January and remain in effect until further notice. South American countries affected by the ban include Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. All individuals who have traveled to these countries within 10 days prior to their departure for the U.K. will be denied entry. However, British nationals, Irish nationals and foreign nationals with residence rights in the U.K. will be allowed entry with an obligatory 10-day self-isolation period.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 14 January 2021, an explosion reportedly occurred at a city administration building in the Piassa area of the capital Addis Ababa. Social media reports indicate that multiple individuals were injured during the event, although government officials have refuted and downplayed the severity of the explosion. Officials noted that no one was injured and attributed the blast to fireworks stored in the building, which is undergoing renovations.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Central African Republic (Security threat level – 5): On 14 January 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for the Central African Republic (CAR) to include information regarding the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from CAR. The level of advice remains unchanged at the highest “Level 4: Do Not Travel.” The advisory reads in part as follows: “Do not travel to the Central African Republic due to COVID-19, Embassy Bangui’s limited capacity to provide support to U.S. citizens, crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and elections.

“Due to ongoing armed group activity and supply chain disruptions, on January 14, 2021, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees.

“The presidential election occurred on December 27, 2020. Although there have been no specific incidents of violence or threats targeting U.S. citizens, civil unrest, demonstrations, and election-related violence (including renewed outbreaks of armed conflict) may occur throughout the country in the period following the election.”

The full text of the advisory is available here.

France (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a planned protest on 16 January, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Paris, from Place Daumesnil/Place Felix Eboue to Place de la Bastille. Also, Place de la République. Other demonstrations throughout France.

“Event: Marche des Libertés expected to take place on Saturday January 16, 2021, beginning at noon. The group intends to protest loss of liberties. Extreme groups which have fomented violence in the past are participating. Simultaneously, a large Culture 4 Liberty protest denouncing the closure of cultural locations and loss of liberty, including the Global Security Law, is also planned for the same location. Depending on the size of the crowds and the levels of violence and/or property damage associated with the demonstrations, the French authorities may use chemical agents (tear gas) and water cannons to disperse crowds. American citizens are advised to avoid the Place de la Republique and Place de la Bastille areas.

“Additional, smaller demonstrations are also expected Saturday:

  • Marseille: 13:00, Vieux Port toward Porte d’aix via Avenue de la République and Boulevard des Dames, to protest the Global Security Law.
  • Lyon: 14 :00, Villeurbanne (suburb of Lyon) in front of Inspection Générale de la Police Nationale, a Marche des Libertés.
  • Strasbourg : 13:00, Between Place de la République and Place Kleber, protest against Global Security Law.
  • Rennes: 14:00, Place de la République, protest against the global security law.
  • Bordeaux : 1430, Place des Quinconces côté quai.”

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 14 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Political opposition groups intend to demonstrate throughout Port-au-Prince on Friday, January 15. Additionally, the organization known as SPNH intends to demonstrate on Sunday, January 17 as well. Possible demonstration sites include, but are not limited to, Champs de Mars, Nazon, Bourdon, Delmas, Petionville, and the U.S. Embassy. Please remain vigiliant as there is the potential for these demonstrations to turn violent. The U.S. Embassy will restrict non-official travel of its direct-hire U.S. citizen staff to the immediate Embassy neighborhood, and urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution while traveling in Port-au-Prince.”

Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 14 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Ireland, which reads in part as follows:

“From Saturday 16 January 2021, all passengers arriving into Ireland (except those arriving from Northern Ireland) are required to have a negative/’not detected’ result from a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ireland.

“Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry, and will be required to produce this evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at points of entry to the State.”

Liechtenstein (Security threat level – 1): On 15 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Liechtenstein, which reads in part as follows: “From 18 January, gatherings of more than 5 people will be prohibited in both private and public settings. Wearing a facemask is compulsory indoors wherever more than one person is present, and when travelling on public transport. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.”

January 14, 2021

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 January 2021, President Ivan Duque extended the nationwide health state of emergency and selective quarantine period until at least 28 February. Both measures were set to expire on 16 January. The policies enable state governors and municipal authorities to introduce coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses, movement and social activities at their discretion.

United States (Security threat level – 2): According to a media report from 13 January 2021, the U.S. Secret Service issued a bulletin on 11 January warning of additional armed protests in the capital Washington, D.C., in the lead-up to and during the 59th Presidential Inauguration on 20 January. The Secret Service anticipates the protests — one of which is being organized by the “Boogaloo Bois,” an extremist group that seeks a second civil war in the U.S. — to become violent before the inaugural ceremony. An additional pre-inaugural demonstration being organized by the Tree of Liberty group, which is affiliated with the Boogaloo movement, calls for armed citizens to gather in Washington, D.C., and all 50 U.S. state capitals. Another Million Militia March is reportedly being organized by a group calling itself the “1st Regiment of the Restored American Republic.” Conversely, most other planned demonstrations and political gatherings, organized by both left-wing and right-wing groups, are expected to conclude peacefully. The latest report follows an internal FBI memo that warned of armed protests being planned in the U.S. Capitol and 50 state capitols in the lead-up to Inauguration Day. In the meantime, the U.S. Department of Defense authorized an additional 5,000 National Guard personnel to be deployed to Washington, D.C., bringing the total number to 20,000 troops. As many as 15,000 National Guard personnel are already being deployed in and around Capitol Hill. A federal state of emergency is in effect in the capital, where the Secret Service launched National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration on 13 January.

EUROPE

Belgium / Greece / Portugal / Russia / Switzerland (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 2 / 3 / 2): On 14 January 2021, governments across Europe adjusted coronavirus-related restrictions as many countries are experiencing record-breaking surges of local infections. Details are provided below for Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Russia and Switzerland.

Authorities in Belgium on 12 January extended existing coronavirus-related restrictions until 1 March. Restrictions already in place include a nationwide curfew from 0000 to 0500 local time (2300 to 0400 UTC), with a stricter curfew in place in the regions of Brussels and Wallonia from 2200 to 0600 local time. Face masks are required in areas where social distancing is not possible.

In Greece, a stricter lockdown went into effect on the island of Lesvos on 13 January. The new lockdown, which is currently scheduled to last until 0600 local time (0400 UTC) on 18 January, includes a longer island-wide nightly curfew from 1800 to 0500 local time. Additionally, travel outside of Lesvos is prohibited, except for essential health care purposes. Shops are closed, and public religious ceremonies are banned. Elsewhere in Greece, the ongoing nightly curfew begins three hours later at 2100 local time, in addition to a countrywide lockdown. All travelers arriving in Greece through 21 January are required to observe a mandatory seven-day quarantine.

In Portugal, the prime minister on 13 January announced additional coronavirus-related restrictions that are set to commence on 15 January and last for at least one month. The new restrictions urge individuals to remain at home as much as possible and allow officials to double the monetary fines levied for noncompliance with coronavirus-related regulations, such as not wearing a face mask in public. Additionally, authorities stated that “teleworking is obligatory wherever possible.” Businesses deemed nonessential are required to close, while schools are expected to remain open. The prime minister noted that the government will provide financial assistance to businesses required to close, including restaurants, cinemas and hair salons. Meanwhile, the presidential election scheduled for 24 January remains uninterrupted, as government officials announced that select coronavirus-related restrictions will be lifted on 17 January — when early voting will be permitted — and Election Day to allow individuals to vote. Incumbent candidate Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is widely expected to win a second five-year term as Portugal’s head of state despite the pandemic’s disruption of campaign events and the likelihood of high abstention rates.

In Russia, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on 14 January extended ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions in Moscow until at least 28 January. However, classes in all grade levels through high school are set to resume from 18 January, subject to continued compliance with health guidelines. Colleges and universities will continue operating remotely. In addition, businesses are required to restrict operating hours and comply with occupancy and staffing limits, while individuals are required to wear face masks in all indoor and outdoor public spaces, including aboard public transportation.

In Switzerland, authorities on 13 January announced new coronavirus-related restrictions that will remain in place from 18 January to 28 February. Under the new restrictions, all nonessential shops will be required to close, and all public and private gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people. Additionally, all workers who are able to perform their jobs from home will be required to do so.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 14 January 2021, the Iraqi government extended an existing entry ban for travelers from a number of countries until further notice. Foreign national travelers arriving to Iraq from 20 listed countries — including South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. — will not be permitted to enter. Exemptions are in place for Iraqi citizens and permanent residents, diplomats, humanitarian personnel and other essential travelers. All travelers eligible to enter Iraq must demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival; Iraqi citizens and residents must also undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon entry.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Lesotho / Mozambique / Seychelles (Security threat levels – 3 / 4 / 1): As of 14 January 2021, governments across Africa continue to implement and extend measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 as it resurges across the globe. Most recently, the governments of Lesotho, Mozambique and the Seychelles have enacted such measures, with more countries likely to follow.

In Lesotho, authorities announced on 12 January that the country would move into the highest-risk red stage from the second-highest orange stage effective 14-28 January. The country previously transitioned into the orange stage on 6 January. Under the red stage, a nationwide nightly curfew from 1900 to 0600 local time (1700-0400 UTC) is in place, barring residents from leaving their homes except in cases of emergency. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and supermarkets, are required to restrict operating hours to 0800-1600 local time. Nonessential businesses are required to close, and all social activities are prohibited. Intercity public transportation is operational outside of curfew hours with restrictions on occupancy and adherence to additional health measures; however, intra-city travel is restricted. In addition, all international arrivals via air or land borders are suspended except for those deemed essential, such as commercial cargo shipments, individuals traveling for medical reasons or personnel considered essential. Outbound travel is permitted, although processing delays may occur due to the country’s border closure to inbound travelers.

In Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi on 13 January announced a series of coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses and public gatherings, to be in effect from 15 January until further notice. Markets, restaurants and businesses selling food or essential goods are allowed to operate from 0600 to 2000 local time (0400-1800 UTC) Mondays to Fridays and from 0600 to 1500 local time on Saturdays and Sundays. All other commercial establishments are required to close daily at 1800 local time. Bars, casinos, discos, cultural centers, museums, theaters and other similar venues are required to close. Recreational facilities are likewise closed, including gyms, swimming pools and public beaches. Social activities are restricted to no more than 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors and must conclude by 2000 local time. Local authorities will actively enforce compliance with the restrictions.

In the Seychelles, the government on 13 January extended ongoing coronavirus-related restrictions until at least 28 January. Nonessential businesses are closed, and essential businesses are operational with restrictions on hours and occupancy. Groups larger than four people are prohibited, and social activities are suspended. Arriving travelers eligible to enter the country are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine at a government-approved facility and may not transfer facilities until the quarantine period concludes. Additional information on domestic restrictions is available here and entry requirements are available here.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 13 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office issued updated travel advice for Ecuador, which reads in part as follows:

“Antigen tests (rapid test) will be randomly carried out, by the Ministry of Health (MSP), on passengers arriving in Ecuador by air, sea or land. This test will be provided by the MSP. As of 13 January 2021, the only passengers officially exempted from the random rapid tests are airline crew members and children under 14 years old.”

Guatemala (Security threat level – 4): On 13 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City issued a Security Alert regarding planned demonstrations, which reads in part as follows: “According to media reports, various organizations have planned demonstrations across Guatemala between January 14 and January 20, 2021.

“Announced demonstrations are expected at the following locations in Guatemala City:

“January 14:

  • Who: Organizations Movimiento Arbencista and Plataforma Cívica GT.
  • What: An estimated 300 people will demand the resignation of Guatemalan President and members of congress.
  • Where: National Palace in Guatemala City. Possible roadblock locations are not known at this time.

“January 18th

  • Who: Private transportation Association.
  • What: An estimated 200 people will protest municipality traffic fines.
  • Where: 13 Street and Aguilar Batres Boulevard in Zone 11 then walking towards Guatemala City Municipality.

“January 20th

  • Who: Guatemala Army veterans.
  • What: An estimated 1,500 persons will protest for the approval of a veterans benefits bill.  Where: Presidential House and National Palace in Guatemala City and other locations in the country to be determined.”

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

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 13 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a protest planned for 14 January, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Multiple locations in Bamako

“Event: The Collective for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) is calling for three sit-ins on Thursday, January 14, at 2:00 PM. The purpose of these demonstrations is to demand the release of activist Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, also known as Ras Bath. The sit-ins will occur simultaneously at the following locations: The Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE), Camp 1, and the Commune 3 Tribunal.

“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 alert is available here.

Montenegro (Security threat level – 2): On 13 January 2021, the U.K. FCDO issued updated travel advice for Montenegro, which reads in part as follows:

“From 12 January all travellers, including UK citizens, can enter Montenegro without a coronavirus test through all border crossings. If you notice symptoms of a respiratory infection you must follow the guidelines of the Institute of Public Health, which include contacting a local epidemiological service. The guidance and contact details of epidemiological services are available in English from Institute of Public Health. ”

January 13, 2021

AMERICAS

Canada (Security threat level – 2): ): On 12 January 2021, the premier of Ontario province — where the cities of Ottawa, Canada’s capital, and Toronto are located — announced a new emergency declaration and a provincewide stay-at-home order amid concerns of a health care system collapse in the province due to a doubling of local COVID-19 cases during the past two weeks. The order, set to go into effect at 0001 local time (0501 UTC) on 14 January, requires resident to stay indoors except for essential reasons, such as traveling to work or school, procuring food and medicine, or seeking urgent medical attention. Additionally, nonessential retail establishments will be allowed to operate between 0700 and 2000 local time, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people. Face coverings remain mandatory in all indoor establishments and officials are now recommending they also be worn in outdoor areas where a physical distance of more than 2 m (6 ft) cannot be maintained. Additional information regarding the stay-at-home order is available here. The latest order comes after a “provincewide shutdown,” which has been in effect since 26 December, failed to stop the rapid surge of COVID-19. Health officials in Ontario have so far recorded more than 222,000 COVID-19 cases, with at least 5,050 fatalities.

Canada / Mexico / United States (Security threat levels – 2 / 4 / 2): On 12 January 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declared that U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to nonessential travel through 21 February in a continued effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Individuals involved in cross-border trade and transport are exempt, as are other “essential” personnel — including health care staff and emergency officials — and individuals who transit the border daily for work or to obtain basic necessities, such as food or medicine. The border restrictions, which do not apply to air travel, were initially enacted on 21 March 2020 and have since been renewed monthly.

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 12 January 2021, two assailants traveling on a motorcycle launched a grenade outside a commercial establishment on Carrera 40 in downtown Barranquilla. According to the mayor of Barranquilla, extortion was the motive behind the attack, which injured at least 14 people. Authorities cordoned off the area and opened an investigation. Colombia’s vice president announced a reward of 50 million Colombian pesos (14,380 U.S. dollars) for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Colombia / Panama (Security threat levels – 4 / 3): On 12 January 2021, the mayor of Colombia’s capital Bogotá announced a new lockdown to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases. From 2000 local time (0100 UTC) on 15 January until 0400 local time (0900 UTC) on 18 January, Bogotá will be under a general quarantine that includes a 2000-0400 local time nightly curfew. Only essential businesses are allowed to operate, and only one person per household will be allowed to leave their residence to acquire essential goods, such as groceries and medicine. The localities of Bosa, Cuidad Bolívar, Rafael Uribe, Puente Aranda, San Cristóbal and Usme will be under quarantine measures during 18-28 January. The quarantine of the six localities comes after the mayor placed the localities of Teusaquillo, Kennedy and Fontibon under strict quarantine during 12-21 January.

Panamanian authorities announced on 12 January additional coronavirus-related restrictions that will take effect on 14 January. Most provinces will be under a nightly curfew from 2100 to 0400 local time (0200 to 0900 local time), while select provinces will have stricter movement restrictions. In the provinces of Cocle, Veraguas and Los Santos, a full lockdown will be in effect from 2100 local time on 15 January until 0400 local time on 17 January. In the provinces of Herrera, Panama and Panama Oeste, movement restrictions based on government identification numbers will be repealed, but gender movement restrictions for shopping remain in place. Men are allowed to travel to buy goods on Tuesday and Thursday, while women are allowed to travel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A full lockdown is in place during the weekend, beginning on Friday at 2100 local time and continuing until Monday at 0400 local time. Businesses in the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste are not allowed to have gatherings with more than 25 people or a number greater than 25% of a building’s capacity, whichever is lower.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 12 January 2021, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that all inbound international aircraft passengers will be required to display proof of a negative result on a COVID-19 viral test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flights. The requirement is set to be effective as of 26 January, and those who fail to produce the required documentation will be denied boarding at their airport of origin. At present, only passengers originating in the U.K. — with an exception for those under 2 years of age — are required to possess proof of a negative result on a COVID-19 test. Details provided by the CDC are available here.

ASIA

Japan (Security threat level – 1): On 13 January 2021, authorities announced additional coronavirus-related restrictions amid rising COVID-19 infections. An existing state of emergency in four prefectures has been expanded to include the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Tochigi and Fukuoka. Under the state of emergency, which is in effect until at least 7 February, restaurants and entertainment venues are encouraged to close early, and residents are advised to avoid nonessential outings. However, there are no penalties for businesses or individuals who do not adhere to the requests.

In a related development, the government also announced that all nonresident foreign nationals are banned from entry until at least 7 February. Most foreign travelers had already been banned from entry, but business travelers and students from Brunei, Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam were allowed to enter.

Taiwan (Security threat level – 1): On 13 January 2021, the government announced that beginning on 14 January, anyone who has traveled to South Africa or Eswatini within 14 days before arriving to Taiwan must quarantine at a designated facility for 14 days and take a COVID-19 test at the end of the quarantine period. After travelers return a negative result from a COVID-19 test, they will undergo an additional seven days of self-health management. The new requirements are in response to an Eswatini national testing positive for the new South African variant of COVID-19.

EUROPE

Armenia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 January 2021, the Armenian government reopened its land borders to foreign nationals. Travelers are subject to health screening at all points of entry. All travelers are required to demonstrate a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or take a test on entry at a cost of 40 U.S. dollars and self-quarantine until the results are known.

Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On 12 January 2021, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced an extension of an ongoing countrywide lockdown imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the Netherlands, citing a threat of rapid spread of the U.K. variant of the coronavirus. The lockdown, which came into effect at 0000 local time on 15 December 2020 (2300 UTC on 14 December), is expected to expire on 9 February. All nonessential businesses, as well as educational institutions, museums, theaters and fitness centers, are required to shut down, although essential businesses — such as grocery stores, pharmacies and banks – are allowed to remain open. Outdoor as well as indoor gatherings of more than two people from separate households are prohibited. Additionally, residents are urged to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid all unnecessary domestic and foreign travel. Additional details outlined by the Dutch government are available here.

Russia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, the Russian government extended a ban on flights to and from the U.K. until 1 February due to a more infectious strain of coronavirus currently circulating in the U.K. The measure has been in place since 22 December 2020. The flight suspension may be extended further at the discretion of health authorities.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, authorities announced a nationwide four-day lockdown to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases. The lockdown is scheduled to be in effect from 14 January, a public holiday, to 17 January, with a curfew in effect from 1600 to 0600 local time (1500-0500 UTC). Schools will be closed during 14-24 January.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Central African Republic (Security threat level – 5): On the morning of 13 January 2021, militias of the newly formed Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) — an alliance of rebel groups, including 3R, the Popular Front for the Rebirth of Central Africa and anti-Balaka groups — launched two simultaneous attacks in the outskirts of the capital Bangui. The assailants, who were armed with high-powered firearms and rocket launchers, targeted security personnel in the northern PK11 and PK12 neighborhoods, as well as in the town of Bimbo — located approximately 10 km (6 mi) southwest of central Bangui. Cabinet ministers claimed that security personnel repelled the attacks, which killed at least one U.N. peacekeeper and wounded another. The U.S. Embassy in Bangui has issued a shelter-in-place order for its personnel, citing the clashes. Please see the Government Warnings section below.

Analyst Comment: The latest assaults mark the first time the militias have reached the outskirts of the capital after intensifying their military offensive against government forces following the 27 December general election, in which incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadéra won a second term. The CPC, which has the support of former President François Bozizé, came into existence shortly before the election. The country’s constitutional court had prohibited Bozize from participating in the election.

Uganda (Security threat level – 4): As of 13 January 2021, tensions remain high across Uganda ahead of the general election scheduled for 14 January. Most recently, security personnel in Obongi County fired live ammunition and tear gas at supporters of member of parliament candidate Hassan Kaps Fungaroo during a campaign rally on 13 January. At least one person was killed, and three others were injured. Meanwhile, on 12 January, key opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi — more commonly known as Bobi Wine — of the National Unity Platform (NUP) party, claimed that the military raided his home and assaulted two of his guards while he was conducting a live radio interview. Wine has largely halted his campaign efforts in recent days as security personnel have frequently intervened, using force to disperse campaign rallies and detaining Wine and his campaign team.

Opposition candidates claim that police officers and military personnel have used excessive force against their supporters throughout the campaign period. Thus far, dozens of individuals have been killed and hundreds more injured during election-related unrest across the country, which has been largely attributed to security personnel forcefully dispersing campaign events.

Incumbent President Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party announced on 12 January that the government had shut down all social media sites ahead of the election. The shutdown followed a decision by social media network Facebook to remove several Ugandan accounts linked to Museveni’s reelection campaign. Additionally, the government has increased the number of police and military personnel patrolling the country, particularly in the capital city Kampala.

Analyst Comment: President Museveni assumed the presidency in 1986 following multiple years of war. Wine and nine other candidates are running in the presidential election on 14 January, although Wine is considered the key challenger. Elections in Uganda are often rife with allegations of voter fraud and rigging by internal and international actors, and a peaceful transfer of power has not occurred since the country gained independence in 1962. The U.S. and European Union have stated that they will not have observers at the election, after the Ugandan government failed to approve the majority of U.S. observers and declined an offer by the EU to deploy a team of experts.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Central African Republic (Security threat level – 5): On 13 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bangui issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy has received reports of clashes in Bangui between PK11 and PK 12 and in the Bimbo area. Out of an abundance of caution and due to the possibility of violence and civil unrest, U.S. Embassy Bangui has advised employees to shelter in place immediately for an indefinite period of time.”

The entire U.S. Embassy alert is available here.

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a Security Alert regarding armed robberies, which reads in part as follows:

“The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has received several reports of recent strong-armed robberies of American citizens and others hiking in three popular areas — Entoto and Yeka (behind the British Embassy) parks, as well as the Guellele Botanical Gardens. The hikers were in groups that were surrounded by multiple men who were armed with knives, rocks or other weapons of opportunity. Any resistance or perceived lack of cooperation was met with the threat of or actual violence. Embassy security strongly recommends avoiding hiking in these areas at this time. We urge anyone who does decide to hike in these areas, regardless of group size, to exercise extreme caution.

“Please remain mindful of this issue, and please employ sound security practices.

“ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  • Avoid walking/hiking/biking alone.
  • If confronted, do not engage or otherwise escalate the encounter. Do your best to immediately de-escalate the situation and comply with demands for property or cash to avoid injury.
  • Maintain situational awareness. Avoid wearing headphones or using handheld electronic devices in public areas.”

Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 13 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Grenada, which reads in part as follows: “On 20 December, the Government of Grenada announced the suspension of all flights to and from the UK following the new strain of COVID-19 in the UK. This is extended until at least 31 January.”

Thailand (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding an existing emergency decree, which reads in part as follows: “An emergency decree is currently in place. This includes instructions that you must not:

  • enter high risk areas
  • hoard essential goods
  • attend public gatherings
  • propagate false information

“There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases across Thailand. You can find the latest information on case numbers on the Department of Disease Control website. As a result of this increase, the Thai authorities have introduced a number of disease control measures at national and local levels:

“National level:

  • A Red / Orange / Yellow / Green rating for each of Thailand’s 76 provinces is in place (according to the number of COVID-19 cases recorded). Varying degrees of restrictions are in place in each province depending on the colour category and any additional local restrictions.
  • In provinces categorised as Red, also known as ‘Maximum Control Areas’, a two-tier system of restrictions will be in place from 4 January to 1 February.

“Restrictions include:

  • Tier 1: Businesses face restricted operating hours; restrictions on public gatherings; closure of some schools; working from home encouraged where possible; inter-provincial travel discouraged.
  • Tier 2 (these are not currently in place and will only come into force if the situation does not improve): wider restrictions on businesses, including possible forced closures; ban on inter-provincial travel; stricter rules to ensure as many people as possible work from home; tighter monitoring and inspection of high-risk activities and locations; possible introduction of curfews.
  • Restrictions vary in provinces categorised as Orange, Yellow or Green. You should follow the advice of local authorities and comply with disease control measures.

The Thai government advises that you should avoid unnecessary travel, avoid crowded places, and scan the ‘Thai Chana’ QR code when visiting public places.”

January 12, 2021

AMERICAS

Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): As of 11 January 2021, officials have extended an existing state of emergency and nationwide curfew until at least 26 January. A nightly curfew is in place from 1700 to 0500 local time (2100 to 0900 UTC) Monday through Friday and from 1200 to 0500 local time on Saturday and Sunday; a curfew grace period is in place for those in transit until 2000 local time Monday through Friday and until 1500 local time on Saturday and Sunday. Bars, restaurants and other food establishments are prohibited from offering on-site dining and must instead offer takeaway or curbside options. All public religious activities remain suspended until further notice.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 11 January 2021, media reports citing an internal FBI memo stated that armed protests are being planned in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during 17-20 January to coincide with the 59th Presidential Inauguration, which is currently set to take place on the western front of the Capitol on 20 January. The memo reportedly notes that members of an identified armed group intend to travel to Washington, D.C., on 16 January and have warned of an uprising should President Donald Trump be removed from office before Inauguration Day. Additionally, such protests are being planned at all 50 U.S. state capitols during 16-20 January, and a group has threatened to storm courthouses and government buildings in every state on Inauguration Day. The cited plans to stage armed protests follow the 6 January clashes between Trump supporters and police officers inside the U.S. Capitol building, which resulted in the deaths of five people including a Capitol Police officer.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Defense has authorized up to 15,000 National Guard personnel to ensure security in the lead-up to and during the upcoming inauguration ceremony in Washington, D.C. At least 10,000 of those troops will be deployed to the capital by 16 January, according to the chief of the National Guard Bureau. On 11 January President Trump approved an emergency declaration for the capital, which is set to last until 24 January, and the Department of Homeland Security has ordered the U.S. Secret Service to begin National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration as of 13 January. Elsewhere in the country, the governor of the state of Wisconsin has authorized National Guard personnel to protect the state capitol in downtown Madison, while the Michigan State Capitol Commission has banned the open carry of firearms in the Capitol building in Lansing.

ASIA

Malaysia (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, King Sultan Abdullah declared a nationwide state of emergency for Malaysia that will last until 1 August, or until the recent spike in COVID-19 infections begins to decline. The state of emergency allows the government to enact emergency laws without consulting parliament and to to delegate responsibilities to another entity if deemed necessary. The state of emergency comes a day after the prime minister announced Movement Control Orders (MCOs) for the states of Johor, Melaka, Selangor, Penang and Sabah as well as the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan during 13-26 January. The states of Perlis and most of Sarawak are under a recovery MCO and three Sarawak districts of Kuching, Miri and Sibu along with the states of Pahang, Perak, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan are under a conditional MCO.

Under the MCO in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Labuan, Penang, Selangor, Melaka, Johor and Sabah residents are prohibited from traveling beyond 10 km (6.2 mi) of their home, interstate travel is prohibited, social activities such as weddings and public prayers are banned, and restaurants must only offer takeout services. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, banks, medical facilities may operate normally, while businesses involved in manufacturing, construction, trade and agriculture may continue to operate but at reduced capacity. Violators of the order are subject to a 1,000 Malaysian ringgit (250 U.S. dollar) fine.

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 11 January 2021, the government of the Philippines announced the addition of five countries to its travel ban due to the new variants of COVID-19. As of 1200 local time (0400 UTC) on 13 January, travelers from China, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman and Pakistan will not be allowed to enter the Philippines until at least 15 January. The COVID-19 task force has yet to determine if the restrictions will be extended. Filipino citizens returning from these five countries are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine regardless of whether they have obtained a negative result from a COVID-19 test.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On the evening of 11 January 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa will close its borders to all general passenger traffic for the next two weeks effective immediately as well as close its land borders until 15 February. The measure is aimed at curbing the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 identified in South Africa in December 2020. Exceptions exist for cargo aircraft, diplomats, daily cross-border commuters with valid work or school visas, and those seeking emergency medical attention. South African nationals will also be permitted to enter the country. Additional Level 3 lockdown restrictions — including a nationwide nightly 2100-0600 local time (1900-0400 UTC) curfew, bans on social gathering, limitations on business operating hours, mandatory use of face coverings, and the closure of any outdoor public facility deemed a COVID-19 hot spot — remain in place.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 11 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: “As of January 11, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 645,892 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:

  • “The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 3 (Preparation) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the reimposition of a quarantine on the weekends and holidays (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Diego de Almagro (Region de Atacama), Copiapo (Region de Atacama), Tierra Amarilla (Region de Atacama), Arica (Region de Arica y Parinacota), Pica (Region de Tarapaca), Pozo Almonte (Region de Tarapaca), Calama (Region de Antofagasta), Zapallar (Region de Valparaiso), Santa Cruz (Region de O’Higgins), Chepica (Region de O’Higgins), Las Cabras (Region de O’Higgins), Sagrada Familia (Region del Maule), Yerbas Buenas (Region del Maule), Linares (Region del Maule), Constitucion (Region del Maule), Quillon (Region de Nuble), San Carlos (Region de Nuble), Gorbea (Region de la Araucania), Mafil (Region de los Rios), Futrono (Region de los Rios), Lago Ranco (Region de los Rios), Hualaihue (Region de los Lagos), Recoleta (RM), Buin (RM), La Pintana (RM)
  • “The downgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 1 (Quarantine). This includes the reimposition of a quarantine all days of the week (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Mejillones (Region de Antofagasta), Antofagasta (Region de Antofagasta), San Vicente (Region de O’Higgins), Teno (Region del Maule), Talcahuano (Region del Biobio), Hualqui (Region del Biobio), Concepcion (Region del Biobio), San Pedro de la Paz (Region del Biobio), Chiguayante (Region del Biobio), Renaico (Region de la Araucania), Galvarino (Region de la Araucania), Victoria (Region de la Araucania), Temuco (Region de la Araucania), Valdivia (Region de los Rios), Los Lagos (Region de los Rios), Rio Bueno (Region de los Rios), Quellon (Region de los Lagos), Calbuco (Region de los Lagos), Dalcahue (Region de los Lagos), Castro (Region de los Lagos), Ancud (Region de los Lagos), Puerto Montt (Region de los Lagos), Puerto Varas (Region de los Lagos), Osorno (Region de los Lagos), Aysen (Region de Aysen)
  • “The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 1 (Quarantine) to Phase 2 (Transition). This includes the removal of quarantine from Monday-Friday (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): Lautaro (Region do la Araucania)
  • “The upgrading of the following comunas from Phase 2 (Transition) to Phase 3 (Preparation). This includes the lifting of quarantine on weekends and holidays (begins Thursday, January 14 at 5:00 am): All the comunas in the Region of Coquimbo and all the comunas of the Region of Atacama except Diego de Almagro, Copiapo, and Tierra Amarilla.”

Kuwait (Security threat level – 2): On 12 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait issued a Health Alert regarding entry requirements, which reads in part as follows:

“The Government of Kuwait has announced a change to entry requirements related to COVID-19. Beginning January 17, passengers to Kuwait will need to obtain and travel with a negative PCR test result, in English, administered by a health clinic within 72 hours of beginning their travel to Kuwait. No Arabic-language translation is required. Children under the age of six (6) do not require a PCR test prior to arrival. The prior guidance was 96 hours.

“This is in addition to any additional PCR tests for COVID-19 that are administered by Kuwait health officials upon arrival. It our understanding that children under six (6) are exempt from on-arrival testing.”

Luxembourg (Security threat level – 1): On 11 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Luxembourg, which reads in part as follows:

“The Luxembourg government has extended the curfew, and people are required to remain at home from 11pm to 6am. Outings during these hours are only permitted in certain specified circumstances; these can be accessed with further details on the Luxembourg government website. ”

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 12 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in London issued a COVID-19 Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “On January 11, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all persons intending to travel by air to the United Kingdom must produce a negative COVID-19 test result. Beginning 4am on January 15, all persons (with limited exemptions) arriving by ship, plane or train will have to take a test up to three (3) days before departure and provide evidence of a negative result before they travel. For more information please see the Gov.UK website.

“Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice and should consult their travel provider prior to departing for international travel or our website at https://uk.usembassy.gov. ”

January 11, 2021

AMERICAS

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 10 January 2021, authorities imposed a series of nationwide restrictions effective until 17 January in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. A nationwide nightly curfew from 2100 to 0500 local time (0300-1100 UTC) is in place; residents must remain in their homes and outside travel is prohibited except for emergency situations or the procurement of essential goods and services. Banks, shopping malls, supermarkets and other retail establishments must restrict occupancy to 50% and establish specified business hours for certain groups, including the elderly and pregnant women. Bars, convention centers, nightclubs and other similar venues are required to remain closed. Children are prohibited from entering any business. Individuals must wear a face mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces and comply with social distancing regulations.

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1440 local time (0740 UTC) on 9 January 2021, Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 crashed approximately four minutes after takeoff from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (WIII/CGK). The Boeing 737-500 aircraft, with registration number PK-CLC (MSN 27323), was en route to Pontianak’s Supadio International Airport (WIOO/PNK) — which is located along the western coast of Borneo island. Reports indicate that the aircraft lost more than 3,045 m (10,000 ft) of altitude in less than one minute and crashed near Pulau Laki, located just off the northern coast of Jakarta. At least 56 passengers and six crew members were on board the aircraft.

On 10 January authorities located the aircraft’s black boxes in the ocean near the Thousand Islands between Laki and Lancang. Authorities also retrieved human remains and wreckage from the crash site. Search and rescue operations are ongoing as of 11 January, but retrieval has been complicated by the fact that the wreckage is located on the ocean floor, approximately 23 m (75 ft) below the surface.

EUROPE

Cyprus (Security threat level – 2): On 10 January 2021, authorities implemented stricter coronavirus-related measures that are scheduled to be in effect until at least 31 January. A nightly curfew from 2100 to 0500 local time (1900 to 0300 UTC) will remain in effect; residents will be allowed to leave their homes twice a day with approval provided via an SMS text exchange with the phone number 8998. Individuals older than 65 years of age may submit for approval to leave home via a printed form. Exemptions are in place for those who need to walk a pet as well as for those taking children and individuals with special needs to care centers. Nonessential businesses, such as department stores and gyms, are required to close. Businesses are allowed no more than 15% of staff working at a site at a time, with a maximum of 20 people allowed inside.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Bahrain / Qatar (Security threat levels – 3 / 2): On 11 January 2021, Bahraini authorities lifted the country’s airspace ban on flights originating from Qatar, as part of a recent agreement between Qatar and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. Bahrain — in coordination with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE — had maintained a ban on flights from Qatar since July 2017, due to a dispute over Qatar’s foreign policy.

January 8, 2021

AMERICAS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 8 January 2021, authorities imposed a lockdown on the capital Bogotá until 12 January due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. A nightly curfew is in effect from 2000 to 0400 local time (0100-0900 UTC), and nonessential businesses are required to remain closed. Meanwhile, only one person per household will be allowed to leave their residence to acquire essential goods, such as groceries and medicine. Following the end of the lockdown on 12 January, the nightly curfew will continue until 17 January.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 8 January 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced new entry requirements for international travelers arriving into Australia. A negative result from a COVID-19 test will be required for all travelers before boarding domestic and international flights. If a traveler’s COVID-19 test returns a positive result, they and any household contacts will be prohibited from traveling to Australia. Travelers are required to wear face masks on international and domestic flights. Authorities have reduced the weekly quota of international travelers allowed into the states of New South Wales (1,505 travelers), Western Australia (512 travelers) and Queensland (500 travelers) until 15 February. All states and territories will quarantine international flight crews and require proof of a negative result on a COVID-19 test.

EUROPE

Albania / France / Portugal / United Kingdom (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 2 / 3): As of 8 January 2021, European governments are imposing additional restrictive measures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additional details are provided below on restrictions in Albania, France, Portugal and the U.K.

In Albania, authorities on 6 January extended an existing ban on commercial flights between Albania and the U.K. The restriction was scheduled to expire on 7 January. All travelers arriving in Albania from the U.K. are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving, while all travelers arriving in Albania from other locations are subject to health screenings and a possible quarantine period at a government-approved facility at the discretion of local health officials.

French authorities on 7 January announced that existing coronavirus-related restrictions will be extended, and that the border will remain closed to travelers from the U.K. until further notice; only cargo truck drivers and French nationals are exempt from the order. Under the restrictions, the existing nationwide nightly curfew from 2000 to 0600 local time (1900-0500 UTC) will remain in effect until at least 20 January. Additionally, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and gyms will remain closed through at least mid-February; authorities are expected to provide an additional update on 20 January.

Portuguese authorities on 7 January announced new restrictions for the weekend of 9-10 January, including a ban on intercity travel throughout continental Portugal. Any municipality with 250 or more cases per 100,000 inhabitants will face additional quarantine measures this weekend, including a daily 1300 to 0500 local time/UTC curfew on municipalities that fall under the government-designated categories of “extremely high risk,” “very high risk” and “high risk.” Officials noted that the country remains under a state of emergency and warned of upcoming additional nationwide restrictions.

In the U.K., authorities on 8 January announced new entry requirements for travelers. All travelers, including U.K. nationals, arriving by boat, aircraft or train must present proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before departing their countries of origin. The new requirement is expected to take effect early next week for England and as soon as possible for Scotland. Government officials stated that they are working with administrations in both Wales and Northern Ireland to enact similar requirements. Travelers violating the new requirement will receive an immediate fine of 500 pounds (680 U.S. dollars). Travelers arriving from countries not on the U.K.’s travel corridor list remain subject to a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine requirement. Exceptions to the new requirement include crews, children under 11 years of age and travelers arriving from countries without infrastructure to conduct the tests. Separately, the U.K. government announced an entry ban on foreigners traveling to England who have visited the following countries in the past 10 days: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The ban — which exempts Irish nationals, U.K. permanent residents and long-term visa holders — will go into effect at 0400 local time/UTC on 9 January and remain in place for at least two weeks.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israel (Security threat level – 3): On 8 January 2021, the Israeli government announced that new restrictive measures will be in effect until 21 January in order to control the spread of COVID-19. Travel from Israel will be prohibited, with exceptions for individuals who purchased tickets before the lockdown or with approval by the director general of the Ministry of Transportation. Public transportation is reduced to 50% capacity nationwide. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, will remain open, and nonessential businesses are required to remain closed. Individuals are not allowed to travel beyond 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of their residences, with the exception of travel for essential services, such as medical care or legal proceedings.

Qatar / United Arab Emirates (Security threat levels – 2 / 2): On 8 January 2021, Emirati authorities announced that as of 9 January the country’s air and land borders will reopen to trade and travel with Qatar, following an agreement between Qatar and the other member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Air and land travel between the countries have been suspended since 2017, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt suspended travel and economic relations with Qatar due to the latter’s foreign policy.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): As of 1500 UTC on 8 January 2021, Tropical Cyclone Danilo was located approximately 1,000 km (620 mi) east-northeast of Port Louis, Mauritius, and was moving west-southwest at 15 kph (9 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Danilo was generating maximum sustained winds of 55 kph, with gusts of up to 74 kph. On its current forecast path, the storm is expected to make landfall over Mauritius during the early hours of 11 January before moving over Réunion island later in the day. Authorities have warned that heavy rainfall, strong winds and rough sea conditions are likely as Danilo approaches.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 5 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“The Colombian Ministry of Health has announced that it will require a negative COVID-19 test result for all inbound international travelers. Beginning Tuesday, January 12, travelers arriving to Colombia must present negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test administered no more than 96 hours prior to departure. This rule applies to international arrivals regardless of age (including infants) or nationality, although authorities may make exceptions in rare cases for travelers to be tested and quarantined upon arrival.

“This test requirement is in addition to – and does not replace – the existing “Check-Mig” requirement for both inbound and outbound travelers. All travelers must complete the online Check-Mig form at https://apps.migracioncolombia.gov.co/pre-registro/public/preregistro.jsf between 24 hours and 1 hour prior to arrival in, or departure from, Colombia. Carry a print-out of the form, and be ready to show the electronic version on your mobile device at Colombian immigration.”

The full text of the alert can be read here.

Kazakhstan (Security threat level – 3): On 8 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Nur-Sulta issued a Demonstration Alert regarding upcoming elections, which reads in part as follows:

“Kazakhstan will hold parliamentary elections on Sunday, January 10, 2021. While civil unrest and/or protests are rare, there were protests associated with the country’s last national vote, including some of the largest demonstrations Kazakhstan has seen in 20 years. U.S. citizens should anticipate an increased presence of security forces around the country and may experience road closures and alternate traffic patterns throughout the weekend. Police have the authority to stop individuals without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.

“U.S. citizens should prepare for the possibility of spotty internet coverage or the absence of service altogether. On Election Day in 2019, as well as during the lead-up to the vote on days with demonstration activity, some internet users reported that access was intermittently, and at times completely, blocked, including access to VPN services. These outages coincided with protests, eliminating the potential to livestream and share live updates on social media and internet news platforms.

“Non-sanctioned demonstrations usually end with mass arrests. Embassy personnel have been instructed to avoid observing elections-related events (including protests) in person.

“Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests.”

The full text of the alert is available here.

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 8 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice for Lebanon to read in part as follows:

“…From Monday 11 January 2021, the number of incoming passengers allowed into the airport will be reduced by 20% compared to December 2020.

“The average number of passengers permitted to arrive through the Masna’a land border crossing will be 150 and through the Abboudieh border crossing 100, both twice per week. All passengers travelling to Lebanon must download the Government of Lebanon application ‘MOPH Ma3an’ on their mobile phone and fill in the electronic form before departure. Passengers travelling to Lebanon, except military personnel, diplomats, members of international organizations, UNIFIL and members of the Lebanese National Social Security Fund or staff cooperative, need to possess an insurance policy that is valid for the duration of their stay in Lebanon, covering all costs of treatment for Coronavirus on Lebanese territory. Alternatively, the policy can be obtained at the insurance counters upon arrival at Rafik Hariri International Airport-Beirut

“…From Monday 11 January 2021, all travellers to Lebanon will be required to take a PCR test at Beirut International Airport upon arrival (which is provided at the airline’s expense) and then to quarantine for one week. You must quarantine at a Government of Lebanon approved hotel until you receive the results of your airport test. Check with the Lebanese embassy in London or your airline for further details. When you receive your airport test result, if it is negative, you may move to your accommodation. You must continue to quarantine at your accommodation before taking another PCR test (that you must arrange yourself) a week after your arrival. If both tests are negative, you may leave quarantine.

“Diplomats and their families, official delegations and UNFIL officers are exempt from the quarantine measures, as well as those who have received the COVID-19 vaccination, on the condition that they have proof of vaccination and take a PCR test on arrival as a precautionary measure. “The Lebanese government is keeping these measures under review and they may change at short notice. You must comply with any amended regulations for testing and self-isolation. You should check with your airline and the Embassy of Lebanon in the country you are travelling from before travel.”

Switzerland (Security threat level – 2): On 8 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bern issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests outside the embassy, which reads in part as follows:

“Planned demonstrations, regarding support of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange are scheduled for Friday, January 8, 2021 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM and Saturday, January 9, 2021, from 2:00 to 3:00 PM outside the U.S. Embassy, Bern.

“As with all such gatherings, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. There will be an increased police presence however, you should avoid the area mentioned above and check local media for updates and traffic advisories.”

The full text of the alert is available here.

Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 8 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala issued a Security Alert regarding the upcoming election scheduled for 14 January, which reads in part as follows:

“U.S. citizens in Uganda should heighten awareness and caution during the election season. Ugandan presidential campaigning and election activity continue to bring large gatherings. These types of gatherings may increase the risk of violence, civil crime, significant traffic disruptions and COVID-19 transmission. Clashes at these gatherings and outbreaks of violence have occurred before, during, and after past general elections in Uganda. Police routinely use force, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, to disperse protests. Demonstrations throughout Uganda are likely to remain common and may escalate to violence. U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and crowds and take proper precautions against the spread of COVID-19.”

The full text of the alert is available here.

United Arab Emirates / Iran / Saudi Arabia (Security threat levels – 2 / 3 / 3): On 8 January 2021, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a Maritime Advisory for the Arabian Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, which reads in part as follows: “Multiple maritime threats have been reported in the geographic areas described above, including a mine placed on the hull of a Liberian-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf off Iraq on December 31st, 2020 and the Iranian seizure of a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on January 4th, 2021. Heightened military activity and increased political tensions in this region continue to pose serious threats to commercial vessels. Associated with these threats is a potential for miscalculation or misidentification that could lead to aggressive actions. Vessels operating in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman may also encounter GPS interference, bridge-to-bridge communications spoofing, and/or other communications jamming with little to no warning. Vessels have also reported bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be U.S. or coalition warships.”

January 7, 2021

AMERICAS

Bolivia / Peru (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 6 January 2021, the Bolivian government extended a ban on entry for all inbound travelers from European countries until at least 15 February. The entry ban was initially imposed on 25 December. The measure follows the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the U.K.

In Peru, authorities on 6 January extended an existing ban on inbound flights from Europe until at least 21 January. An indefinite suspension of flights to and from the U.K. remains in place. Foreign nationals who have visited or transited the U.K. within 14 days prior to traveling to Peru are not permitted to enter.

Canada (Security threat level – 2): On 6 January 2021, the premier of Quebec province announced a new provincewide lockdown for four weeks, or until at least 8 February, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown includes a provincewide curfew from 2000 local time (0100 UTC) to 0500 local time. Nonessential businesses and places of worship are required to suspend operations, and essential businesses — such as grocery stores – are required to close nightly at 1930 local time. Individuals breaking the curfew will be subject to fines ranging from 1,000 Canadian dollars (790 U.S. dollars) to 6,000 Canadian dollars. These measures do not apply to the autonomous northern territory of Nunavik or the James Bay area.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On the afternoon of 6 January 2021, hundreds of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed and occupied the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Clashes broke out between police officers and protesters after the latter breached the security perimeter and entered the building. Some of the protesters reached the floors of both chambers, and tear gas was used to deter protesters in the Capitol Rotunda. Police officers shot and wounded one person who later succumbed to her wounds at a hospital; at least three others also died due to the violence. Authorities deployed riot police to the Capitol, where officials discovered at least one improvised explosive device (IED). Security personnel removed the protesters from the building using non-lethal measures and arrested 52 people. Multiple members of the Capitol Police were injured during the violence, at least one of whom was taken to a hospital. The U.S. Army activated all 1,100 members of the Washington D.C. National Guard at the request of the mayor of Washington, D.C. National Guard personnel are deployed near the Capitol and other areas in the city. The nearby states of Maryland, New York and Virginia also sent their state National Guard personnel to assist law enforcement officials in the Capitol. A citywide nighttime curfew in Washington, D.C. ended at 0600 local time (1100 UTC) on 7 January, although the mayor has instituted a state of emergency through 20 January. Proceedings of the joint session of the U.S. Congress to ratify Electoral College vote totals were temporarily halted as police officers evacuated members of Congress from their chambers, ushering them to secure locations in the Capitol during the violence. The proceedings were later completed in the early morning hours of 7 January.

Elsewhere in the U.S., gatherings to protest the outcome of the 3 November 2020 election occurred at the Oregon Capitol building in Salem, where protesters clashed with police officers. At least two people were arrested during the event. Additional such demonstrations occurred at the state capitols in Georgia, Kansas, Oregon and Utah.

ASIA

Japan / China (Security threat levels – 1 / 3): On 7 January 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures due to a rising number of COVID-19 infections. The state of emergency will affect Tokyo and Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures from 8 January until 7 February. Governors of the affected areas urged residents to refrain from nonessential travel after 2000 local time (1100 UTC) and for workers to telecommute. Suga also urged residents to adhere to the governors’ requests during a news conference and requested that bars and restaurants close nightly at 2000 local time and cease serving alcohol nightly at 1900 local time. The state of emergency could be expanded nationwide or extended beyond 7 February, if infections continue to rise.

In China, authorities in Shijiazhuang – the capital of Hebei province – ordered a lockdown on 7 January in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Under the order, residents and vehicles are not allowed to leave the city until further notice. Additionally, movement within the city is restricted, and authorities are reportedly planning to conduct mass testing.

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 7 January 2021, the premier of Queensland announced that travelers from the greater Sydney metropolitan area will not be able to enter the state of Queensland until the end of January, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Sydney area. Meanwhile, Queensland’s state borders will remain open to travelers from other parts of Australia. During the announcement, the premier noted that the state government is also watching COVID-19 case numbers in the state of Victoria.

EUROPE

Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 6 January 2021, authorities announced new restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. During 9-31 January, travelers seeking to enter Ireland from the U.K. or South Africa will be required to provide a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken within the prior 72 hours. Additionally, all primary and secondary schools are required to close during 6-31 January, while all nonessential construction will be suspended during 8-31 January.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 7 January 2021, security forces deployed tear gas in the Ngor district, located in the capital city Dakar, to disperse crowds protesting COVID-19 restrictions. During the demonstration, protesters erected barricades and blocked streets with burning tires. Similar clashes were also reported in other areas of the capital — including in the Medina and Yoff areas and in the suburbs of Pikine, Guediawaye and Thiaroye — during the evening and overnight hours of 6-7 January. There were no reports of injuries during any of the events. The protest activity occurred in response to President Macky Sall’s decision to enact a state of emergency and a nightly 2100-0500 local time/UTC curfew in Dakar and Thiès.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bermuda (Security threat level – 1): On 7 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Bermuda, which reads in part as follows:

“From 8th December, indoor facilities for bars and nightclubs have closed. Only existing outdoor bars are permitted to operate, with table service only. Furthermore, a maximum of 10 people are allowed at public gatherings. However, the number of people who can attend an outdoor funeral has been increased to 20 people. A curfew was introduced in December. This will now operate each day between midnight and 5am. From 6th January, businesses are required to close at 11pm, rather than 10pm. In addition, personal services restrictions have been relaxed, to allow for the trimming of beards and other personal care services that require masks to be removed. Physical distancing has also been reduced in gyms from 10 feet between patrons to 6 feet.”

Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 6 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Until 20 January 2021, the number of customers permitted in a bar or restaurant or a place of worship shall not exceed 30% occupancy. Public or social gatherings are limited to 25 people if outdoors and up to 10 people where indoors. The maximum number of attendees at funerals is not to exceed 40.”

Liechtenstein (Security threat level – 1): On 6 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Liechtenstein, which reads in part as follows:

“Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. Wearing a facemask is compulsory in indoor venues open to the public and when travelling on public transport. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine. Children under the age of 12 are exempt from this requirement, as are individuals who are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons.

“Restaurants, bars and nightclubs are currently closed. Workplace catering and takeaways can remain open between 6am and 11pm. All shops, markets and religious institutions are open and medical practitioners (including dentists) have resumed non-urgent treatment. Cultural, entertainment, recreational and indoor sports establishments are closed until at least 10 January 2021. Outdoor sports remain permitted, subject to compliance with social distancing measures; this includes the Malbun mountain railroads.”

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 6 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a protest planned for 8 January, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Bourse du Travail to Monument de l’Indépendance

“Event: The Collective for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) is calling for a march on Friday, January 8, at 2:00 p.m. The purpose of the march is to demand the release of activist Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, also known as Ras Bath. The march is expected to start at the Bourse du Travail and end at the Monument de l’Indépendance. This march has not been approved by the host government.

“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 alert is available here.

January 6, 2021

AMERICAS

Bermuda / Colombia / Costa Rica / Guatemala / Puerto Rico (Security threat levels – 1 / 4 / 3 / 4 / 2): As of 6 January 2021, governments across the Americas continue to implement and reimpose measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, while other governments have loosened coronavirus-related measures. Additional details are provided below on Bermuda, Colombia, Guatemala and Puerto Rico:

Bermudian authorities are set to loosen select coronavirus-related restrictions as of 7 January. An existing nightly curfew from 2300 to 0500 local time (0300 to 0900 UTC) will be adjusted to 0000 to 0500 local time. Businesses  currently required to close at 2200 local time will be allowed to stay open until 2300 local time. The number of people allowed at an outdoor funeral has been increased from 10 to 20.

In Colombia, authorities on 5 January imposed a nightly 2200-0500 local time (0300-1000 UTC) curfew in the city of Medellín. The measure will remain in effect from 6 to 11 January. Additionally, the sale of alcohol is prohibited from 2200 local time on 8 January to 2359 local time on 11 January.

In Costa Rica, officials put previously repealed coronavirus-related vehicle restrictions back into effect until at least 31 January due to a recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. The restrictions, based on the last digit of a vehicle’s license plate number, will be in effect Monday-Friday from 0500 to 2200 local time (1100 to 0400 UTC) and on Saturday and Sunday from 2100 to 0500 local time. Several exemptions are in place, including for individuals with rental cars, as well as for those driving to or from a hotel reservation, work or the airport. Costa Rica’s land borders remain closed until at least 1 February.

In Guatemala, changes to entry requirements went into effect as of 6 January. All passengers arriving to Guatemala from any airport in the U.K. or South Africa will be denied entry to the country due to the new coronavirus variants discovered in those locations. Any individual 10 years of age or older must present a negative result from a PCR test taken within 96 hours of their flight departure. Those who arrive without a test result to La Aurora International Airport (MGGT/GUA) can receive a test upon arrival that costs 200 Guatemalan quetzals (25 U.S. dollars).

Newly sworn-in Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced on 5 January a loosening of coronavirus-related restrictions, effective 8 January. The Sunday lockdown has been repealed, and the nightly 2100 to 0500 local time (0100 to 0900 UTC) curfew will transition to the hours of 2300 to 0500 local time. All beaches, pools and marinas will be allowed to reopen, although a ban on alcohol consumption in these locations remains in effect; social distancing guidelines remain in place between individuals not in the same household. Face masks remain mandatory in public areas.

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 5 January 2021, Interjet Airlines, the third largest carrier in Mexico, canceled all scheduled flights until 31 January. The company previously halted flights from 18 to 31 December 2020, reportedly due to a lack of capital to purchase jet fuel, as well as from 1 to 2 November and from 28 November to 2 December after it suspended all international routes indefinitely in March. The Customer Protection Agency in Mexico has advised travelers to reconsider purchasing tickets for Interjet flights.

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): On the morning of 6 January 2021, Hong Kong police conducted a mass arrest of pro-democracy activists and former pan-democrat legislators for alleged subversion under the National Security Law. At least 53 people were arrested for their involvement in organizing the unauthorized “35+ Democrat Primary Election” held on 12 July 2020, to elect candidates for the now-suspended 2020 Legislative Council elections. The arrestees include a U.S. national who was allegedly involved in organizing the vote, which marks the first time a foreign national has been arrested under the law. If convicted under the National Security Law, the activists could face up to life imprisonment.

EUROPE

Germany / Italy / Spain (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 3): On 6 January 2021, European governments continue to implement and reimpose measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 as it resurges across the region. Additional details are provided below on Germany, Italy and Spain:

In Germany, authorities on 5 January extended an existing nationwide lockdown and its associated restrictions through 31 January, while also imposing additional rules. The lockdown was originally scheduled to end on 10 January. Under the new restrictions, residents of areas classified as COVID-19 hot spots — defined as having 200 or more cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a one-week period — are not allowed to travel more than 15 km (10 mi) from their homes, except for essential purposes; travelers arriving from high-risk locations abroad must provide results of two negative COVID-19 tests; and private gatherings are limited to members of the same household and one person from outside the home.

In Italy, beginning on 7 January only residents or individuals seeking to enter the country for purposes of work or study will be allowed entry. Individuals traveling to Italy will be required to present a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of travel and to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Additionally, travelers may be required to take a COVID-19 rapid antigenic or molecular swab test upon arrival at the airport. Travelers must also inform local health authorities of their visit by calling the regional COVID-19 helpline.

In Spain, multiple regional authorities have announced new quarantine measures, as Spain’s Ministry of Health released data on 5 January that highlighted a 25% rise in reported cases of COVID-19 across the country during the last seven days. Authorities in the Valencia region, located on the southeastern coast, extended a regional nightly curfew — which will now commence at 2200 local time (2100 UTC) — and bars and restaurants are required to close at 1700 local time. The regional borders remain closed to all but essential travel until 31 January, in a two-week extension of the previous deadline. In the western region of Extremadura — which has the highest incidence rate in Spain (604 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days) — the regional government will require bars and restaurants, nonessential businesses and entertainment venues to close in municipalities with populations of more than 5,000 and a 14-day incidence rate of over 500 cases per 100,000. This affects the provincial capitals of Badajoz and Cáceres as well as 14 other locations until the end of January. In the northern region of La Rioja, social gatherings will be limited to four people, and the regional nightly curfew will begin at 2200 local time as of 7 January. The regional health chief advised individuals to remain at home as much as possible and to wear a face mask inside the home. Other regions — including Aragón, Castilla y León, and Catalonia — have also closed their regional borders until mid-to-late January.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 5 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Ecuador, which reads in part as follows: “Following the announcement of the end of the national state of emergency, as of 4 January 2021, curfew restrictions are no longer in place. Power to impose controls and tailor regulations is now devolved to local municipalities and to other competent authorities.”

Iran / United Arab Emirates / Saudi Arabia (Security threat levels – 3 / 2 / 3): On 5 January 2021, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a Maritime Alert regarding threats to commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf, which reads in part as follows: “Two recent maritime incidents have been reported in the geographic area described above. The first incident was the discovery of a mine placed on the hull of a Liberian-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf off Iraq on December 31st, 2020 in the vicinity of position 29-34N 48-47E. The second incident was the Iranian seizure of a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on January 4th, 2021. These incidents have been confirmed. Exercise caution when transiting this area. U.S. commercial vessels operating in this area should review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2020-011 (Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean-Threats to Commercial Vessels by Iran and its Proxies) for amplifying information and points of contact and report small boat activity in the vicinity of their vessel to the U.S. Fifth Fleet Battle Watch. This Alert will automatically expire on January 12, 2021. Any maritime industry questions regarding this alert should be directed to GMCC@uscg.mil.”

Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 6 January 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued an update to its travel advice for Lebanon, which reads in part as follows: “From Thursday 7 January 2021, all travellers to Lebanon will be required to take a PCR test at Beirut International Airport upon arrival (which is provided at the airline’s expense) and then to quarantine for one week. The first 72 hours of quarantine must be spent at a Government of Lebanon approved hotel. Check with the Lebanese embassy in London or your airline for further details. When you receive your airport test result, if it is negative, you may move to your accommodation. You must continue to quarantine at your accommodation before taking another PCR test (that you must arrange yourself) a week after your arrival. If both tests are negative, you may leave quarantine.”

Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 6 January 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Dakar issued a Health Alert regarding a new curfew in Dakar and Thies, which reads in part as follows:

“Event: Institution of daily curfew in Dakar and Thies beginning January 6

“On January 5, the Government of Senegal announced the institution of a mandatory daily curfew from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am in the regions of Dakar and Thies in response to increasing COVID-19 infection.

“Other current restrictions and regulations include: mandatory wearing of masks in public places and in private places receiving the public, as well as a ban on gathering in theaters, bars, public beaches and sports fields.

“Due to the evolving situation, U.S. citizens are encouraged to continue to monitor the official Senegalese Ministry of Health website, World Health Organization site and the U.S. embassy COVID-19 information page for updates.”