Weekly security briefing – December 21 to December 27, 2020

Every Monday morning, Risk&Co produces a security briefing, reporting and analysing major world events.

This weekly security briefing is specifically intended for business travellers and their supervisors, so that they can anticipate the main risks in their areas of operations. The briefing also offers advice on the right behaviors to adopt.

1- UNITED KINGDOM: London – Reinforcement of restrictive measures

Several European Union member states have stopped their sea, rail, and road links with the United Kingdom due to a new strain of Covid-19 virus discovered in the country.

Other non-European Union member states have also imposed restrictions on travel from the United Kingdom. Local authorities have put in place containment measures in London and several areas in the southeast and east of England. Wales is under quarantine, while a similar measure will begin in Scotland on December 26th.

Anticipate disruptions in transport and related services.

2. NEPAL: Kathmandu – Risk of Political Tensions

Security forces have been placed on alert by Nepalese authorities due to potential demonstrations in urban centers across the country in the coming hours. These demonstrations would follow the dissolution of the National Assembly.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli recommended the dissolution of the National Assembly on December 20th following an emergency cabinet meeting. New legislative elections will be held in two stages: first on April 30th, 2021, and then, on May 10th, 2021.

Vigilance is required.

3- SOUTH AFRICA: Johannesburg – Covid-19 – Appearance of a new strain of Covid-19 virus

Further restrictions as well as the suspension of travel to South Africa and entry restrictions for travelers from South Africa are expected in the short term due to the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in South Africa.

The metropolitan area of Nelson Mandela Bay is the first area exposed to this new strain.

4 – FIDJI: Island of Vanua Levu – Tropical cyclone Yasa

A resumption of travel on the island of Vanua Levu is likely to happen in the short term after the passage of tropical cyclone Yasa and the end of the curfew on December 19th. Yasa was downgraded to a category 1 storm (the lowest level on a five-level scale) by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) and is expected to dissipate by December 21st.

Nevertheless, disturbances in the most affected areas can be expected to persist over the next few days.

Monitor the situation through the local media and the Meteorological Services’ website.

5 – JAPAN: Niigata – Weather disturbances until December 21st

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced that heavy snowfall, high waves, and high winds due to a storm in the mountainous regions of northern and central Japan are expected to last at least until December 21st, 2020.

The cities of Komatsu, Niigata, Akita, Aomori, Hakodate and Sapporo are the most exposed areas.

Regarding travel, land and air transportation are likely to be disrupted in all affected areas in the coming days.

Plan alternative routes and longer travel time for travel.

6 – ARMENIA: Nagorno-Karabakh – December 19th to December 22nd – National Mourning

A three-day period of national mourning for the victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has begun on December 19th and will last until December 22nd.

Commemorative processions will take place in urban centers and a march from the public square to the Yerevan military cemetery will take place in the capital.

Transportation disruptions are expected during this period.

Anticipate strengthened security measures near the gathering place as well as disruptions to travel.

7 – ITALY: Rome – National Confinement

National containment will be in place for the periods of December 24-27, December 31-January 3, 2021, and January 5-6, 2021. During these periods, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes to go to work or for health and emergency reasons. Stores, restaurants and bars will close.

Between December 21st and January 6th, all incoming travelers will be quarantined for 14 days, regardless of their place of origin, while inter-regional travel within Italy will be prohibited.

Anticipate disruptions, especially in travel.

8 – PHILIPPINES: Manila – December 26th – Anniversary of the CPP – State of security alert

The state of alert was established by the Philippine authorities in the run-up to the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on December 26th.

Demonstrations and strict security measures are likely to happen, particularly in northern, northeastern and central Mindanao, including Luzon and Visayas where the group’s militant factions are very active.

Traffic disruptions are likely to happen.

Given the deteriorating security situation, extreme caution should be exercised.

9 – WORLD CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS – Security Alert

Several countries are on high alert during the Christmas holidays from December 23rd, 2020 to January 2nd, 2021. These periods have become favorable times for perpetrating terrorist attacks with various modus operandi: knife attacks, ram car attacks (etc.).

In this context, security reinforcements as well as numerous controls and security patrols are expected.

Besides, many disruptions of flights, trains and buses are expected. Traffic jams cannot be ruled out in major cities.

Caution should be exercised in public places such as markets, subway and train stations, airports, and gathering places.

10 – NIGER: Niamey – December 27th – Legislative and presidential elections

Legislative and presidential elections are scheduled for December 27th. At least 30 candidates will participate. The level of alert remains high following the terrorist attacks in Diffa that killed 27 people.

In case of essential travel, take all appropriate measures, in coordination with local security forces, to secure your travel.

Anticipate disruptions due to border closures in the short term.