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China (Security threat level – 3): On 16 November 2022, Hong Kong’s undersecretary for health announced that travelers will be required to only take COVID-19 PCR tests on the first and third days after their arrival in the city, effective 21 November. Visitors in Hong Kong are currently subject to four PCR tests on the first, third, fifth and seventh days during their stay. Health officials amended the testing requirements after data indicated that approximately 80% of new coronavirus cases among inbound arrivals were detected during testing on the first and third day. On-arrival testing will still be conducted at ports of entry.


Iraq (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0330 local time (1230 UTC) on 17 November 2022, authorities briefly evacuated the VIP terminal hall of Baghdad International Airport (ORBI/BGW) following the outbreak of a large fire in the two-story building that hosts the terminal. Firefighters from 16 brigades deployed to the scene and extinguished the blaze. The VIP area sustained minor damage but there were no reports of fire-related casualties. No flight cancellations or delays were reported at the facility. This was the second such incident at the airport within the past 48 hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly after 1530 local time (2130 UTC) on 16 November 2022, a 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the western Texas town of Pecos, located in Reeves County. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was centered nearly 25 mi (40 km) west-southwest of the town of Mentone, Texas, and about 56 miles south-southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The quake had an estimated depth of 6 miles. The tremor was reportedly felt across the region, including in the city of El Paso, and as far away as the cities of Austin and Dallas to the east and as far north as Roswell, New Mexico. There were no reports of significant damage or casualties. Multiple aftershocks followed the initial tremor, including one with a 3.8 magnitude.


Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 16 November 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Cotonou issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Embassy in Cotonou has modified its restricted travel areas to include Kandi and Tanguieta. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from conducting personal travel in these areas and must obtain special authorization for official travel because of the high risk of terrorism and criminal activity. The complete list of restricted travel areas for U.S. government personnel are:

  1. The cities of Kandi and Tanguieta
  2. North from Kandi and Taguieta to the Niger / Burkina Faso border
  3. Pendjari and W National Parks, Zones Cynegetique De La Pendjari, De Latakora, and De Djona, and the adjacent hunting zones
  4. RNIE 7 between Banikora and Segbana
  5. RN10 between Nikki and Segbana

“The Embassy strongly advises U.S. citizens do not travel to these areas.”

Greece (Security threat level – 2): On 16 November 2022, the U.S. Mission in Greece issued a Demonstration Alert regarding upcoming demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki, which reads in part as follows: “The U.S. Mission in Greece is aware of reports of protests planned for November 17, 2022 in Athens, as well as in Thessaloniki. Major demonstrations usually take place each year on November 17 to commemorate the Athens Polytechnic University student uprising against the ruling military junta in 1973.

“In Athens, demonstrators are expected to converge on Syntagma Square from various points around the city and march up Vasilissis Sofias Avenue to the U.S. Embassy. In preparation, local police will close streets and metro stops near the U.S. Embassy and in the downtown area in Athens as early as noon. In Thessaloniki, local police expect demonstrations and anticipate that access may be restricted in the vicinity of the U.S. Consulate General. Past demonstrations have turned violent and have involved destruction of property. The Embassy has advised its personnel to avoid the areas of the demonstrations and will close early on November 17, 2022.”

Vietnam (Security threat level – 3): On 17 November 2022, the U.S. Mission in Vietnam issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Recently, there have been multiple reports U.S. citizens being harassed when they are entering or leaving their lodgings in Hanoi. All harassment has been verbal, and no U.S. citizens have been physically harmed. Additionally, there are continued occasional, small, peaceful demonstrations in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi that do not impact day-to-day operations of the U.S. Embassy, or the services provided to U.S. citizens. We remind U.S. citizens that they are subject to all local laws while traveling or residing in Vietnam. If you have been the victim of a crime, please report it directly to your local police.”