The United States will be suspending all routine visa services as of March 18 in most countries worldwide due to the Coronavirus outbreak, international media reported, citing a spokesperson for the State Department. This precautionary move comes as the deadly Coronavirus has hit all the states in the US.
However, the department did not specify which or how many countries were halting visa services. According to reports, US missions in more than half a dozen countries including South Korea, South Africa, Germany, and Spain on their web sites announced that they were either stopping or significantly reducing visa services.
Speaking to international media, the spokeswomen for State department said that Embassies and consulates in these countries will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 18, 2020. However, she added that U.S. missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services “as resources allow,” and that the services to U.S. citizens will remain available. Talking about the resuming the services, she said that the Embassies will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.
Thailand on March 18 announced that all the incoming passengers would require health certificates proving that they haven’t contracted COVID-19 along with insurance, international media reported. This move comes as the South Asian nation reported 272 cases of infection and one death as for now. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand reportedly announced that it now requires all the air passengers, both Thai and foreign nations from 15 nations to show COVID-19 free health certificates and COVID-19 insurance before boarding their flights to Thailand.
The new conditions aimed at curbing the spread of Coronavirus, are set to go into effect from March 21, CAAT governor Chula Sukmanop reportedly said. He added that the airlines are supposed to check whether the passengers have travelled to the 15 affected nations as soon as they board the aeroplanes.