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Immigration Travel restrictions Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, India, Sweden, Turkey, and UK




Belgium


  1. Bernard Caris (Friday March 20, 12:50 pm ED


Efective 3pm this afternoon, March 20, 2020, border/entry and exit checks are held in order to enforce the prohibition of non-essential travels from and to Belgium. According to the federal Minister of Home Affairs, this does nt apply to frontier workers, doctors, and health care staff.

  1. Bernard Caris (Friday March 20, 10:02 am EDT)


  1. . LOCKDOWN MEASURES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 18, 2020 UNTIL APRIL 5, 2020 Lockdown measures (although that word is not officially used) took effect in Belgium on March 18, 2020 at noon, and will continue to be in place until and including April 5, 2020. This includes the following measures.

  2. . Mandatory closing of all non-essential stores/most public places Essential stores (e.g. food stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents, and banks) will remain open, but will have to make sure that “social distancing” rules (in general: at least 1,5 meter distance; supermarkets: one person per 10 square meters) are complied with. Musea, sports clubs, restaurants, bars, …, must be closed. Schools (until secondary level) are not closed, but lessons are suspended. Hotels can remain open, but restaurants in a hotel must be closed. Food delivery and meal collection are also allowed. Public transport will continue.

  3. . Working from home: mandatory (non-essential enterprises) or norm (essential enterprises) Some sectors/services are considered essential: e.g. medical sector, asylum and migration departments, telecom, media, police, defense, legal profession (including attorneys), payroll offices, pharmacists, chemical sector, financial sector, nuclear sector, energy, international transport, … . Working from home is mandatory in non-essential enterprises for staff whose function allows remote working. For other functions the enterprises must take all measures required to assure compliance with “social distancing” rules (in general: at least 1,5 meter distance). If the non-essential enterprises cannot assure compliance with the “social distancing” rules, they must close. These non-essential companies may be fined in the event of non-compliance, or even be closed for a repeat offence. Enterprises active in crucial sectors and those who render essential services are not subject to a strict obligation to organize remote working and to comply with “social distancing” rules, but they must, to the extent possible, organize remote working and comply with “social distancing” rules.

  4. . “Non-essential travel” ban All non-essential travels abroad are forbidden.

  5. . Staying home: norm

People should stay at home, unless required/for urgent motives, such as e.g. go to essential stores or go to work at essential enterprises, go to a doctor or pharmacist, go to a bank, … . Different, more lenient rules apply to families.

  1. I. IMPOSSIBILITY TO LEAVE BELGIUM: SHORT TERM EXTENSION OF RESIDENCE IN B ELGIUM

Foreign employees who cannot leave Belgium because of “force majeure” (e.g. quarantine, flight cancellation, closing of border, …) and whose residence authorization is about to expire, can apply for a temporary extension of stay in Belgium, in principle up to 90 days. This system already existed: the federal immigration office has now repeated/updated the instructions on how to apply for this extension.

  1. Bernard Caris (Thursday March 19, 5:24 pm EDT)

In Belgium the regional Ministries of Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia receive and process work authorizations/work permits (these are the final permits for employment up to 90 days; these are the first permits for employment > 90 days: a single permit approval, issued by the Belgian federal immigration office, follows at a later stage).

The regional Ministries have taken a number of urgent measures to ensure continuity of service and to deal with a number of urgent problems resulting from the stricter Covid-19 measures which are currently in place in Belgium. We briefly outline the measures below.


  1. . FLANDERS

  2. Application via email All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits must be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later.

  3. Temporary extension of residence and work authorization/work permit for employees who cannot return to their home country (max. 3 months): expedited work authorization/work permit application If a third-country national is temporarily unable to return to his/her home country (e.g. because flight has been cancelled), his/her stay can be temporarily extended by means of a temporary “declaration of arrival”, issued by the local municipality. The employer can apply for a work authorization/work permit with the Flanders Ministry on the basis of the “declaration of arrival”: the maximal duration, which is linked to the duration of the “declaration of arrival” and which cannot be extended, is 3 months; expedited processing is announced.

  4. Incomplete applications will not be declared inadmissible after 15 days When a file is considered incomplete, additional information is requested: if this information is not submitted within 15 days, the application will in principle be considered inadmissible and the application will no longer be processed: the file will be closed. There is some leniency now, because it can be difficult to receive/obtain some documents to submit a complete application in time. The Flanders Ministry will not automatically close the file after 15 days, for the time being and “until the end of the Corona-problems”.

  5. Periods of temporary unemployment shall be taken into account in the calculation of the salary Anyone who is unable to provide services/work due to temporary unemployment for economic reasons or “force majeure” should not comply with the applicable salary threshold during this period. In the event of “technical unemployment” the execution of an employment contract is temporarily suspended. The gross annual salary threshold (e.g. 42.696 € for highly skilled and 68.314 € for executives) will be reduced pro rata with the relevant period of technical unemployment. This is regardless of whether the person concerned receives an allowance from the National Employment Office for reasons of temporary unemployment.


  1. I. BRUSSELS The Brussels Ministry is physically closed. All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits should be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later.

  2. I. WALLONIA The Walloon Ministry is physically closed until 3 April 2020. All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits should be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later. C anada

  3. Sergio Karas (Friday March 20, 1:13 pm EDT) U.S.-Canada Joint Initiative: Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing the U.S.-Canada Border for Non-Essential Purposes March 20, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario The U.S.-Canada land border serves as an economic engine that supports over $2.4 billion dollars in daily trade. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders. In each of our countries, we are encouraging people to exercise caution by avoiding unnecessary contact with others. This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach. “Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The United States and Canada recognize it is critical we preserve supply chains between both countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. Americans and Canadians also cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted. This decision will be implemented on March 21, 2020, at which time the U.S. and Canada will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border. The measure will be in place for 30 days, at which point it will be reviewed by both parties. PMO Media Relations: media@pmo-cpm.gc.ca This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca The Prime Minister's Office - Communications

  4. Philippe Tremblay (Friday March 20, 1:13 pm EDT)


More details around a previously announced update:

The closure of the world's longest undefended border (between Canada and the United States) will become official today at 11:59 pm 'local time' (i.e. wherever each borders are located).

As previously stated, the border will be closed to all nonessential travel, and it is now confirmed it will last at least until Monday, April 20.

Canada's Prime Minister affirmed that trade between the two countries will not be impacted, but obviously this remains to be seen. For the time being, it is safe to assume that anyone (commercially) importing essential goods like food, fuel, medicines and other essential products and services, will be admitted into either country. There are also exceptions already confirmed from the ban for: aircrews, diplomats, and healthcare workers.

D enmark

Helle Holm Thomsen (Friday March 20, 4:59 am EDT)

  1. he Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has changed their position so the no longer use the term red, orange country but strongly recommend that all people who has been out travelling stay at home for 14 days. The Ministry discourage all unnecessary travels. These guidelines is valid until 13th of April for now. It is possible to read the Danish recommendation in English on the webpage of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs[:] https://um.dk/en . Germany Gunther Mävers (Friday March 20, 8:59 am EDT) Please find enclosed the latest news from Germany since Bavaria will now order a general ban on going out effective 21 March 2020 to 3 April 2020 as follows: “Effective 21 March 2020 Bavaria has ordered a general ban on going out and here is the full text of the (first) decree ordering this in Germany:

  2. everyone is urged to reduce physical and social contact with other people outside the members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum. Wherever possible, a minimum distance between two persons of 1.5 m must be maintained.

  3. The police are required to check that the exit restriction is observed. In case of a control, the person concerned has to give credible reasons.

  4. A violation of this general ruling can be punished as an administrative offence according to § 73 Para. 1a No. 6 Infection Protection Act.

  5. further orders of the local health authorities remain unaffected.

  6. This general ruling is immediately enforceable according to § 28 para. 3, § 16 para. 8 Infection Protection Act.

  7. this general ruling shall come into force on 21 March 2020, 00:00 hours and shall cease to be effective at the end of 3 April 2020. The initial restrictions thus end on 3 April 2020, 24:00 hours."


Infringements are subject to administrative prosecution and fines of up to 2.500,- € per infringement.”

[Source: https://www.oldenburger-onlinezeitung.de/nachrichten/allgemeinverfuegung-zur- ausgangssperre-in-bayern-im-wortlaut-36845.html, in German only]

Whereas this has no direct immigration law related impact I would like to share this as this is the first one generally ordered in Germany for one of its Federal States and I believe to see the wording might be of general interest for many other countries further down the road.

India

Anita Ninan (Thursday March 19, 5:15 pm EDT)

Please note the latest update from the Government of India issued today regarding travel and visas, as per the [below circular:]

In order to prevent the spread of CONVID 19 (Novel Corona Virus 2019) disease in India, all scheduled Indian and foreign airlines engaged in international air transportation to/from India are directed as under:

  1. No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (0530 hrs Indian Standard Time (1ST) of March 22, 2020). These instructions shall remain in force till 0001 hrs GMT of March 29, 2020.

  2. A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial passenger aircraft to land in India.

  3. As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers on Indian soil (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 hrs GMT of March 22(0131 hrs 1ST of March 23, 2020).

  4. These instructions are in addition to the travel restrictions/ advisories already issued and under implementation.

  5. The above are temporary measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19, and are subject to review by Government.

Sweden

Jonas Lindblad (Thursday March 19, 5:25 pm EDT)

Since February 1, the provisions of The Communicable Diseases Act apply to covid-19. The Public Health Authority is authorized to decide on certain extraordinary infection control measures.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has raised the following advises: no travels at all to Iran, no travels at all to the Province of Hubei, no unnecessary travels to Italy, no unnecessary travels to other parts of China with exception of Hong Kong and Macao and no unnecessary travels to Daegu and the Province of Gyeongbuk in South Korea. The migration operations at the embassy in Tehran has been closed. No visa applications or other migration-related visits will be accepted. The decision is valid until further notice but will be reviewed in two weeks. The embassy remains otherwise open and can be reached during regular telephone hours or via email.

Update 2020-03-16. Since March 14, the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expanded its advice to include all unnecessary travels (i.e. tourist and visitor trips) to all countries . The advice is valid until April 14, after which a newent will be made.

Update 2020-03-19. On 17 March the Government decided to stop non-essential travel to Sweden by a temporary ban. The decision takes effect on 19 March and will initially apply for 30 days. Swedish citizens and people who are resident in Sweden will be able to return to Sweden. Nor will the entry ban apply to people who have particularly important grounds for travelling to Sweden. This includes diplomats, people in need of international protection and people who are to carry out essential functions in Sweden, such as health care professionals and people transporting goods. The entry ban applies primarily to foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from a country outside the EEA or from Switzerland. The entry ban does not affect travel from another EU country to Sweden.

Government Resources:

For questions concering the travel advises, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at +468-405 5005. The Public Health Authority has published information sheets for travelers in different languages that can be found on https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd- beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/informationsmaterial/

Update 2020-03-16. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a special number for questions regarding the virus and travels (+468-405 9200).

Turkey

Maria Celebi (Friday March 20, 7:23 am EDT)

As of March 20th, below are the updates for Turkey:

ENTRY RESTRICTIONS:

March 19, 2020 Turkey has closed its land and sea borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Also as of yesterday, Greek and Bulgarian nationals, and those in Greece or Bulgaria within the last 14 days, are barred into Turkey. Recall the exemption for Turkish nationals and those with work or residence permits. For them, no barring but are quarantined.


March 14th, 2020


: The land border between Turkey and Georgia was also closed. The Interior Ministry issued the following press release below:

Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Holland - For the aforementioned countries that the Coronavirus is spreading, the Interior Ministry shared a Circular with 81 Provincial Police Departments, Provincial Gendarmerie Commands, General Directorate of Migration Directorate, 81 Provincial Governorships and Border Administrations. The circular indicates:

  1. Passenger entries from these countries to Turkey are being stopped through all border gates. (Tüm hudut kapıları –see below)

  2. Citizens of the aforementioned countries and citizens of third countries who have been in these countries within the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter Turkey as of March 14, 2018 at 08:00.

  3. There will not be any restriction to exit Turkey for the nationals of these countries.

  4. Turkish nationals’ travels to these countries have been temporarily suspended.

  5. Regarding the countries that are designated, according to the procedures and principles determined by the Ministry of Health, outlined for China, Iran, Iraq, South Korea and Italy; inspection, control, 14-day surveillance and quarantine operations will be followed when necessary.

Reference: https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/81-il-valiligi-ve-hudut-idare-mulki-amirliklerine-genelge Note: The wording “Tüm Hudut Kapıları” means all entry points from Land, Air, Railway and Sea

according to the Ministry of Commerce website: https://www.ticaret.gov.tr/gumruk-islemleri/gumruk- idareleri/hudut-kapilari/hudut-kapilari-genel-bilgiler


March 17, 2020, six countries have been added to these prohibited countries. The following countries flights to Turkey are also now banned: England, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland and the United Arab countries. The number of countries to which Turkey bans flights has increased to 20.

https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2020/gundem/son-dakika-saglik-bakani-kocadan-yeni-corona-aciklamasi- 5682606/

MIGRATION DIRECTORATE RESTRICTIONS:


March 19, 2020: The Migration Directorate publicly posted on their website that Residence Permit appointments for the next 30 days are automatically rescheduled to June. A calendar has been fixed so we can inform clients of the exact dates.


March 16, 2020: The Migration Directorate which oversees residence permit adjudication, Temporary Protection Status and other immigration applications, has begun to limit applications. Unfortunately the specifics will be clarified at a later date. Verbal and email communication to Bener is that appointments in Istanbul may now be cancelled without prior notice. “We have taken due precautions on preventing over crowdedness in our provincial Migration Directorates by limiting RP, international protection and other applications. We will be updating our precautions.”


MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS RESTRICTIONS:

Turkish consular posts around the world are so far having varied responses to the virus. Checking for most up-to-date status for posts is imperative. Posts are either:

  1. In full operation

  2. Only allowing visa filing by post or bonded courier (ie. No in-person applications)

  3. Restricted to limited appointments or fully closed to visa services

M INISTRY OF LABOR RESTRICTIONS:


March 16, 2020: A posted notice at the main gate of the MOL states that the Public Relationships Department was closed because of COVID -19 until further notice. This means that we will not be able to enter the MOL building to make queries in person on work permit cases. All queries will need to be by phone which we have found is not particularly effective. Bener has also noted a slow-down on progress of adjudications as seen by the on-line system. Cases appear to be taking longer to move through the steps of processing from upload to officer review to adjudication. Please anticipate longer timelines.

As with many countries, these changes are in flux on a daily basis.

United Kingdom

Chetal Patel (Friday March 20, 5:57 am EDT)

We have received the following announcement regarding the closure of USCIS Application Support Centres across the USA.

As you already may be aware, USCIS has taken the move to suspend operations across their Application Support Centre network, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID19. Full detail can be found here:

h ttps://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

As such, standard UK visa service will be unavailable to US customers for the duration of the closure. At this time and subject to change, that date is April 01. In the interim, VFS PAC locations across the US (bar SFO and Seattle) currently remain open for business and walk-in fees will be waived by VFS for customers seeking service.


GMS Listserv - COVID-19 Running Digest

(Friday March 13, 2020 12:01 am EDT –

Friday March 19, 2020, 5:00 pm EDT)

Countries Covered: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Commission, France, Germany, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Venezuela

Argentina

Carlos Guzman, (Monday March 16, 9:32 am EDT)

National Government announced the entry restriction to foreign visitors non resident in Argentina. Also incoming flights were suspended and national borders were closed.

Australia

  1. Rita Chowdhury (Thursday March 19, 4:02 am EDT) Just after 4:00pm AEST this afternoon, the Australian Government announced that Australia would be banning the arrival of all non-citizens and non-residents from 9:00pm tomorrow (Friday 20 March 2020). This is so as to seek to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Australia. It is unclear precisely how long this travel ban will be in place, but we note that it could be months before it is lifted. At this stage, we understand that the ban does not apply to the following groups:

  • Australian citizens

  • permanent residents

  • New Zealand citizens who are resident in Australia

  • immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, minor dependants and legal guardians) The above groups can still travel to Australia, but will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. As we understand, all other temporary visa holders are currently banned from entering Australia, or re- entering Australia if they are a temporary visa holder who is located offshore. If a person applies for a temporary visa from outside of Australia, it will likely be the case that while the visa can be granted, they will not be able to enter Australia until the ban is lifted. In light of the above, please note the following:

  • All temporary visa holders should seek to remain in Australia, otherwise they will be subject to the ban;

  • Any temporary visa holders located outside of Australia at the present time should seek to return before 9pm tomorrow;

  • If you are seeking to lodge, or have lodged, a temporary visa application for a person who is located offshore (or you are the person located offshore), please note that the person will not be able to enter Australia until the ban is lifted.


  1. Anne O’Donoghue (Wednesday March 18, 12:28 am EDT) AUSTRALIA COVID TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS Numerous countries have implemented travel restrictions and measures in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. LEVEL 4 TRAVEL BAN

  • For the first time in Australian history, a Level Four travel has been instituted on the entire world by the Australian Government.

  • Level Four is the highest rating for travelling danger issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

  • In his announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “This is the first time that has ever happened in Australia’s history. The travel advice to every Australian is ‘do not travel abroad’. This is an indefinite ban but, as you are seeing from other countries around the world, they are putting similar restrictions on entry, just as Australia has on others coming into Australia and you would expect that to be in place now and that is the stage we have reached.” ALL TRAVELLERS TO AUSTRALIA TO SELF-ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS

  • From 15 March 2020, the Australian Government announced:

  • All travellers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.


  • This applies to all travellers, including Australian citizens.

  • Heavy penalties are in place for those who do not comply. The penalties differ according to the state or territory. TRAVEL BANS

  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who have been in the following countries will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through:

  • Mainland China

  • Iran

  • Republic of Korea

  • Italy.


  • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited a country subject to travel restrictions within the previous 14 days, with the exception of:

  • Australian citizens

  • Permanent residents

  • New Zealand citizens resident in Australia

  • Immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians.


  • Temporary visa holders who are ineligible for entry into Australia will have their visa considered for cancellation if they attempt to travel to Australia.

  • International cruise ships are now also banned from arriving at Australian ports for the next 30 days. PARTNER AND IMMEDIATE FAMILIES OF AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS HOLDING TEMPORARY VISAS

  • Partners and immediate families of Australian citizens and permanent residents (spouses, minor dependents or legal guardians only) holding temporary visas are being dealt with on a case by case basis by the Department. EXTEND WORKING HOURS FOR STUDENT VISA HOLDERS – SHELF STACKING

  • International students currently employed at the major supermarkets will temporarily be able to work more hours to help keep shelves stocked.

  • Ordinarily international students are subject to a maximum 40 hours a fortnight during term.

  • These measures will be administered by the Department of Home Affairs and are available to major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles, and only for existing employees in their existing roles. The enhanced border control measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of the Australian community. The above measures are temporary and will be reviewed. Figures released by the Department of Home Affairs indicate that on 31 December 2019 there were approximately 2.2 million people in Australia on Temporary visas. Of the 2.2 million there were approximately 480,543 international students and 635,109 visitors.


  1. Anne O’Donoghue (Sunday March 15, 7:02 pm EDT) This is the link to DHA deals with https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus Deals with international travel restrictions.

  2. Phillip Yip (Sunday March 15, 6:48 am EDT)

Today it was announced that ALL travellers arriving from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in Australia. It is anticipated that international travellers who are not normally resident in Australia will cancel their flights.

Novel Coronavirus – travel restrictions!

The Australian Government has announced the following restrictions:

From March 15th, 2020, ALL travellers to Australia will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and a ban has been placed on cruise liners from foreign ports at Australian ports for 30 days.

The current travel restrictions remain in place for all foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who have been in the following countries will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through:

  1. China

  2. Iran

  3. South Korea

  4. Italy

Exceptions apply to travellers who are:

  1. Australian citizens/permanent residents and their immediate family members including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians;

  2. Airline and maritime crew where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures

T he Department has now published relevant procedures which detail how the exceptions can be “activated”. (Current as of 15 March 2020)

  1. Anne O’Donoghue (Friday March 13, 4:00 pm EDT) Currently, Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19. To help slow the spread, the Australian Government has advised, effective from Monday 16 March, that organised, non- essential gatherings should be limited to 500 people. https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert Travel The Australian Government announced on 12 March 2020 that travel restrictions will continue to apply to travellers arriving from any part of mainland China, Iran, Republic of Korea and Italy.

  • Foreign nationals (excluding permanent residents of Australia) who have been in the following countries will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they have left or transited through:

  • mainland China

  • Iran

  • Republic of Korea

  • Italy.


  • Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians or dependants only). They will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the day they left China, Iran, the Republic of Korea or Italy.

  • Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited a country subject to travel restrictions within the previous 14 days, with the exception of:

  • Australian citizens

  • permanent residents

  • New Zealand citizens resident in Australia

  • immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependants and legal guardians

  • diplomats.


  • Limited exemptions also exist for airline and maritime crew, where they have taken appropriate precautionary measures.

  • These enhanced public safety measures will apply to those seeking to enter Australia as well as those seeking to transit through Australia en route to another country.

  • These measures are temporary and will be reviewed.


https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/current-alerts/novel-coronavirus

Austria

Sabine Straka (Thursday March 19, 5:33 am EDT)

A s per today 19 March 2020 the travel restrictions for Austria are as follows:

Aircrafts Landing: Per information dated 19 March 2020 passenger aircrafts departing from the following countries (SARS-CoV-2 risk areas) are prohibited from landing in Austria: China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine.

Aircraft Passengers: Only Austrian citizens and Foreigners (EU nationals and Third Country nationals), who have a document of residence in Austria have a right to enter Austria by aircraft. A Tourist Visa C is not enough. They are obliged to bring a standardised medical certificate stating their health status and showing that the molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2 is negative. The certificate must not be older than four days, when entering Austria and the wording needs to be according to legal requirements (German/English form). They have the duty to stay in home quarantine for 14 days after arrival. There are exemptions for diplomatic personnel, employees of international organisations, health staff, transit passengers and others.

T rain travel restrictions: Rail travels to Italy and from Switzerland and Liechtenstein are stopped.

T ravellers from Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia: People, who are travelling from these countries are obliged to bring a standardised medical certificate stating their health status and showing that the molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2 is negative. The certificate must not be older than four days, when entering Austria and the wording needs to be according to legal requirements (German, Italian, French or English form). If the certificate is not presented, entry will be refused.

However, it is permitted for people to enter Austria, if they are Austrian citizens, or if they have their main or second residence or common habitual residence in Austria. However, these persons are obliged to enter home quarantine immediately for 14 days and confirm this with their own signature. In case a molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2 is negative during this period, the home quarantine can be cancelled.

The transit through Austria is permitted without a stopover, provided that the exit is guaranteed.

Travellers from SARS-CoV-2 risk areas: The Ministry of Exterior declares as per 19 March 2020, the following countries as SARS-CoV-2 risk areas: F rance, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, South

K orea, Ukraine and United Kingdom. Third-county nationals, who have stayed in SARS-CoV-2 risk areas within

the last 14 days before the trip to Austria, are obliged to bring a standardised medical certificate stating their health

status and showing that the molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2 is negative. The certificate must not be older than four days, when entering Austria and the wording needs to be according to legal requirements (German or English form). If the certificate is not presented, entry may be refused, or further measures may be taken in accordance with the Austrian Epidemic Act 1950 (Epidemiegesetz 1950).

edical Examination: In general, people who are entering or transiting Austria are obliged to allow medically

examination if ordered by the Austrian Health Authority.

B order controls: are installed at the land borders to Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany,

The Austrian State Department recommends avoiding all travels that are not necessary.

Belgium

  1. Bernard Caris (Friday March 20, 12:50 pm EDT) Effective 3pm this afternoon, March 20, 2020, border/entry and exit checks are held in order to enforce the prohibition of non-essential travels from and to Belgium. According to the federal Minister of Home Affairs, this does not apply to frontier workers, doctors, and health care staff.

  2. Bernard Caris (Friday March 20, 10:02 am EDT)

  3. . LOCKDOWN MEASURES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 18, 2020 UNTIL APRIL 5, 2020 Lockdown measures (although that word is not officially used) took effect in Belgium on March 18, 2020 at noon, and will continue to be in place until and including April 5, 2020. This includes the following measures.

  4. . Mandatory closing of all non-essential stores/most public places Essential stores (e.g. food stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents, and banks) will remain open, but will have to make sure that “social distancing” rules (in general: at least 1,5 meter distance; supermarkets: one person per 10 square meters) are complied with. Musea, sports clubs, restaurants, bars, …, must be closed. Schools (until secondary level) are not closed, but lessons are suspended. Hotels can remain open, but restaurants in a hotel must be closed. Food delivery and meal collection are also allowed. Public transport will continue.

  5. . Working from home: mandatory (non-essential enterprises) or norm (essential enterprises) Some sectors/services are considered essential: e.g. medical sector, asylum and migration departments, telecom, media, police, defense, legal profession (including attorneys), payroll offices, pharmacists, chemical sector, financial sector, nuclear sector, energy, international transport, … . Working from home is mandatory in non-essential enterprises for staff whose function allows remote working. For other functions the enterprises must take all measures required to assure compliance with “social distancing” rules (in general: at least 1,5 meter distance). If the non-essential enterprises cannot assure compliance with the “social distancing” rules, they must close. These non-essential companies may be fined in the event of non-compliance, or even be closed for a repeat offence. Enterprises active in crucial sectors and those who render essential services are not subject to a strict obligation to organize remote working and to comply with “social distancing” rules, but they must, to the extent possible, organize remote working and comply with “social distancing” rules.

  6. . “Non-essential travel” ban All non-essential travels abroad are forbidden.

  7. . Staying home: norm

People should stay at home, unless required/for urgent motives, such as e.g. go to essential stores or go to work at essential enterprises, go to a doctor or pharmacist, go to a bank, … . Different, more lenient rules apply to families.

  1. I. IMPOSSIBILITY TO LEAVE BELGIUM: SHORT TERM EXTENSION OF RESIDENCE IN B ELGIUM

Foreign employees who cannot leave Belgium because of “force majeure” (e.g. quarantine, flight cancellation, closing of border, …) and whose residence authorization is about to expire, can apply for a temporary extension of stay in Belgium, in principle up to 90 days. This system already existed: the federal immigration office has now repeated/updated the instructions on how to apply for this extension.

  1. Bernard Caris (Thursday March 19, 5:24 pm EDT) In Belgium the regional Ministries of Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia receive and process work authorizations/work permits (these are the final permits for employment up to 90 days; these are the first permits for employment > 90 days: a single permit approval, issued by the Belgian federal immigration office, follows at a later stage). The regional Ministries have taken a number of urgent measures to ensure continuity of service and to deal with a number of urgent problems resulting from the stricter Covid-19 measures which are currently in place in Belgium. We briefly outline the measures below.

  2. . FLANDERS

  3. Application via email All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits must be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later.

  4. Temporary extension of residence and work authorization/work permit for employees who cannot return to their home country (max. 3 months): expedited work authorization/work permit application If a third-country national is temporarily unable to return to his/her home country (e.g. because flight has been cancelled), his/her stay can be temporarily extended by means of a temporary “declaration of arrival”, issued by the local municipality. The employer can apply for a work authorization/work permit with the Flanders Ministry on the basis of the “declaration of arrival”: the maximal duration, which is linked to the duration of the “declaration of arrival” and which cannot be extended, is 3 months; expedited processing is announced.

  5. Incomplete applications will not be declared inadmissible after 15 days When a file is considered incomplete, additional information is requested: if this information is not submitted within 15 days, the application will in principle be considered inadmissible and the application will no longer be processed: the file will be closed. There is some leniency now, because it can be difficult to receive/obtain some documents to submit a complete application in time. The Flanders Ministry will not automatically close the file after 15 days, for the time being and “until the end of the Corona-problems”.

  6. Periods of temporary unemployment shall be taken into account in the calculation of the salary Anyone who is unable to provide services/work due to temporary unemployment for economic reasons or “force majeure” should not comply with the applicable salary threshold during this period. In the event of “technical unemployment” the execution of an employment contract is temporarily suspended. The gross annual salary threshold (e.g. 42.696 € for highly skilled and 68.314 € for executives) will be reduced pro rata with the relevant period of technical unemployment. This is regardless of whether the person concerned receives an allowance from the National Employment Office for reasons of temporary unemployment.


  1. I. BRUSSELS The Brussels Ministry is physically closed. All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits should be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later.

  2. I. WALLONIA

The Walloon Ministry is physically closed until 3 April 2020. All applications for obtaining work authorizations/work permits and single permits should be submitted digitally via email. The original documents must be kept, and may be asked by the authorities later.

  1. Bernard Caris (Wednesday March 18, 1:00 pm EDT) The Belgian federal immigration office has published the following statement on its website (https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Pages/home.aspx): “Postponement of non-essential travels and consequences of COVID19 on visa activity On a proposal from the European Commission, the heads of state and government have decided to temporarily close the external borders to third-country nationals on non-essential journeys. This means that, for the time being and until further notice, no visa application can be received nor any visa issued. In most countries, Visa Application Centers are closing. Exceptions are possible, however, for travelers who have an essential function, or an essential need. People who have received a visa are strongly advised to postpone any non-essential travel. If the period of validity of the visa issued for the postponed trip is insufficient to cover the duration of the new trip, a new visa may be requested on presentation of the following documents:

  • visa application form indicating the new dates of the trip,

  • proof of payment of the handling fee,

  • copy of the travel document with the visa issued for the postponed trip,

  • proof of the arrangements made for the new trip (eg new date fixed for the conference or professional meeting, new invitation, etc.), and

  • travel health insurance covering the duration of the proposed new trip. The examination of visa applications already submitted continues. However, in the event of a positive decision, the visa will not be issued immediately, unless the applicant has an essential function or an essential need. If the visa was requested for a short stay, the visa may be issued after normalization of the situation, provided that the applicant still meets the entry conditions. Further details, taken from the formal communication of the EU (https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2020/EN/COM-2020-115-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF), are mentioned on websites of Belgian Embassies/Consulate Generals: e.g. India (https://india.diplomatie.belgium.be/en/travel-to-belgium/visa/india): Due to the coronavirus and in order to restrict the spread of the virus, all non-essential travels from all third countries to the Schengen Member States has been temporary suspended for a period of 30 days, from 16 March 2020. T his temporary travel restriction is not applicable to :

  • all EU citizens and citizens of the Schengen Associated States, and their family members;

  • third-country nationals who are long-term residents under the Long-term Residence Directive and persons d eriving their right to reside from other EU Directives or national law or who hold national long-term visas. F rom this moment onwards only a very limited amount of travelers with an essential function or need can apply for a visa :

  • Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;

  • Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;

  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the e xercise of their functions;

  • Passengers in transit;

  • Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;

  • Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.

Please note that VFS is currently keeping the visa applications centers open. Visa-applications that do not fit the above exceptions will not be accepted and processed.“ (our underlining)


  1. Massimo Maesen (Monday March 16, 4:58 am EDT)

All travel is discouraged, but there are no quarantaine measures as far as I am aware of. People returning to Belgium need to do self diagnose, and when they have any of the symptoms within 14 days of returning, they should call their doctor and discuss next steps.

See also this link on travel advice per country (only in French and Dutch unfortunately). https://diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Diensten/Op_reis_in_het_buitenland/reisadviezen

The authorities have also launched this website with FAQ, and tips for employers, schools and individuals. https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

This website is providing answers for travelers who intended to travel, have traveled, or are stuck abroad. https://economie.fgov.be/nl/themas/ondernemingen/coronavirus/coronavirus-informatie-voor-0

C anada

  1. Sergio Karas (Friday March 20, 1:39 pm EDT) U.S.-Canada Joint Initiative: Temporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing the U.S.-Canada Border for Non-Essential Purposes March 20, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario The U.S.-Canada land border serves as an economic engine that supports over $2.4 billion dollars in daily trade. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States and Canada are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders. In each of our countries, we are encouraging people to exercise caution by avoiding unnecessary contact with others. This collaborative and reciprocal measure is an extension of that prudent approach. “Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The United States and Canada recognize it is critical we preserve supply chains between both countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. Americans and Canadians also cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted. This decision will be implemented on March 21, 2020, at which time the U.S. and Canada will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border. The measure will be in place for 30 days, at which point it will be reviewed by both parties. PMO Media Relations: media@pmo-cpm.gc.ca This document is also available at https://pm.gc.ca The Prime Minister's Office - Communications

  2. Philippe Tremblay (Friday March 20, 1:13 pm EDT) More details around a previously announced update: The closure of the world's longest undefended border (between Canada and the United States) will become official today at 11:59 pm 'local time' (i.e. wherever each borders are located). As previously stated, the border will be closed to all nonessential travel, and it is now confirmed it will last at least until Monday, April 20. Canada's Prime Minister affirmed that trade between the two countries will not be impacted, but obviously this remains to be seen. For the time being, it is safe to assume that anyone (commercially) importing essential goods like food, fuel, medicines and other essential products and services, will be admitted into either country. There are also exceptions already confirmed from the ban for: aircrews, diplomats, and healthcare workers.

  3. Ravi Jain (Thursday March 19, 11:07 am EDT) The following is an Important Notice for Immigration Stakeholders from the Government of Canada / Avis important pour les intervenants en d’immigration de la part du Gouvernement du Canada Travel for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. If you are in Canada, and are seeking to travel to the border in order to make an application for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence, you are asked to consider Federal and Provincial guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. Do not travel to the border for these services until the further notice. If you are currently in Canada as a visitor, student or worker, you can apply online to IRCC to extend your temporary resident status. By doing so, you can continue to stay, study or work in Canada while your application is being processed. This is referred to as implied status, and as long as you apply before your current document expires, your current immigration authorizations and conditions remain unchanged. In-Canada services are available through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

  4. Philippe Tremblay (Thursday March 19, 11:03 am EDT) Our Immigration Headquarters just released this notice to Ravi [Jain] and our Immigration Lawyers Association: Land Borders Currently at Land borders, US Citizens, green card holders or those that have a Visa in hand can be denied entry if considered to be “Non-essential travel”. US citizens can also be barred from entry if they have been in a recent hot spot in the past 14 days or if they show symptoms upon arrival. This measure does not include or apply to Canadian Citizens and or permanent residents and or First Nations, including family members. I refer to the Immigration Refugee Protection Act’s definition of family member, see regulation R1(3). All travellers would be required to self- isolate if allowed entry into the country. Travel for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. If you are in Canada, and are seeking to travel to the border in order to make an application for a work permit, study permit or permanent residence, you are asked to consider Federal and Provincial guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. Do not travel to the border for these services until the further notice. Air Carriers To confirm, a travel ban has been implemented through an order under the Aeronautics Act which requires air carriers operating flights to Canada to deny boarding to any passenger who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (or an immediate family member). The measure came into force on Wednesday, March 18, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT, and applies to travelers arriving by air. For clarity, what this means is that international students and workers who are outside of Canada and the United States will not be permitted to board an aircraft to return to Canada, unless they are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. I wish there was more clarity for WP holders coming through the land border, but so far the key seems to be "essential travel". Historically, as a general guideline when assessing this criteria, officers consider the 'interest of Canada' (not the interest of the applicant or his/her employer). For example: Is the person essential to our Country's supply-chain? Would denying him/her cause harm to Canadians or Canada's economy? etc. But not the impact or inconveniences to the applicant directly, unless strong humanitarian and compassionate grounds (like life-and-death or other severe and rare emergencies) can be invoked.

  5. Ravi Jain (Monday March 16, 9:07 pm EDT) As chair of the National Immigration Section of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian immigration department (“IRCC”) reached out to me today for a call. I was able to ask some questions and some Director General level personnel provided some information. I have their permission to share the following with the caveat that this is just guidance at this point. They are still working through the issues. They are limiting in person meetings with applicants domestically. It is business as usual for the centralized network (in-Canada processing) but again, less staff so may be slower. Online applications are proceeding (may be slower). There will be active screening at the door at local offices in terms of health questions for walk-in refugee applicants and people who are victims of trafficking. In terms of pre-boarding:

  • Travel Documents (replacement permanent resident cards) should be accepted

  • they are not sure about what they will do with work permit holders who traveled with their families during March break

  • foreign national spouses of Canadian citizens should be able to get visas to return

  • people with confirmations of permanent residence will likely be able to fly and land here For those who are in Canada, “landings” (becoming a permanent resident) will be by phone once it’s up to and running in a few days. Citizenship test and citizenship ceremonies have been canceled for 4 weeks. Service Canada is not doing biometrics right now. If people need medicals or biometrics, they will be granted a 90 day extension. Flagpolling is to be discouraged. They are considering letting agricultural workers in so as to not affect the food supply.


  1. Philippe Tremblay (Monday March 16, 7:26 pm EDT)

Confirmed: Canada joins the dance and is now banning entry to ALL non-Residents into Canada, except US nationals. IRCC has also closed multiple visa posts abroad, and those still open will work with essential staff only. Needless to say, this will impact all Visas and Work Permit applications. For all those currently having a pending immigration matter with Canada, IRCC also announced that they will have flexibility measures in place to allow applicants currently impacted by this global crisis, to comply at a later date with their immigration requirements when appropriate. We still recommend that all impacted applicants should take a proactive approach and make sure the proper authorities are informed, and extensions are requested, prior to reaching any previous deadline imposed.

It was also announced that all international flights will be restricted to 4 airports only nation-wide, where enhanced screening will be taking place: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

C olombia

Rodrigo Tannus Serrano (Sunday March 15, 3:35 pm EDT)

Effective 16 March, Colombia will restrict entry by all passengers who are not residents or citizens. Colombian citizens and foreign residents who arrive from March 16 will be required to perform an obligatory 14-day period of self-isolation after arriving in Colombia.

C zech Republic

Veronika Pleskova (Sunday March 15, 4:06 pm EDT)

Please note there is newly a total ban on traveling into the Czech and Slovak Republics for ANY foreigners, including other EU citizens (exceptions for long-term residency permits holders apply). This has affected also the operation of our embassies abroad as the application processes have been generally suspended.

D enmark

  1. Helle Holm Thomsen (Friday March 20, 4:59 am EDT) [T]he Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has changed their position so the no longer use the term red, orange country but strongly recommend that all people who has been out travelling stay at home for 14 days. The Ministry discourage all unnecessary travels. These guidelines is valid until 13th of April for now. It is possible to read the Danish recommendation in English on the webpage of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs[:] https://um.dk/en . Submitted off-listserv.

  2. Tommy Angermair (Sunday March 15, 4:41 pm EDT)

The Danish borders were closed effective from noon yesterday.

All schools, daycare and most other public institutions are closed effective from tomorrow morning.

All public sector employees (except for critical roles) have been sent home. All private sector employers have been encouraged to send all employees home until further notice.

European Commission

  1. Marco Mazzeschi (Wednesday March 18, 7:45 am EDT) Updated: 05/03/2020 EU MEMBER STATES TRAVEL ADVICEPlease send information on updates to COOL@eeas.europa.euMSMFA WEBSITE ADDRESS WITH TRAVEL ADVICEAThttps://www.bmeia.gv.at/reise-aufenthalt/reiseinformation/laender/BEhttps://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr/services/voyager_a_letranger/conseils_par_destinationBGhttps://mfa.bg/bg/embassyinfo/CYhttp://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/mfa2016.nsf/travel.htmlCZhttps://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/cestujeme/aktualni_doporuceni_a_varovani/index.htmlDEhttps://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweiseDKh ttp://www.um.dk/da/rejse-og-ophold/rejse-til-udlandet/rejsevejledninger/EEhttps://reisitargalt.vm.ee/riigid/ELhttps://www.mfa.gr/en/coronavirus-covid-19-useful-information.htmlEShttp://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/es/ServiciosAlCiudadano/SiViajasAlExtranjero/Paginas/Recomendaci onesDeViaje.aspxFIhttps://um.fi/matkustustiedotteet-a-oFRh ttp://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/HRh ttp://www.mvep.hr/hr/konzularne-informacije/informacije-o-putovanjima/upozorenja/HUh ttp://konzuliszolgalat.kormany.hu/utazasi-tanacsIEh ttps://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/ITh ttp://www.viaggiaresicuri.it/country/LTh ttp://keliauk.urm.lt/lt/locationLUh ttps://maee.gouvernement.lu/fr/services-aux-citoyens/voyages.htmlLVh ttps://www.mfa.gov.lv/konsulara-informacija/bridinajumi-celotajiemMTh ttps://foreignandeu.gov.mt/mt/Pages/Travel-Advice-MT.aspxNLh ttps://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/landen/PLh ttps://www.gov.pl/web/dyplomacja/informacje-dla-podrozujacychPTh ttps://www.portaldascomunidades.mne.pt/pt/conselhos-aos-viajantesROh ttps://www.mae.ro/travel-alertsSEh ttp://www.regeringen.se/uds-reseinformation/ud-avrader/SIh ttps://www.gov.si/zbirke/drzave/SKh ttp://www.mzv.sk/cestovanie_a_konzularne_info/staty_sveta-staty_podla_abecedyUKh ttps://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

  2. Marcel Reurs (Wednesday March 18, 6:59 am EDT)

Weblink to the formal communication of the EC regarding the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU:

https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2020/EN/COM-2020-115-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF

F rance

Daniel Tostado (Monday March 16, 4:03 pm EDT)

In terms of travel restrictions to France:

Macron just finished giving a second major speech about 20 minutes ago, declaring that as of tomorrow at noon CET, the borders of the EU and Schengen area will be closed. All travel from non-EU countries into the EU/Schengen will be suspended for at least thirty days. French nationals abroad will be able to return to France.

"Dès demain midi, les frontières à l'entrée de l'Union européenne et de l'espace Schengen seront fermées"

Earlier today, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen proposed that EU limits travel to EU nationals, their family, and those who hold long-stay visas, and I believe this will shortly be adopted in France. So, I see a discrepancy about whether those with long-stay residency in France will have the right to return to France from abroad.

France also just published a decree, granting an automatic prolongation of three months of all residency permits and temporary residency permits that expire by March 16th, because the French prefectures are all closed as of today.

G ermany

  1. Gunther Mävers (Friday March 20, 8:59 am EDT) Please find enclosed the latest news from Germany since Bavaria will now order a general ban on going out effective 21 March 2020 to 3 April 2020 as follows: “Effective 21 March 2020 Bavaria has ordered a general ban on going out and here is the full text of the (first) decree ordering this in Germany:

  2. everyone is urged to reduce physical and social contact with other people outside the members of their own household to an absolutely necessary minimum. Wherever possible, a minimum distance between two persons of 1.5 m must be maintained.

  3. catering establishments of any kind are prohibited. Excluded is the handing over and delivery of take-away food.

  4. it is prohibited to visit

  5. hospitals as well as preventive and rehabilitation facilities in which medical care comparable to that provided in hospitals is provided (facilities pursuant to Section 23 para. 3 nos. 1 and 3 Infection Protection Act); this does not include maternity and children's wards for close relatives and palliative care wards and hospices,

  6. fully inpatient nursing care facilities pursuant to § 71 para. 2 Book XI Social Security Code,

  7. facilities for people with disabilities within the meaning of § 2 para. 1 Book IX Social Security Code, in which integration assistance services are provided day and night,

  8. residential communities with outpatient care in accordance with Article 2 Para. 3 Care and Quality of Living Act for the purpose of outpatient intensive care (Intensive care in shared flats), in which outpatient care services are provided in accordance with Article 23 Para. 6a Infection Protection Act, and

  9. old people's homes and senior citizens' residences.


  1. leaving one's own home shall only be permitted if there are good reasons

  2. Good reasons are in particular:

  3. the exercise of professional activities

  4. the use of medical and veterinary care services (e.g. visits to the doctor, medical treatment; blood donations are expressly permitted) and visits to members of assisting professions to the extent that this is medically urgently required (e.g. (e.g. psychotherapists and physiotherapists),

  5. visits to the supply of items of daily use (e.g. food stores, beverage markets, pet supply stores, letter and mail-order companies, pharmacies, drugstores, medical supply stores, opticians, hearing aid acousticians, banks and cash dispensers, post offices, petrol stations, car repair shops, dry cleaners and the handing in of postal voting documents) Not included in the coverage of daily needs is the use of other services such as visits to hairdressing salons,

  6. visits to life partners, the elderly, the sick or people with disabilities (outside of facilities) and the exercise of custody in the respective private sphere,

  7. the accompaniment of persons in need of support and minors,

  8. the accompaniment of dying persons as well as funerals in the immediate family circle

  9. sport and exercise in the open air, but exclusively alone or with members of one's own household and without any other group formation and

  10. activities for the care of animals.


  1. The police are required to check that the exit restriction is observed. In case of a control, the person concerned has to give credible reasons.

  2. A violation of this general ruling can be punished as an administrative offence according to § 73 Para. 1a No. 6 Infection Protection Act.

  3. further orders of the local health authorities remain unaffected.

  4. This general ruling is immediately enforceable according to § 28 para. 3, § 16 para. 8 Infection Protection Act.

  5. this general ruling shall come into force on 21 March 2020, 00:00 hours and shall cease to be effective at the end of 3 April 2020. The initial restrictions thus end on 3 April 2020, 24:00 hours." Infringements are subject to administrative prosecution and fines of up to 2.500,- € per infringement.” [Source: https://www.oldenburger-onlinezeitung.de/nachrichten/allgemeinverfuegung-zur- ausgangssperre-in-bayern-im-wortlaut-36845.html, in German only] Whereas this has no direct immigration law related impact I would like to share this as this is the first one generally ordered in Germany for one of its Federal States and I believe to see the wording might be of general interest for many other countries further down the road.


  1. Gunther Mävers (Thursday March 19, 4:33 am EDT)

1. Inbound travel restrictions on travellers from other countries to Germany

Initially, the German boarders remained open and there have been in particular no travel bans for travellers from certain countries in place (and currently there is no intention to introduce any).

However, in case of a Corona related suspect the border control authorities have been (and still are) empowered to carry out an extended border control and check for travellers entering from some countries (e.g. China, Italy, Japan, South Korea). In particular, information on the symptoms and risk exposure of travellers can be collected and conspicuous persons can be further questioned and, if necessary, examined with the help of the local health authorities.

Initially, only travellers from some countries, in particular China, Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea may be subject to further screening and must provide additional information to be collected by way of specific forms when entering via plan, ship or train.

  • Exit card air traffic ("Aussteigerkarte Luftverkehr"), http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/igv- dg/anlage_1.html

  • Exit card train traffic ("Aussteigekarte Schienenverkehr"): https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Anlage/E/aussteigekarte-bahn.pdf? blob=publicationFile

  • Exit card shipping ("Aussteigerkarte Schifffahrt"): https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/igv- dg/anlage_1a.html In the meantime, with the virus spreading, further travel restrictions have been implemented Federal Minister of the Interior Seehofer has decided, in coordination with neighboring countries and the affected states, to introduce temporary border controls to further contain the risk of infection by the coronavirus. The controls at the internal borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark took effect from Monday, 16 March 2020 8 am CET. The cross-border movement of goods as well as the cross-border movement of commuters remains guaranteed. Travellers without a valid reason for travelling are no longer allowed to enter or leave the country at the designated borders. This also applies to travellers with symptoms of illness which could indicate corona infection. In such cases, the necessary measures will be taken in consultation with the health authorities. The Federal Minister of the Interior requests all citizens to refrain from traveling at all costs unless it is absolutely necessary. Commuters are asked to carry appropriate proof of the necessity of crossing the border. The Federal Police have been instructed to ensure that checks are carried out as of Monday. A corresponding notification letter on the reintroduction of temporary border controls on the basis of Article 28 of the Schengen Border Code has been sent to the European Commission and the interior ministers of the EU states. For further details see the amended FAQ at the end of this document. Furthermore, the European Union has announced to ban all nonessential travel into Europe for 30 days to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In particular, all nonessential travel into the region shall be restricted for at least 30 days, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on 16 March 2020 on Twitter: "The EU Commission presents guidelines on border measures & proposes:

  1. Green lanes/fast lanes giving priority to essential transport to keep the mobility sector going & ensure economic continuity

  2. Temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU (30 days)"

In a (video) press conference she rightly said: „The less travel, the more we can contain the virus,“ von der Leyen said in a video statement, adding, „I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on nonessential travel to the European Union. (…) We think nonessential travel should be reduced right now in order not to spread the virus further, be it within the European Union or by leaving the European Union, but also to avoid nonessential travels not to have more potential strain on our healthcare system.“ Members of the Schengen travel area – including the non-EU members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – will not be affected by the rules and the United Kingdom will also be exempt whereas visitors from non-EU states will not be allowed to enter the region unless they are long-term residents of the EU, family members of EU nationals, diplomats, cross-border commuters, or essential workers like doctors, nurses, and researchers.. The transport of goods will also be exempt from the restrictions and the idea is basically to assure the provision of crucial goods and services that are critical to successfully fight the virus. Further to this, the Ministry of the Interior announced further travel restrictions on 17 March 2020: „(...) To further reduce the risk of infection by the corona virus, Federal Minister of the Interior Seehofer has ordered far-reaching entry restrictions at the German Schengen external borders. This applies to international air/sea traffic for travel connections that originate outside the EU. The regulation on the basis of Art. 14 and Art. 6 of the Schengen Borders Code applies immediately, initially for 30 days. German nationals are not affected. Nationals of EU states and their family members and citizens of the UK , Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their family members are allowed to enter the country of origin for the purpose of transit. The same applies to third-country nationals with a long-term right of residence (residence title or long- term visa) in an EU state and the aforementioned states. Third-country nationals who do not meet this requirement are refused entry at the border if there is no urgent reason for entry. Travellers are requested to carry appropriate proof of the necessity to cross the border if there is an urgent reason for entry." These measures are based on Art. 28 par. 1 and 3 EU Regulation No. 2016/399 (Schengen Border Code) according to which in case of a serious threat to public policy or internal security any member state upon notification may, on an exceptional basis, immediately reintroduce border control at internal borders, for a limited period of up to ten days and if the serious threat to public policy or internal security persists beyond decide to prolong the border control at internal borders for renewable periods of up to 20 days. In total these measures shall therefore not extend 30 days. Only one day later (18 March 2020) further travel restrictions have been implemented and the temporary border controls to intra-European air and sea traffic in order to further reduce the risk of infection by the corona virus. With immediate effect, internal border controls will also be applied to flights arriving in Germany from Italy, Spain, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland. This also applies to maritime traffic from Denmark. For travellers without an urgent reason for travelling, there are now restrictions on travel on these routes. Travellers with an urgent reason for travelling and commuters are requested to carry proof of the necessity to cross the border. The Federal Ministry of the Interior asks all citizens to refrain from travel that is not absolutely necessary. The EU states concerned have been informed in advance. A corresponding notification letter on the reintroduction of temporary border controls on the basis of Article 28 of the Schengen Borders Code has been sent to the European Commission and the interior ministers of all EU states.”

  1. Dieter Kohlfürst (Thursday March 18 at 3:38 am EDT) As of 18. March 2020, Germany has extended the temporary border controls to intra-European air and sea traffic in order to further reduce the risk of infection by the corona virus. With immediate effect, internal border controls will also be applied to flights arriving in Germany from Italy, Spain, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland. This also applies to maritime traffic from Denmark. For travellers without an urgent reason for travelling, there are now entry restrictions for travel on these routes. Travellers with an urgent reason for travelling and commuters are requested to carry proof of the necessity to cross the border. The existing land border controls (in effect since 16. March 2020, 8.00 a.m.) continue to remain in place.

  2. Dieter Kohlfürst (Wednesday March 18 at 3:38 am EDT) The Federal Ministry of the Interior has ordered far-reaching entry restrictions at the German Schengen external borders, in order to further reduce the risk of infection by the corona virus. This applies to international air and sea traffic for travel connections, that originate outside of the European Union. The regulation on the basis of Article 14 in conjunction with Article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code applies immediately i.e. starting on 17. March 2020, initially for 30 days. German nationals are not affected by this entry regulation. Nationals of EU states and their family members and citizens of Great Britain, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their family members, are allowed to enter Germany for the purpose of transit. The same applies to third-country nationals with a long-term right of residence (residence title or long- term visa) in an EU state and the before mentioned states. Third-country nationals who do not meet this requirement are refused entry at the German border, if there is no urgent reason for entry. Travellers are requested to carry appropriate proof of the necessity to cross the border, if there is an urgent reason for entry. These entry restrictions are imposed by the Member States in accordance with the uniform criteria within the Schengen area on the basis of a proposal by the European Commission and following today's decision by the Heads of State and Government.

  3. Ellen von Geyso (Monday March 16 at 9:52 am EDT) Travelers to or from Germany can find useful and important information from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office here: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/EinreiseUndAufenthalt

  4. Dieter Kohlfürst (Monday March 16 at 3:38 am EDT)

To further reduce the risk of infection by the coronavirus, Germany has introduced temporary border controls. The controls at the internal borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark will take effect from Monday 16 March 2020 at 08:00. The cross-border movement of goods as well as the cross-border movement of commuters will remain guaranteed. Travellers without a valid reason for travelling will no longer be allowed to enter or leave the country at the designated borders. This also applies to travellers with symptoms of illness that could indicate corona infection. In such cases, the necessary measures will be taken in consultation with the health authorities. Commuters to Germany are asked to carry appropriate proof of the necessity of crossing the border. The Federal Police have been instructed to secure the controls from Monday. As additional measures, schools in Germany remain closed for the upcoming 3 weeks and 2 weeks for scheduled Easter holiday, adding up to a total of 5 weeks. I ndia

  1. Anita Ninan (Thursday March 19, 5:15 pm EDT) Please note the latest update from the Government of India issued today regarding travel and visas, as per the [below circular:] In order to prevent the spread of CONVID 19 (Novel Corona Virus 2019) disease in India, all scheduled Indian and foreign airlines engaged in international air transportation to/from India are directed as under:

  2. No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India, after 0001 hrs GMT of March 22, 2020 (0530 hrs Indian Standard Time (1ST) of March 22, 2020). These instructions shall remain in force till 0001 hrs GMT of March 29, 2020.

  3. A maximum travel time of 20 hours is permissible for such commercial passenger aircraft to land in India.

  4. As such, no incoming scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to disembark its passengers on Indian soil (Foreigner or Indian) after 2001 hrs GMT of March 22(0131 hrs 1ST of March 23, 2020).

  5. These instructions are in addition to the travel restrictions/ advisories already issued and under implementation.

  6. The above are temporary measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19, and are subject to review by Government.


  1. Anita Ninan (Monday March 16, 3:31 pm EDT) Issued on 16-03-2020 Government of India Ministry of Health & FW Additional Travel Advisory for Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) In continuation of the travel advisory issued on 11th March 2020, the following additional advisory is issued:

  2. Expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020 at the port of first departure.

  3. Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect from 18th March 2020. No airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India with effect from 1200 GMT on 18th March 2020. The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure.

  4. Both these instructions are temporary measures and shall be in force till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.


  1. Shalini Agarwal (Monday March 16, 1:07 pm EDT) FURTHER INDIA UPDATE The Indian government has banned the entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey and the UK from March 18 till March 31. The travel ban will come into effect from 1200 hours GMT on March 18, 2020. According to the new travel advisory, no airline shall board a passenger from these nations to India. Even Indian passport holders are no longer permitted to travel.

  2. Anita Ninan (Sunday March 15, 5:21 pm EDT)

{From Government of India} FAQ ON NEW VISA RESTRICTIONS - COVID-19 ******************* INDIAN NATIONALS WHO WANT TO RETURN TO INDIA SL NOQUESTIONSANSWERS1.Whether they will be quarantined upon arrival in India?Only those who have visited China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany on or after Feb 15, 2020 will be quarantined for 14 days.2.Is COVID-19 Negative Certificate mandatory forOnly for those who are coming from Republic of Korea or Italy.3.Whether Indians transiting through China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany be quarantined on arrival in India?No. Transit through Airport is not considered stay.INDIAN NATIONALS WHO WANT TO GO ABROAD SL NOQUESTIONSANSWERS1.Whether Indians are allowed to go abroad?Indians are strongly advised to avoid non essential travel to Corona Virus affected countries. On their return to India from affected countries China, Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany they will be mandatorily quarantined. FOREIGNERS WHO ARE PRESENTLY IN INDIA SL NOQUESTIONANSWER1.Whether they can extend their Indian visas before expiry?Yes, they should approach their jurisdictional FRRO/FROs through e- FRRO (https://indianfrro.gov.in/frro/)2.Whether they can go out of India and return back?Yes they can go out of India. However, before April 15, 2020, they would require a fresh visa to enter India again. FOREIGNERS WHO WANT TO COME TO INDIA SL NOQUESTIONANSWER1.Which visa categories are allowed to enter India?Those who hold Employment and Project visa, Diplomatic passport holders, Official passport holders, those in UN / International organizations.2.Are dependents of exempted category visa category allowed?No3.Are infants/children who hold foreign passports but parents is Indian allowed?No. They are required to get fresh visa from Indian Mission/Post.4.Are Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives passport holders allowed?Nepal and Bhutan nationals are allowed. Maldives nationals would require visa.5.Are foreign nationals with RC/RP/Stay Visa allowed to enter?Only those foreigners who have RC/RP/Stay Visa w.r.t Employment/Project Visas.6.Is COVID-19 Negative Certificate mandatory ?Only for those foreigners who are travelling to India from/visited Italy or Republic of Korea.7.Can foreigners avail direct transit facility at Indian Airport?Yes. However, even in transit, medical screening is mandatory.8.Who is the competent authority to issue COVID-19 Negative Certificates in Italy and Republic ofHospitals/Labs recognized by Govt of Italy and Republic of Korea respectively. OCI CARD HOLDERS SL NOQUESTIONANSWER1.Are OCI Card holders allowed?No. They are required to get fresh visa from Indian mission/post.2.Are infants/children who hold foreign passports with OCI cards but parents is Indian allowed?No. Infants/Children are required to get fresh visa from Indian Mission/Post.3.Whether OCI Card holders coming from/visited Republic of Korea and Italy require COVID-19 Negative Certificates?Yes. L ebanon Salam Abdel Samad (Monday March 16, 9:37 am EDT) The Lebanese Government just announced full restriction of entry of foreigners non-residents into Lebanon. M alaysia

  1. Selvamalar Alagaratnam (Thursday March 19, 10:40pm EDT)* The Prime Minister of Malaysia issued an announcement on 16 March 2020 that the Government will implement a Movement Control Order (“MCO”) throughout Malaysia from 18 to 31 March 2020. During this period –

  • Government and private offices will be closed, except those involved in essential services (such as water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, post, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire prevention, prisons, ports, airports, security, defence, cleaning, food supply and retail);

  • A complete restriction will be imposed on movement and assembly (including religious activities, sports, social and cultural events) – to enforce this restriction, all houses of worship and business premises will be closed except supermarkets, public markets, sundry shops and convenience stores selling essential goods;

  • A complete restriction will be imposed on Malaysians from travelling abroad;

  • Malaysians returning home will be required to undergo health checks and voluntary self- quarantine for 14 days;

  • A complete restriction will be imposed on foreign visitors and tourists;

  • All public and private institutions of higher learning, i.e. universities, colleges and skills training institutes, will be closed; and

  • All kindergartens and public and private schools, including day schools, residential schools, international schools, Tahfiz centres, and all other institutions of learning in primary, secondary and pre-university levels, will be closed. The Malaysian Immigration Department has also issued a guideline dated 17 March 2020 in relation to the MCO and further clarify, amongst others, as follows:

  • Malaysians who are holding long term pass with a foreign country are allowed to leave the country on the condition that they will not be allowed to return to Malaysia before 31 March 2020;

  • Malaysian diplomats are allowed to travel out of the country to return to their respective consulate/embassy;

  • Foreign visitors are allowed to leave Malaysia and will not be allowed to return during the period of restriction;

  • All pass holders such as temporary work visa, student visa, employment pass and long term social visit pass (MM2H) will not be allowed to enter Malaysia;

  • Malaysians who are residing in Peninsular Malaysia will not be allowed to board flights to Sabah and Sarawak and vice versa;

  • Spouse and children of a Malaysian resident is allowed to enter Malaysia on the condition that they have a long term social visit pass; and

  • Foreign diplomats working in Malaysia will be allowed entry and will be required to carry out self-isolation for 14 days. *Submitted off-listserv.


  1. Suganthi Singam (Monday March 16, 11:11 am EDT) Our Prime Minister has just announced a travel ban on all incoming tourists from 18-31 st March 2020 as well as a prohibition on international travel on all Malaysians. The restrictions on movement will also extend to a closure of all kindergartens, government and private schools including boarding schools, international schools, primary, secondary and pre-university institutions as well as the closure of all public and private higher education institutions (IPTs) and skills training institutes nationwide. There will also be a closure of all government and private premises except those involved in essential services (water, electricity, energy, telecommunications, postal, transportation, irrigation, oil, gas, fuel, lubricants, broadcasting, finance, banking, health, pharmacy, fire, prison, port, airport, safety, defense, cleaning, retail and food supply.

  2. Selvamalar Alagaratnam (Monday March 16, 10:32 am EDT)

The Malaysian Prime Minister has just made an announcement on an order to restrict movement nationwide pursuant to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act and Police Act 1967. The order is applicable from 18 to 31 March 2020. Amongst the relevant restrictions is a complete international travel ban for all Malaysians and those who return from international travel are required to undergo a medical examination and self-quarantine for 14 days. There is a complete ban on the entry of all foreign tourists and visitors. N etherlands Marcel Reurs (Wednesday March 18, 6:22 am EDT) I just got off the phone after speaking with the head of admission of the Dutch border police on the travel ban that was implemented for the EU, yesterday. Please find below their current practice for those who are arriving at Schiphol Airport as from now.

  • those arriving with an EU passport are admitted

  • those arriving with an MVV- long term (D ) visa are admitted, provided the purpose for their stay still applies

  • those arriving with a Dutch residence card are admitted

  • those arriving with the residence card of another EU member state may be admitted but must anticipate more scrutiny

  • those arriving with a Schengen ( C ) visitor visa may be admitted but must demonstrate that a) they are making an essential trip (doctors, etc.) or b) may be admitted to the discretion of the border guard (*) (*) the border guard will make a case-by-case assessment whether they will allow the person to enter. Travelers arriving who are not making an essential trip must anticipate to be denied entry. N ew Zealand 1. Nicola Tiffen (Thursday March 19, 4:36 am EDT New Zealand has implemented a similar ban [to Australia]. It comes into effect for all non-NZ citizens and residents who board a plane to New Zealand after 11:59pm, NZ time, tonight. Therefore those already in transit will be granted entry. The ban does not include partners (both legally married and de facto) of NZ citizens or residents. Our advice is similar to our Australian colleagues, NZ temporary visa holders (including work visa holders) should not travel abroad, as they will be unable to return-enter until this temporary ban is lifted. 5. Nicola Tiffen (Sunday March 15, 3:39 pm EDT) Over the weekend, NZ also announced that all travellers to NZ, except those from the Pacific Islands, must self-isolate upon arrival for 14 days. The travel ban for travellers from Iran and mainland China (except for New Zealand citizens, residents, and their immediate family) remains in place. P anama

  1. Marcus Kraemer (Monday March 16, 9:48 am EDT) The Panamanian government has declared that:

  • Flights to/from Europe/Asia to/from Panama are suspended for 30 days.

  • Borders have closed to tourists for the next 2 weeks, with a possible extension.

  • Panamanians and residents (with a valid resident card) will be able to enter Panama and will be subject to a home quarantine for 2 weeks, as of 11:59pm Today March 16th).

  • Businesses such as night clubs, cassinos, private parks and clubs and so are temporarely closed.

  • Other businesses can continue operations without gathering more than 50 people.

  • Immigration has restricted access and will only allow attorneys/paralegals into the building to process applications.

  • Labor office has suspended the issuance of work permits until April 7th.


  1. Nelson Sales (Sunday March 15, 8:10 pm EDT) Things are escalating quick. The Government just announced complete restriction of entry of foreigners non-residents into Panama, starting 11:59PM on March 16. Panamanians and Panama residents coming into Panama have mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

  2. Nelson Sales (Sunday March 15, 4:15 pm EDT)

Since today, all flights to and from Europe or Asia with destination to Panama (or from Panama with destination to Europe or Asia), have been suspended for 30 days. P eru Ariel Orrego-Villacorta (Sunday March 15, 9:54 pm EDT) A few minutes ago, the President of Peru has established that effective March 16th 2020 and during 15 calendar days will be closed the borders to enter to Peruvian territory, international flights are prohibited, having been declared the State of National Emergency in the country due to Coronavirus' circumstances in order to prevent its spread and impact. P oland Karolina Schifter (Friday March 13, 3:02 pm EDT The Polish government has just decided to take the following measures to stop the spread of coronavirus:

  1. the entry of non-Polish nation will be suspended

  2. all international flights to Poland will be cancelled

  3. Poland re-introduces border controls with Schengen countries

The measures are introduced for 10 days starting on this Sunday and might be extended. S outh Africa Zahida Ebrahim (Sunday March 15, 4:51 pm EDT) President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation at 6pm CAT today, declaring a national state of disaster due to the corona virus outbreak. South Africa has recorded 61 positive cases. The extraordinary measures introduced include the following:

  1. Travel ban on foreigners from high risk countries such as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, United States and United Kingdom and China as of 18th March. Existing visas to residents of the law countries are cancelled and revoked forthwith.

  2. travel warnings - SA residents to avoid travel to high risk countries including United States, United Kingdom and identified high risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea. Any foreign national who has visited high risk countries in past 20 days will be denied a visa. Travel alerts will be issued based on risk level.

  3. SA citizens returning from high risk areas are subject to testing and self isolation or quarantine upon return to SA.

  4. Travelers from Medium risk countries such as Portugal, Hong Kong and Singapore to be subjected to intensive testing.

  5. Any travelers who have entered SA from high risk countries since mid-February must present themselves for testing.

  6. Increase of surveillance, screening and testing at international airports

  7. South Africa has 72 ports of entry. 35 of 53 land ports to be shut down. 2 of 8 sea port to be closed.

  8. Domestic travel by air, rail and taxi is discouraged.

  9. Gathering of more than 100 prohibited.

  10. Schools to close from 18 March to 13 April.

  11. Visits to correctional facilities suspended for 30 days

  12. Identification of isolation and quarantine sites in each district and metro

  13. Increase capacity of hospitals in each province.

  14. Increasing capacity and partnering with private sector to set up trace and track system for contacts of corona infected persons

  15. a mass campaign to educate the public

S weden Jonas Lindblad (Thursday March 19, 5:25 pm EDT) Since February 1, the provisions of The Communicable Diseases Act apply to covid-19. The Public Health Authority is authorized to decide on certain extraordinary infection control measures.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has raised the following advises: no travels at all to Iran, no travels at all to the Province of Hubei, no unnecessary travels to Italy, no unnecessary travels to other parts of China with exception of Hong Kong and Macao and no unnecessary travels to Daegu and the Province of Gyeongbuk in South Korea. The migration operations at the embassy in Tehran has been closed. No visa applications or other migration-related visits will be accepted. The decision is valid until further notice but will be reviewed in two weeks. The embassy remains otherwise open and can be reached during regular telephone hours or via email. Update 2020-03-16. Since March 14, the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expanded its advice to include all unnecessary travels (i.e. tourist and visitor trips) to all countries . The advice is valid until April 14, after which a newent will be made. Update 2020-03-19. On 17 March the Government decided to stop non-essential travel to Sweden by a temporary ban. The decision takes effect on 19 March and will initially apply for 30 days. Swedish citizens and people who are resident in Sweden will be able to return to Sweden. Nor will the entry ban apply to people who have particularly important grounds for travelling to Sweden. This includes diplomats, people in need of international protection and people who are to carry out essential functions in Sweden, such as health care professionals and people transporting goods. The entry ban applies primarily to foreign citizens attempting to enter Sweden from a country outside the EEA or from Switzerland. The entry ban does not affect travel from another EU country to Sweden. Government Resources: For questions concering the travel advises, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at +468-405 5005. The Public Health Authority has published information sheets for travelers in different languages that can be found on https://www.folkhalsomyndigheten.se/smittskydd- beredskap/utbrott/aktuella-utbrott/covid-19/informationsmaterial/Submitted off-listserv. Update 2020-03-16. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a special number for questions regarding the virus and travels (+468-405 9200). S witzerland

  1. Nina Perch-Nielsen (Wednesday March 18, 3:37 pm EDT)* A short update on the latest decision by the Swiss government in order to combat COVID-19 as well as protect the national health system:


  • Switzerland extends the entry restrictions to Spain. Only Swiss citizens, persons with a residence or cross-border permit to Switzerland and persons who have to travel to Switzerland for professional reasons or who are in a situation of absolute necessity are allowed to enter Switzerland from these five EU states (Italy, France, Germany and Austria as well as now Spain). Transit and goods traffic are also still permitted.

  • The same entry restrictions also apply from 19 March 2020, 0:00 CET to air traffic from all non- EU/EFTA countries.

  • Only the national airports in Zurich, Geneva and Basel may be used by foreigners who wish to enter Switzerland by air.

  • The Federal Council is also suspending the i ssuing of Schengen visas and national visas for third country nationals for an initial period of three months. Entry into Switzerland is now only possible for them in exceptional cases, for example to family members of Swiss citizens who require a visa and have the right to be present in Switzerland, as well as to specialists from the health sector.

  1. Michael Schermbach (Wednesday March 18, 12:16 pm EDT) Please have a look to the updates the Swiss government has just decided regarding entry in and visa for Switzerland: EU/EFTA countries: The entry from five Schengen countries (Italy, Germany, Austria, France and Spain) is only allowed to Swiss citizens, people with a residence permit in Switzerland and people who have to travel to Switzerland for professional reasons or who are in a situation absolutely necessary. Transit and goods traffic are still permitted. Non-EU EFTA countries: Switzerland will in principle no longer issue Schengen visas for 90 days. National visas are also only issued in exceptional cases, for example to family members of Swiss citizens who are subject to a visa and who have a right to be in Switzerland and to specialists in the health sector. People from high-risk countries (18th March 2020: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Spain and all non- EU/EFTA countries) who can rely on one of the exceptions are only allowed to enter Switzerland via the national airports in Zurich, Geneva and Basel. *Submitted off-listserv. T urkey Maria Celebi (Friday March 20, 7:23 am EDT) As of March 20th, below are the updates for Turkey: E NTRY RESTRICTIONS: March 19, 2020 Turkey has closed its land and sea borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Also as of yesterday, Greek and Bulgarian nationals, and those in Greece or Bulgaria within the last 14 days, are barred into Turkey. Recall the exemption for Turkish nationals and those with work or residence permits. For them, no barring but are quarantined. March 14th, 2020 : The land border between Turkey and Georgia was also closed. The Interior Ministry issued the following press release below: Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Holland - For the aforementioned countries that the Coronavirus is spreading, the Interior Ministry shared a Circular with 81 Provincial Police Departments, Provincial Gendarmerie Commands, General Directorate of Migration Directorate, 81 Provincial Governorships and Border Administrations. The circular indicates:

  2. Passenger entries from these countries to Turkey are being stopped through all border gates. (Tüm hudut kapıları –see below)

  3. Citizens of the aforementioned countries and citizens of third countries who have been in these countries within the last 14 days will not be permitted to enter Turkey as of March 14, 2018 at 08:00.

  4. There will not be any restriction to exit Turkey for the nationals of these countries.

  5. Turkish nationals’ travels to these countries have been temporarily suspended.

  6. Regarding the countries that are designated, according to the procedures and principles determined by the Ministry of Health, outlined for China, Iran, Iraq, South Korea and Italy; inspection, control, 14-day surveillance and quarantine operations will be followed when necessary.


Reference: https://www.icisleri.gov.tr/81-il-valiligi-ve-hudut-idare-mulki-amirliklerine-genelge Note: The wording “Tüm Hudut Kapıları” means all entry points from Land, Air, Railway and Sea

according to the Ministry of Commerce website: https://www.ticaret.gov.tr/gumruk-islemleri/gumruk- idareleri/hudut-kapilari/hudut-kapilari-genel-bilgiler


March 17, 2020, six countries have been added to these prohibited countries. The following countries flights to Turkey are also now banned: England, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ireland and the United Arab countries. The number of countries to which Turkey bans flights has increased to 20.

https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2020/gundem/son-dakika-saglik-bakani-kocadan-yeni-corona-aciklamasi- 5682606/


M IGRATION DIRECTORATE RESTRICTIONS:


March 19, 2020: The Migration Directorate publicly posted on their website that Residence Permit appointments for the next 30 days are automatically rescheduled to June. A calendar has been fixed so we can inform clients of the exact dates.


March 16, 2020: The Migration Directorate which oversees residence permit adjudication, Temporary Protection Status and other immigration applications, has begun to limit applications. Unfortunately the specifics will be clarified at a later date. Verbal and email communication to Bener is that appointments in Istanbul may now be cancelled without prior notice. “We have taken due precautions on preventing over crowdedness in our provincial Migration Directorates by limiting RP, international protection and other applications. We will be updating our precautions.”


M INISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS RESTRICTIONS:

Turkish consular posts around the world are so far having varied responses to the virus. Checking for most up-to-date status for posts is imperative. Posts are either:

  1. In full operation

  2. Only allowing visa filing by post or bonded courier (ie. No in-person applications)

  3. Restricted to limited appointments or fully closed to visa services

M INISTRY OF LABOR RESTRICTIONS:


March 16, 2020: A posted notice at the main gate of the MOL states that the Public Relationships Department was closed because of COVID -19 until further notice. This means that we will not be able to enter the MOL building to make queries in person on work permit cases. All queries will need to be by phone which we have found is not particularly effective. Bener has also noted a slow-down on progress of adjudications as seen by the on-line system. Cases appear to be taking longer to move through the steps of processing from upload to officer review to adjudication. Please anticipate longer timelines.

As with many countries, these changes are in flux on a daily basis.

U nited Kingdom

Chetal Patel (Friday March 20, 5:57 am EDT)

We have received the following announcement regarding the closure of USCIS Application Support Centres across the USA.

As you already may be aware, USCIS has taken the move to suspend operations across their Application Support Centre network, in an effort to limit the spread of COVID19. Full detail can be found here:

h ttps://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-response-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

As such, standard UK visa service will be unavailable to US customers for the duration of the closure. At this time and subject to change, that date is April 01. In the interim, VFS PAC locations across the US (bar SFO and Seattle) currently remain open for business and walk-in fees will be waived by VFS for customers seeking service.

V enezuela

Ricardo Maldonado, (Monday March 16, 9:44 am EDT)

Regarding the Venezuelan situations, these last days the Executive Power ordered that Colombian and Panamanian borders and flights are closed for at least 30 days. No yet Brazilian borders.

We are not receiving flights from the US and Europe, main airport could be entirely closed briefly. Yesterday, the Executive Power ordered the quarantine of seven Venezuelan states ( Caracas, Miranda, La Guaira, Cojedes, Tachira, Zulia and Apure. That means that even within the country there are restrictions.

From today, public and private entities are officially closed, as well as schools. Public gatherings are prohibited.






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