(This article is being updated continuously. It was originally published on January 28, 2020, but last updated on February 10, 2020)
Australia Closes Borders for Chinese Arrivals
The Australian Border Force has announced that as of February 1, the government has ordered the ABF to enhance border measures in order to reduce the risk of more infected people with Coronavirus entering the country.
As a result, the National Security Committee agreed to grant the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force with the powers of making decisions regarding the arrival of foreigners transiting Australia at the time of the announcement.
So far, a considerable number of people have had their visas canceled upon arrival in Australia, as upon examination they turned out to be ineligible to enter due to the new tightened entry rules. In addition, Australian citizens that were in China, or transited recently now have to be quarantined for two weeks, after the first case of Coronavirus-infected person in Australia was reported on January 25.
United States Shut Down Traveling to & From China
The US is among the most powerful world countries to impose a ban on all Chinese citizens and travelers who visited China recently regardless of their nationality.
The move was taken in a bid to prevent a further spread of the virus in the United States after at least 11 cases of infected people have already been detected.
American, Delta, and United have suspended all flights between China and the United States in the framework of the ban.
The US authorities have announced that American citizens and green-card holders who have been in the Hubei province within the last two weeks, the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak, would have to be quarantined for 14 days, in order to be permitted to enter and stay in the United States.
A new report on the impact of Coronavirus on the tourism industry in the US shows that visitors coming to the United States from China could drop by as much as 28 percent this year.
Guatemala Restricts Entry for Travelers from China
Authorities in Guatemala have decided to restrict from entering the territory of the country nationals of China, and all recent travelers to Mainland China, in the light of Coronavirus outbreak.
The move was announced by the Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei himself, who said that anybody who had been in China in the previous 15 days would be banned from entering the country, from any port of entry.
“The purpose is to shield Guatemala from Coronavirus,” Giammattei, a trained doctor, said.
He also pointed out that crews on ships arriving in Guatemalan ports that have been in China during the previous 15 days would not be allowed to enter either, while crew members would immediately be quarantined.
Chinese Tourists Can No Longer Apply for Vietnam Visas Over Coronavirus Concerns
The Vietnamese government has decided to stop granting visas to Chinese tourists, as the country detected three new cases of Coronavirus.
“The outbreak is spreading rapidly, and in a serious manner,” the government said in a statement explaining the measures taken.
Vietnam Airlines have also suspended its flights to mainland China, as well as all flights between Hanoi and Hong Kong.
Bangladesh Postpones Visas-On-Arrival for Chinese Visitors
The Bangladeshi government has decided to suspend the issuance of on-arrival visas for visitors from China, until further notice, in a bid tackle a possible spreading of the Coronavirus in the country.
The decision was announced by the Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen last on Sunday, also said that Chinese citizens now have to apply to the Bangladesh missions for visas, while presenting with medical certificates from the appropriate authorities.
Russia Suspends Tourist and Work Visas for Chinese Nationals
Russia has joined the list of countries banning Chinese nationals for applying for visas or entering their territory.
By the end of the last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced it was suspending visa issuance to Chinese citizens in a bid to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus to its territory.
According to a statement of the Ministry, citizens of the People’s Republic of China will be temporarily suspended from issuing electronic visas to enter the Russian Federation through border checkpoints located in the Far East and the Kaliningrad region, as well as through air, sea, road and pedestrian checkpoints located in the territories of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region from January 30
A government order instructed the Russian Interior Ministry to stop granting invitations for Chinese people to work in Russia, and the Foreign Ministry to stop issuing work visas.
France Aside, All Schengen Members Close Their Visa Offices in China
After the Czech Republic, the rest of the Schengen countries have all followed, closing their visa application centers in China, thus halting visa issuance,
The decision has been announced by the visa centers, most of which will remain closed at least until February 7th, though the decision is subject to change in case the situation does not improve.
“The re-opening of the centers may change, subject to further notifications from central, provincial and city authorities,” VFS Global, responsible for visa processing for most Schengen countries in China, announces.
France remains the only Schengen member state that so far has only announced the closing of the Wuhan Visa Application Centre.
New Zealand Places Entry Restrictions for All Foreigners Travelling From or Transiting Mainland China
New Zealand has also taken measures to prevent the deadly Coronavirus from reaching its territory, by placing temporary entry restrictions to all Chinese nationals, and not only.
A press release of the New Zealand Government has announced it is placing entry restrictions to all foreign nationals traveling from, or transiting mainland China to assist with the containment of the deadly Coronavirus.
“Any foreign travelers who leave or transit mainland China after 2 February 2020 New Zealand time will be refused entry to New Zealand,” a press release of Immigration NZ reads.
Exempt from this decision are only New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family members.
In addition, the Immigration New Zealand’s Beijing office will be temporarily closed until a further decision.
Czech Republic Becomes First EU Member to Halt Visa Issuance in China
The Czech Republic is the first country in Europe to stop granting visas in China, as of Wednesday.
The decision was made known by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomas Petricek, who told local reporters that the Czech Republic is no longer accepting visa applications in China due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
“Our visa centers in China are closed at the moment,” he said on Thursday, adding that in fact, the Czech Republic suspended the issuing of the visas a day before, on January 29.
Canada Closes Visa Offices in China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Canada is the latest country to stop granting a visa to Chinese nationals and residents, after it temporarily closed its visa application centers across China and canceled appointments, due to the continuously increasing number of Coronavirus-affected cases.
The company tasked with processing visa applications to Canada in China has been told by the authorities to close all of its 11 centers in China at least until Monday.
The centers are located in Beijing, Shenyang, Jinan, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Kunming, and Wuhan. The last one is the city in Hubei province, the epicenter of the new Coronavirus outbreak.
Wuhan virus: Singapore and Philippines impose entry and visa restrictions for people from Hubei
Two more countries have announced travel restrictions for Chinese nationals in a bid to control the spreading of Coronavirus into their territories.
After Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, the three first countries restricting visas for Chinese nationals, the Philippines followed by suspending the issuance of visas on arrival to Chinese nationals, in a bid to ensure the country remains free of the virus.
“We are taking this proactive measure to slow down travel, and possibly help prevent the entry of the Virus,” said the commissioner of the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration Jaime Morente.
Immediately after the Philippines, the Singaporean authorities have announced they will stop entry or transit for new visitors who have traveled to the Hubei region in China within the last two weeks, as well as holders of Chinese passports granted in Hubei.
The restrictions started applying today, as the Ministry of Health announced the number of cases infected with the virus in Singapore has reached 10. Cases have also been confirmed in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Nepal, and the United States.
Three Asian Countries Restrict Visas for Chinese Citizens Due to Coronavirus
Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka are the three first countries that have moved to restrict visas for Chinese nationals after an outbreak of the Coronavirus in the world’s most populous country.
Malaysia was the first to make a move on Monday, January 27, suspending the granting of visas to all residents of the Hubei province in China.
Through a press release of the Prime Minister’s Office, Malaysia announced that immigration privileges such as entry without a visa, visa on arrival, e-visa and manual visa will be temporarily suspended for Chinese nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province until further notice.
At the same time, Sri Lanka decided to suspend granting visas on arrival to Chinese citizens after Sri Lankan health authorities detected the first person with Coronavirus in the country, who was a woman coming from China.
“She arrived on January 19 and was tested positive for the virus when she was leaving the airport on January 25. She was admitted to the infectious diseases hospital,” the chief epidemiologist of Sri Lanka Sudath Suraweera announced on Tuesday.
Unlike Malaysia, Sri Lanka has not suspended all visa types to Chinese nationals. Instead, Chinese passport holders wishing to enter Malaysia now have to apply through the online portal of the government.
Kazakhstan as well has decided to stop granting visas on arrival to Chinese nationals due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
The Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Shukhrat Nuryshev told local reporters that while there are no plans to completely close the border with neighboring China, its authorities will require medical certificates from Chinese citizens seeking visas to Kazakhstan.
All three countries have nationals living in China, and currently trying to bring them back home, while attempting to not trigger an outbreak of the virus in their own territories.
The government of Kazakhstan has asked Beijing to allow 98 Kazakh students to leave the city of Wuhan, which has been locked down as the epicenter of the outbreak.
Moreover, there are about 1,400 Kazakhs currently in China, about half of which tourists at the resorts of Hainan.
Whereas Sri Lanka has already returned about 65 of its nationals in China, all of them students, on Monday. About 204 Sri Lankan students have been evacuated so far, while another flight is scheduled to leave on Tuesday.
The spread of the Coronavirus has so far claimed 81 lives and infected more than 2,700 people, half of which are from the region of Hubei.