Sanwar Ali: Coronavirus latest restrictions and visa update

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By Sanwar Ali

There are few restrictions on travel within the European Union   However, there are more and more restrictions at airports around the World.  Travellers who have recently visited China, Italy and other areas hardest hit by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) are being denied entry in certain Countries.  Cases of Covid-19 have now been confirmed in 58 countries and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have published details of restrictions on their website. 

Ban on entry for those who have recently visited China (usually in the last 14 to 28 days)

The following Countries have a complete ban:

Australia, Bahamas, many Caribbean islands, India, Indonesia, Japan, Madagascar, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Turkey, USA and Vietnam, among others.

Ban on entry of anyone who has visited Italy in the last 14 days

The following Countries have a complete ban:

Cook Islands, Fiji, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, St Lucia and Seychelles, among others.

UK taking Coronavirus preventative measures

There is no complete ban in the UK.  However, following advice from Public Health England (PHE) a number of steps have been taken at airports to monitor those arriving from China.  PHE says that they want to make sure that people know what to do if they have symptoms.  There are also people based at Heathrow to help those who feel sick.

Donald Trump administration taking action on Coronavirus in the US

The United States has banned entry of recent travellers to China.  In addition, the Center for Disease control has increased screening at 20 airports.   Anyone who is feeling feverish, coughing or has difficulty breathing will undergo a health checkup.

At a recent White House news conference in the US,  President Trump mentioned the first death in the US in Washington State and preventative steps being taken by the US.   Vice President Mike Pence mentioned that the US has issued a “do not travel” warning to parts of Italy, South Korea that have been affected by the outbreak.

The United States is also barring all travel to Iran, and have barred entry to any foreign citizen who has visited Iran in the last 14 days. There will also be screenings of travelers coming from Italy and South Korea.

Recently Trump offered to help Iran:

“If we can help the Iranians, we have the greatest health care professionals in the world,” he said, adding that “we would love to be able to help them.”

US Food and Drug Administration FDA allowing laboratories to run tests

Recently the FDA announced that that it was allowing  American laboratories to develop their own coronavirus tests.   This should allow treatments to become available more quickly.  If evidence is provided that treatment works then private companies can use them immediately.  It will not be necessary to for the FDA to review and issue approvals.

Action being taken by other Countries

Those travelling to the UAE, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea will face screening.  The type of screening will depend on the Country of origin of the flight.  Due to the extent of the outbreak other Countries are also taking steps to control the outbreak.