While many across the world are seeking distance from zones affected by the coronavirus, the EU is making entry more difficult to stop the spread of the deadly illness in the region.
The reason for the updates on the border and visa control by the EU shadow the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmation on Monday that the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is likely to spread in the UK. He also said that for the time being, the public should go about “business as usual”.
The UK’s Action Plan
The British government has published its nation-wide action plan to combat the virus which focuses on delay tactics so that public services are not strained and daily lives are not disrupted significantly.
The plan notes that there are four phases to the outbreak: Contain, Research, Delay and Mitigate. The government assesses that the UK is currently focused on the initial two phases, however planning for the latter two phases “in train.”
The next phase, Delay, plans for closures and remote work “if and when the virus becomes established in the UK.”
Entrance into the EU/EEA
According to the European Commission, third country nationals may be refused entry after the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced that the risk to public health has risen from moderate to high. “Third county” refers to those outside the EU/EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), UK, San Marino, Monaco and Switzerland.
Obtaining European Visa
The EU has also said that the Member States can refuse an application for a short-stay visa to visa holders on grounds of threat to public health. Not posing a threat to public health is one of the conditions for obtaining a short stay visa, an entry condition under the Schengen Borders Code.
According to the Schengen Borders Code, third country nationals arriving at the EU’s external borders must not be considered a threat to public national health. In the case of the threat, the concerned individual would be “subject to health screening without prejudice to their application.”
Families are Seeking Safety and Security Fast
The demand for visa alternatives for international mobility and citizenship of safer and health prioritising countries is growing, according to CS Global Partners, a London-headquartered investor immigration agency.
“There has been a significant increase in demand for information on how to obtain second citizenship from the Caribbean,” says Paul Singh, the Director of CS Global Partners.
Caribbean nations like Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia are known for their fast processing that takes between two to four months and no residence requirement. The quick process is also pair with tough due diligence checks, he added.
Second citizenship to the listed countries allows visa-free access to much of Europe and many other countries and regions around the world.
Singh said that the outbreak has led to citizens of affected jurisdictions like China to look for a contingency plan. “One of the main reasons Chinese applicants are seeking to obtain citizenship by investment now more than ever before is to get their families to safety and security fast,” he said.
For updates on information related to COVID-19 according to each country from the EU/EEA and the UK, click here.