March 13, 2020

Coronavirus: the latest country reactions

In recent days we have seen a number of different tactics employed by various nations to try and contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). All of these involve controlling and / or monitoring the movement of people to varying extents.

What has changed?

The number of reported cases of Coronavirus in the UK remains relatively low, for example we are only just starting to see cancellations of large-scale events where high numbers of people will gather.
Countries that are experiencing increasing numbers of verified cases are very quickly imposing strong restrictions, such as the lockdown of all movement in and out of Italy and even between its cities.
International travel continues to be disrupted with reports emerging that due to the escalating number of cases in Europe, some countries (within and outside of the EU) are refusing entry to EU nationals.
Further to the above, on March 12th, the US Department of Homeland Security suspended the entry of most foreign nationals who have traveled from or through certain European countries (namely the Schengen zone) in the last 14 days with the general exemption of some individuals, such as legal permanent residents and immediate family members of US citizens.
In addition, there are reports of countries suspending issued visit visas regardless of nationality of the holder in order to restrict travelers.
Control of the movement of foreign nationals from within country also continues to be implemented. This week we saw Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower request that until further notice companies who have employees from mainland China on their local workforce should complete an online report concerning their employment of foreign nationals. The report includes:
  • nationality of foreign employees
  • details of foreign employees with Indonesian stay permits who are unable to return from overseas
  • foreign employees from mainland China holding expired Short Term Permits but are unable to return due to travel restrictions and the activities the company is undertaking to contain the spread of Coronavirus if detected in an employee
Who is affected?

All individuals who intend to partake in any international travel should consult the appropriate authorities for guidance on any restrictions before making their trip.

Companies should be aware of changing rules or regulations implemented in any country they operate in, to ensure they meet the requirements of the authorities in managing their workforce in relation to controlling the spread of Coronavirus.

What to expect

All international travel will be disrupted for the foreseeable future.

For further information on the impact of travel restrictions and company obligations on your local offices and employees, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team. 


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

Related Posts