Following the Czech Republic’s example, all Schengen Member Countries but France, have halted the admission of Schengen Visa applications and visa issuance, in the light of the current Coronavirus alert.
The embassies and consulates of 25 Schengen countries have closed their visa application centers, announcing that they will be closed at least until Monday, February 3, though chances are this period will be extended amid the worsening of the situation.
“However, the re-opening of the centers may change, subject to further notifications from central, provincial and city authorities. We apologies for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and kind co-operation,” reads a notice by the VFS Global, which processes visa applications in China for most Schengen countries.
SchengenVisaInfo.com has reported on Wednesday that the European Union was preparing to tighten entry conditions for Chinese nationals and those who have traveled to China in recent months, in a bid to prevent the situation from getting out of control.
“The block has already decided to activate the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, but if the virus keeps spreading at the current tempo, the EU may introduce entry restrictions by the end of the week to Chinese nationals and recent visitors to mainland China,” a source had confirmed.
According to this source, the suspension of visa issuance for the nationals of a few countries in addition to China is also an option if the situation does not improve for the better.
So far, the Schengen Members are planning to reopen their visa centers in China as follows:
- Austria – February 3, 2020
- Belgium – February 3, 2020
- Czech Republic- February 17, 2020
- Denmark – February 10, 2020
- Estonia – February 3, 2020
- Finland – February 9, 2020
- Germany- February 10, 2020
- Greece – February 9, 2020
- Hungary – February 9, 2020
- Iceland – February 10, 2020
- Italy – February 9, 2020
- Latvia – February 10, 2020
- Liechtenstein – February 3, 2020
- Lithuania – February 10, 2020
- Luxembourg – February 9, 2020
- Malta – February 10, 2020
- Netherlands – February 9, 2020
- Norway – February 3, 2020
- Poland – February 10, 2020
- Portugal – February 10, 2020
- Slovakia – February 3, 2020
- Slovenia – February 9, 2020
- Spain – February 7, 2020
- Sweden – February 10, 2020
- Switzerland – February 3, 2020
As per France, so far it has only announced the closing of the Wuhan Visa Application Centre.