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US State Department Suspends Visa Services in 'Most Countries' Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanVisa applicants wait to enter the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, Thursday, July 26, 2018
Visa applicants wait to enter the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, Thursday, July 26, 2018 - Sputnik International
A US State Department spokesperson told Reuters Wednesday that US missions abroad will continue to provide emergency visa services "as resources allow," but had no time frame for when normal services will resume.

The US State Department announced Wednesday that routine visa services in most countries would be suspended, but diplomatic missions would continue to offer emergency services as required.

​On Sunday, the State Department issued a blanket Level 3 Health Advisory on global travel, advising Americans to "reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19."

"Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice," the notice read. The day prior, the department authorized US personnel and family members at all US diplomatic and consular posts to return to the US if they have been determined to be at a higher risk for the effects of the novel coronavirus, which attacks the respiratory system.

The US has banned travel to and from many countries in response to the pandemic, including the European Union, United Kingdom, Mexico, China and others.

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