U.S. suspends visa services amid COVID-19 pandemic

The United States on Friday suspended all routine visa services around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. embassies and consulates will however still consider emergency visas so long as they have adequate staff, the State Department said.

“In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all US embassies and consulates,” a travel advisory said.

The State Department had already earlier this week suspended visa services at most posts overseas, but Friday’s order was global.

The U.S. earlier this month imposed travel restrictions against most of Europe in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 into its borders.

The ban came as the World Health Organization announced Europe as the current epicenter of the outbreak.

Italy has recorded the mot number of covid-19 deaths, with more than 3,400 fatalities.

In its advisory on Friday, the State Department urged all Americans overseas to head back home if they can.