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COVID-19: Latest Travel and Immigration Disruption [Updated 20 August 2020]

Please click here for the latest and fullest information we have on travel restrictions, immigration restrictions and immigration concessions around the world.

This information is updated daily at 11am BST (7am EST) and 5.30pm BST (1.30pm EST).

Today's changes are as follows:


  • Immigration authorities have started to approve Special Entry Permits for non-resident foreign nationals performing on essential activities as detailed in decree NUD 297/2020 dated 19 March 2020.
    • However, the issuance of visas is at the discretion of the relevant consulate, which might not issue a visa even supported by a Special Entry Permit – this should be checked with the relevant consulate on a case-by-case basis.
  • Residence documents issued by the Immigration Office expiring from 17 March onwards are now automatically extended until 17 September. Foreign nationals in this situation will not be penalised and existing interviews will be rescheduled.


  • Effective 12 August, non-resident foreign nationals are again permitted to enter Armenia by air, and flights have resumed.
  • Visa on arrival is suspended – all visas must now be obtained via consulates.
  • All arrivals are subject to a health screening at the airport and must have health insurance covering COVID-19.
  • Upon entry, all foreign visitors are subject to a 14-day self-isolation, with an option to exit the quarantine early if they take a COVID-19 PCR test at their place of isolation and obtain a negative result.
  • Land borders with Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia are closed for non-essential traffic.

Costa Rica

  • Effective 1 September, the United States is added to the list of countries from which international visitors are permitted to enter Costa Rica.
    • Only US citizens and residents from one of the following six states will be permitted to enter entry: New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut
    • Arrivals from the US must meet the below requirements and, in addition, present a driving licence to prove they live in one of the permitted six states.


  • Effective 20 August:
    • the Romanian county of Vâlcea and the Croatian counties of Šibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia have been added to the list of “risk areas”;
    • Luxembourg and the Romanian counties of Ialomita, Mehedinți and Timis are no longer considered risk areas.


  • All flights coming from Israel are only permitted to land at Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Corfu airports.
  • Effective 17 August, permanent residents of Israel will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival.


  • Non-resident visitors, aged 12 and over, who are residents of high-risk locations are required to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test within 10 days prior to travel, at an accredited facility in the country of residence.
    • Effective 20 August, a copy of the test result must be uploaded as part of the Travel Authorisation application. This is already in effect for residents of Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas in the USA.


  • Effective immediately, the Kenyan government has expanded to 130 its list of countries from where travellers are exempt from quarantine.


  • Effective 12 August 2020, individuals seeking to enter Luxembourg by air, whose travel does not originate from an EU member country or one of the countries exempted by the European Union (Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay), must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered less than 48 hours before departure, at the time of boarding.

New Zealand

  • Effective 12 August, all transit passengers must transit New Zealand in less than 12 hours, must remain airside, and cannot enter New Zealand. They can only transit Auckland International Airport.
  • Effective 17 August, partners and dependent children whose visas expire between 17 August and 31 December will have their visas automatically extended by six months.
    • If a dependent partner or child has already made an application for a dependent visa, they can withdraw this application and request a refund.
    • Visa holders or their advisors will receive an email from INZ by 25 August, confirming their visa extension.
    • INZ provides an online Visa Verification Service here.


  • Effective 22 August, Austria, Greece, Ireland and the United Kingdom are added to the list of EEA/Schengen countries and regions with a higher infection rate, from which travellers may enter Norway but are subject to a ten-day quarantine. The list is as follows: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and parts of Denmark and Sweden.

South Africa

  • Effective 18 August, South Africa’s lockdown is downgraded to level 2. However, VFS Global visa application centres (VACs) and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) offices are still offering only limited services.
  • The VACs are still only allowing the collection of visa, permit and related application outcomes which were submitted prior to the lockdown.
  • DHA offices are only offering the following services:
    • Registration of births;
    • Reissue of birth certificates;
    • Late registrations of birth (by appointment only);
    • Marriage services;
    • Issuance of Death Certificates;
    • Issuance of temporary identity certificates;
    • Collection of identity documents;
    • Issuance of passports, which is limited to citizens involved in the cross-border transportation of essential goods and medicines.

United Kingdom

  • Effective 4am on 22 August:
    • Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and Tobago are removed from the travel corridor list, and travellers from these countries are no longer exempt from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
    • Portugal is added to the travel corridor list. Travellers from Portugal will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

United States

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended until 19 September its temporary deferral of the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for employers who have transitioned to telework only for their workforce. This exception will not apply for employers for whom there are any employees physically present at a work location.

Disclaimer: We have aggregated information about some immigration-related restrictions imposed by some countries in response to this situation. The guide above contains information abridged from laws and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.