Czech Republic no longer granting visas to Chinese nationals

The Czech Republic has become the first Schengen country to stop granting visas to Chinese nationals.

Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told journalists the Czech Republic had suspended the issuing of visas on January 29 and Czech visa centres in China were closed until further notice.

The minister also confirmed that negotiations were underway on further measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus to this country.

In a related development, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday evening that unless negotiations with partner states to try to get Czech nationals out of Wuhan produced results by Saturday, the Czech Republic would send a government plane for them. The Czech Republic has five Czech nationals in the city who wish to return home.