Irish ambassador urges people on J1 visas in the US to return home
An urgent plea.
Ireland's Ambassador to the United States has urged those who are currently in the country on J1 visas to return home as soon as possible.
Daniel Mulhall posted a video on his Twitter page urging people to return to Ireland, saying that people affected should contact their airline immediately.
He said: "I know how important the J1 experience is because I was a J1 visa visitor when I was a student, and I really enjoyed and benefited from the experience of living in Kansas City.
"I know how reluctant you will be to alter your plans and go back to Ireland, but in the current circumstances our best advice to you is that you should go back to Ireland."
As it stands, there are still flights going to Ireland from a number of US cities.
Advice to Irish J1 visa holders in the USA. I spent a summer in Kansas City & know how enjoyable and beneficial an experience it is. In current circumstances, the best advice I can give you is to return home as soon as you can. Contact your airline about flight options. pic.twitter.com/5nO6je8tdF
— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) March 30, 2020
Earlier in March, the US temporarily suspended the J1 summer visa programme for applicants as a result of the global pandemic.
The US now has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, according to research by Johns Hopkins University, with the death toll now having exceeded 3,000.
Mulhall's plea comes hours after the Governor of Virginia issued a stay-at-home order until 10 June.