As part of the UK’s effort to combat coronavirus, doctors, nurses and paramedics will automatically have their visas extended, free of charge, for one year.

The extension, which was announced by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, will apply to around 2,800 migrant doctors, nurses and paramedics, employed by the National Health Service (NHS) whose visa is due to expire before 1 October.

According to the government, the extension will also apply to NHS workers’ family members.

“By giving them the peace of mind that they do not need to apply for a visa extension, this will allow those at the frontline – working around the clock in hospitals to treat the most seriously ill – to focus fully on combatting coronavirus and saving lives,” the government said in a statement.

“Doctors, nurses and paramedics from all over the world are playing a leading role in the NHS’s efforts to tackle coronavirus and save lives. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for all that they do,” Patel said.

“I don’t want them distracted by the visa process. That is why I have automatically extended their visas – free of charge – for a further year,” she added.

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