Vietnam suspends visas for all foreign arrivals to limit Covid-19
Starting Wednesday, Vietnam will stop issuing new visas to all foreigners in an effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The restriction applies to arrivals from all countries and territories, except for those who are eligible for visa waivers, including overseas Vietnamese and those who have to enter the country for special matters, like experts and highly-skilled workers. These people must present a statement confirming that they are free of the novel coronavirus to be allowed to enter Vietnam, and that document must be an official one released by competent authorities of the host countries and must be approved by the Vietnamese government, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a directive.
The suspension will not apply to diplomats and others entering the country on government business either. But they must follow all quarantine protocols established upon entering Vietnam.
The PM has also directed that those coming from the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asian nations will be sent to medical camps for centralized quarantine for 14 days.
The rest will be quarantined at home or other places of accommodation under supervision by local authorities.
Vietnam has already suspended entry for people coming from or through other Covid-19 hotspots like South Korea, Iran, Italy and, most recently, the U.K. and the Schengen area except for those who come for diplomatic or other special reasons.
As of Tuesday, the nation had recorded 66 Covid-19 infections, 50 of them since March 6, prior to which the nation had gone 22 days without a new case. The previous 16 patients have been discharged from hospitals.
The Covid-19 outbreak has spread to 165 countries and territories, claiming more than 7,400 lives.