Starting today (Wednesday) the Vietnamese government will stop issuing new visas for all foreign nationals in order to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Vietnam had thought it had escaped the COVID-19 virus, after declaring that 16 people infected with the virus had recovered, but after an airline brought into the country Vietnamese and international visitors who had contracted the virus, the country has seen more than 50 new infections confirmed.
The new visa restrictions will apply to visitors 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.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in an official directive that people who are eligible for visa waivers 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 approved by the Vietnamese government.
The Prime Ministers directive also said that people coming from Europe, Southeast Asian nations and the United States, will be sent to medical camps for centralized quarantine for 14 days.
People from other countries, will be quarantined at either their homes or at other places that are under the direct supervision by local health authorities.
Vietnam has already suspended entry for people coming from or through other COVID-19 countries that are considered “hot spots.” This includes China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea.
As of Tuesday, Vietnam had 66 COVID-19 infections. Fifty of these infections have been identified since March 6, after a number of people arriving by international airline were identified to have the virus. The previous 16 patients have been discharged from hospitals.