Vietnam will temporarily suspend visa-free travel for Italians from Tuesday due to concerns about the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The government of Vietnam has decided to temporarily suspend visa exemption for citizens from Italy from March 3 amid fast rising COVID-19 infections in the European country,” the government said in a news release on Monday.
The decision was made during a meeting of the steering committee for the prevention of the COVID-19 on Monday.
According to current regulations, Italian citizens are not required to apply for a visa if their stay in Vietnam is less than 15 days.
Italy is one of 13 countries currently benefiting from Vietnam’s unilateral visa exemption program with a duration of stay not exceeding 15 days, the government said on its verified Facebook account on Monday.
Vietnam said on Friday it would suspend visa-free travel for South Koreans starting on Saturday, February 29, to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
The COVID-19 has killed 3,053 people and infected over 89,000 globally since it first hit the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, according to the South China Morning Post.
Italy has the third largest number of COVID-19 patients, following mainland China and South Korea, with 1,694 confirmed cases as of Monday.
A total of 34 people have been killed by the disease in the European country.
Vietnam has so far confirmed 16 cases of the viral infection, including 13 Vietnamese, one Vietnamese American, and two Chinese.
All of them have fully recovered and have been discharged from the hospital.
The country has reported no new cases since February 13.