Vietnam has decided to suspend its visa issuance to all foreigners for 30 days to deal with the increasingly serious epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The suspension started at 00:00 on Wednesday, March 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Tuesday.
People who are exempt from a visa will be required to submit documents proving they have tested negative for COVID-19 issued by an authorized agency and accepted by Vietnam in order to enter the Southeast Asian country.
The same rule will be applied to those who possess visa exemption certificates, which are issued for overseas Vietnamese and their family members, and to special cases, namely specialists, business managers, and skilled workers.
All people entering the country must undergo medical checks and follow epidemic preventive measures as required.
All the above measures do not apply to those entering Vietnam for diplomatic and official duties.
Aside from arrivals that are already subject to isolation, people arriving from the U.S., European countries, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will also be required to stay in quarantine camps.
Those who are not required to stay in quarantine camps must self-isolate and be put under medical monitoring at their houses, enterprises, and accommodation facilities.
The prime minister has tasked the Ministry of National Defense and authorities in all provinces and cities with preparing more quarantine facilities to get ready for the upcoming time.
The country will continue to keep a close watch on the situation and coordinate with other countries and international organizations to timely adjust its epidemic prevention measures.
The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 198,100 people and killed more than 7,900 globally as of Wednesday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics.
Vietnam has announced 67 COVID-19 cases to date, 16 of whom had fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital by February 26.
Among the 51 active cases being treated, 18 are foreigners, including 13 Britons and one each from Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and France.