Vietnam’s borders will remain shut to foreign tourists, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said while addressing a meeting on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic in Hanoi on Wednesday afternoon.
PM Phuc reaffirmed the guiding viewpoint of fending off a second COVID-19 wave in order to pursue the dual goal of pandemic containment and economic recovery at the meeting.
The Southeast Asian country will continue to uphold its entry ban on foreign visitors as the government attaches importance to the protection of public health over fears that the second wave of virus infections developing worldwide could hit Vietnam, the prime minister said.
Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22 and suspended international flights from March 25 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the government has opened borders to foreign experts, skilled laborers, and investors to reboot the economy. These entrants have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
Vietnam has also arranged flights to repatriate citizens stranded abroad due to COVID-19.
PM Phuc asked to further increase the number of these flights to bring back Vietnamese citizens, as well as foreign experts, skilled laborers, and investors to Vietnam.
Relevant authorities were tasked with issuing clearer procedures to facilitate the entry of foreign experts, skilled laborers, and investors who shall be quarantined in flexible manners.
The head of government also called for sustaining a high level of vigilance and paying greater attention to the deployment of proactive, precautionary measures despite the fact that the nation is keeping the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
On the topic of resuming commercial international flights, the prime minister asked for careful consideration to ensure that there will be no infections imported from these flights.
He also requested that the Ministry of Public Security offer guidance to agencies on inviting, welcoming, and guaranteeing arrivals to Vietnam so that the procedures of visa issuance can be done quickly and conveniently.
Vietnam had recorded 352 COVID-19 patients, including 329 recovered cases, as of Thursday morning, according to the Ministry of Health's data.
From April to June 22, the country received 42 flights carrying 9,760 arrivals, including 9,109 Vietnamese citizens and 651 foreigners, all of whom were placed under quarantine upon entry, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.