Vietnam suspends visa-waiver program to South Korea due to Covid-19 spreading

By Hoai An - Mar 01, 2020 | 02:55 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERSouth Korean citizens who want to enter Vietnam will have to obtain a suitable visa type issued by Vietnam.

The government of Vietnam has decided to suspend the visa exemption for Korean nationals starting from 0:00 on February 29 amid soaring new cases of the coronavirus infection in South Korea. The decision was announced on Friday morning at the meeting of the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control.

All incoming travelers from South Korea or have travel record to South Korea shall be subjected to mandatory 14-day isolation. The citizens from the country who want to enter Vietnam will have to obtain a suitable visa type issued by Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the number of flights between Vietnam and South Korea has decreased 60 – 70 per cent due to the reduction of passengers and most of the domestic airlines are considering temporary suspension of flights between the two countries.

Until now, Bamboo Airways is the only Vietnam’s airline to suspend the operation Vietnam – South Korea routes. Other ones are still maintaining some routes to South Korea but with lower flight frequency.

Starting earlier this week, everyone coming from South Korea to Vietnam is required to make health declarations and those having symptoms like high fever, coughing and shortness of breathing will be placed in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

The Steering Committee also urged all local authorities to carry out mandatory 14-day medical isolation for nationals of Iran and Italy entering Vietnam. They are requested to continue closely monitoring any suspected cases who are in medical isolation in the community.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who leads the Committee, tasked competent authorities to strictly control the borderlines and incoming travelers as well as implement drastic measures for early detection and isolation of those suspected of contracting the virus.

As of Saturday morning, more than 85,000 people infected coronavirus in 54 countries and territories while the death toll rose to over 2,900. In South Korea alone, there are nearly 600 new cases confirmed, making the total cases reach about 3,000. The country has become a new hotspot of Covid-19 epidemic recent days.