January 31, 2020
Visa tips

Traveling to Vietnam Amid the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

The 2019-nCoV coronavirus has become one of the biggest threats in the travel industry not only in Vietnam but around the world as well. It has so far affected various sectors in the industry, including aviation, hospitality, tourism, tours, etc. In the midst of all this, you might probably find yourself wondering about visa application to Vietnam. Will this affect the process of obtaining a visa to the country, especially if you are from Mainland China, which is where the coronavirus started? Read on to find out.

Vietnam Visa Application for Chinese Passport Holders

Now that there’s an outbreak of coronavirus, Chinese passport holders or those who are citizens of Mainland China are not yet permitted to apply for a visa to Vietnam. This applies to both Visa on Arrival and E-visa.

In an effort to protect its citizens and prevent the spread of the virus, the government of Vietnam has temporarily stopped the issuance of visas to Chinese visitors. This was according to the statement released by the government last Thursday, January 30th. According to the statement, the outbreak has been spreading very rapidly in a serious manner. This is truly unfortunate since the Chinese tourists account for one-third of the number of foreign visitors who came to Vietnam last year.

The Health Ministry of Vietnam has revealed that two Chinese citizens who came to Vietnam last week were tested positive for the virus, although the other one has since recovered.

Exemptions to the Visa Issuance Rule

Take note that the Vietnam Government has only stopped the issuance of visas to Chinese visitors who came from Mainland China. Citizens of Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, as well as the British National Overseas can still apply for the Visa on Arrival to Vietnam. However, they will not be granted the e-visa option anymore.

This means that if you belong from any of the countries mentioned, the only way you can enter Vietnam this time is to get a Visa on Arrival. With this visa option, you will have to request a pre-approval letter online and claim your visa as you arrive at the airport. However, you will only be given the visa if you can show proof that you did not come from China, especially in Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

As of the moment, Vietnam is not accepting any flight coming from Mainland China. All foreign passengers who have been to China, whether you are Chinese or not, will be prohibited from entering the country.

Coronavirus Is Spreading Rapidly

All over the world, countries have started to isolate hundreds of citizens who were evacuated from China, especially from the city of Wuhan in an effort to prevent the spread of the epidemic. The virus has already killed hundreds of people and it continues to spread at a worrying rate. This has already caused a huge impact on the tourism industry, which is one of the biggest economies in the world.

Vietnam’s Health Ministry has also revealed that the latest suspected patients who have recently returned from Wuhan are already under observation. Two of them are already being treated in an undisclosed hospital in Hanoi. Another one is also being given treatment at a hospital in Thanh Hoa, in Vietnam’s northern province.

Vietnam has also closed most of the borders that connect the country to China. In the border at Lang Son, the import and export of goods to and from China have been temporarily halted until February 9.

Arriving at the Airports of Vietnam

Just like with most of the International Airports in the world, Vietnam’s airports have canceled all flights coming from Wuhan. Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority has sent a directive last Thursday to the Vietnam Aviation Dept. for all flights coming from Wuhan to be canceled. This is applicable to both foreign and local airlines.

Furthermore, the country’s aviation authority has stated that it has instructed the relevant agencies and authorities to get in touch with the China Civil Aviation Authority in order to be updated on the latest situation in the country. They have also suggested for the proper authorities to carry out proper quarantine procedures and disease control especially for flights arriving in Vietnam coming from China and other locations.

In line with this, all arriving passengers who are suspected of having fever have to be quarantined and checked to make sure that they are not carrying the virus with them. The government also advised tourist guides to be vigilant with the health of the tourists on their tour and to inform the local health authorities of Vietnam in case they have observed any symptoms of the disease. Some of the most common symptoms are cough, runny nose, fever, and difficulty in breathing.


Myanmar and Vietnam are two of the most popular countries to visit in Southeast Asia these days. Both countries are rich in historical and cultural attractions.

Here’s good news to foreign travelers visiting Vietnam. The country has now extended its visa exemption program for citizens of 13 more countries.

Recently, Vietnam’s National Assembly has called for an amendment to the current immigration law of the country (New Immigration Law of Vietnam). And for the first time, Vietnam’s Immigration has finally allowed foreign visitors to change their status while still in the country.

From 01 Feb, 2019, Vietnam Immigration Department has added more 35 countries to the Vietnam e-visa program, including Hong Kong (China) and Macau (China). But until now the Vietnam e-visa system is just updated for old version of Hong Kong passport – passport number starts with letter “K”.

From 01 Feb, 2019, Citizens of Hong Kong can apply for Vietnam eVisa online. Below is everything you need to know about Vietnam eVisa for citizens of Hong Kong (China).