March 10, 2020
Visa tips

Vietnam Suspends Visa-free Travel for 8 European Countries Over Coronavirus Concerns

Last Monday 09 Mar 2020, the government of Vietnam has announced that they are temporarily suspending visa-free travel from eight European countries. This is amid the growing concerns over the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The visa-free temporary suspension applies to the citizens of the following European countries – Spain, France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. This list was published on the Vietnam government’s website.

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

It was early January of this year when the coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, a city of China’s Hubei province. To date, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has surpassed 100,000 and more than 4,000 cases have resulted in death. Efforts to contain and prevent the spread of the virus have led to restrictions and interruptions of travel worldwide.

In Vietnam, the country’s civil aviation authority has decided to suspend all flights between Vietnam and Mainland China. Travelers from countries that have reported cases of the coronavirus are required to submit a health declaration form upon entry to the country.

Vietnam has also closed the land border it shares with China, which is located in Lang Son, in the country’s northern province. Since South Korea has also reported a growing number of COVID-19 cases, Vietnam has also decided to temporarily suspend some flights coming from the country. Furthermore, all foreign visitors to Vietnam who have been to Daegu City in South Korea, which is where the most number of confirmed coronavirus cases are from, will also be denied entry into the country.

Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus Patients in Vietnam

Vietnam’s first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were discovered last January 23rd. Currently, there are 30 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Vietnam while 100 are under quarantine for showing signs and symptoms. And according to the country’s health ministry, there were 16 patients who have recovered from the virus.

Vietnam’s decision to temporarily suspend some European travelers from entering was a result of the growing number of recorded cases in the country. Over the weekend, there were 14 new cases that have been recorded. Of these, 11 have visited Europe in the past few weeks.

These patients came from a Vietnam Airlines flight carrying more than 200 passengers. Such flight has 12 flight attendants and 4 pilots. It came from London and arrived in Hanoi Airport last March 2. Upon tracing, it was found that these passengers have gone to the various provinces of Vietnam, which is pretty alarming. The government is now contacting passengers who were on that same flight.

Furthermore, the Vietnam government has added that they may impose the same measures to some other foreign visitors coming from other countries. This is especially applicable to countries that have more than 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Earlier, the country has temporarily halted visa-free travel for South Koreans and Italian visitors. Both countries have recorded hundreds of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Medical Checks and Quarantines

All foreign visitors who have come from countries that have the most number of confirmed coronavirus cases are required to carry medical declarations when entering Vietnam. These are passengers who have transited or visited Mainland China, Hong Kong, Italy, South Korea, and Iran.

Starting March 7, all foreign travelers entering Vietnam must submit a health declaration form upon entry. They can fill out the form at the airport or submit the form online. Anyone who is showing symptoms of coronavirus will also be asked to undergo medical checks. The person will also be placed under quarantine for 14 days at the designated health facilities in the country.

All visitors are expected to comply with the regulations. This is to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

Flight Changes As a Result of COVID-19 in Vietnam

Since February 1st, all flights coming from and going to Mainland China from Vietnam have been suspended indefinitely. This was according to the mandate of Vietnam’s Civil Administration. Furthermore, flights that connect to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan remain operational with several airlines offering discounted rates.

Both Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines have suspended flights between Vietnam and South Korea. Meanwhile, other airlines have lowered the number of flights in and out of South Korea. Jetstar Pacific has also suspended flights from Da Nang to Taipei and Kaohsiung starting last March 5. Vietjet has also halted flight between South Korea and Vietnam.

It is not yet clear as to when the flights will be back to normal. The government has also not revealed until when the travel restriction will be imposed. It’s worth noting that other European nationalities that were not on the list mentioned are still allowed to visit Vietnam. However, they must undergo the proper medical procedures upon arriving in the country. They must also be honest with the information they provide on the health declaration forms.

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