|A health worker at Hà Nội's Nội Bài international checks passengers' medical declaration forms before immigration. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's foreign ministry announced today the country will suspend entries for tourists from countries in the Schengen area or the UK starting March 15, in light of the spike of coronavirus cases and deaths in European nations, sparking concern they might be the next epicentre of the outbreak.
In a notice posted on its website, the ministry noted that "COVID-19 has been spreading swiftly in a complex manner on a large scale across the world", prompting Việt Nam's decision to temporarily suspend entry for tourist who come from the Schengen countries and/or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or have visited or transited through these areas within 14 days preceding their expected entry into Việt Nam.
Visa upon arrival for all foreign nationals will also be suspended.
"This decision will be effective from 12:00 (noon), 15 March 2020 for 30 days, and not be applicable to entrants for diplomatic or official purposes," the notice on the website said.
Foreigners who are experts, business managers, highly-skilled workers entering Việt Nam will be subject to medical checks and quarantine procedures in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
The foreign ministry said that it has informed all diplomatic missions, consular offices and representative offices of international organisations in the country of the decision, and will closely monitor the epidemic and collaborate with other countries, international organisations and partners to promptly adjust prevention and control measures for COVID-19.
Việt Nam a few days ago had already suspended visa-free entry for citizens of eight European countries – Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom – also due to the COVID-19 outbreak. — VNS
Watch our video on how to fill in health declaration form