Starting Sunday, Vietnam will suspend entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers.
The directive, issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Saturday night, comes as Covid-19 infections continue to rise in the country, with most new patients having come in from foreign countries.
For those entering the country for diplomatic purposes or other special matters such as business managers, experts and high-skilled workers, the Ministries of Public Security, National Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Health will decide whether it’s necessary to issue visas for them, Phuc said.
Even when they do enter the country, they must fulfill health declarations and follow 14-day quarantine procedures, he said.
Foreign experts, business managers, high-skilled workers carrying an official certificate confirming that they are free of the novel coronavirus, issued by competent authorities of the host countries and approved by the Vietnamese government, will be allowed to enter the country but must be isolated at their accommodation establishments.
The Ministry of Public Security will decide whether to grant or extend visas for these cases.
Representative agencies of the countries of these people in Vietnam will be responsible for their medical monitoring.
Earlier, on Friday, the PM had ordered the suspension of all international flights coming to Vietnam, without giving a specific time frame.
In his Saturday directive, he asked the Ministry of Transport to limit flights from overseas to Vietnam to avoid overload in quarantine areas, and create favorable conditions for flights carrying foreigners out of Vietnam.
Overseas Vietnamese have been asked to restrict their return home at the moment.
Earlier, officials had said they expect to receive 10,000 Vietnamese coming home from abroad in the coming week, with the corresponding figure for HCMC being 17,000.
As of Saturday night, Vietnam had recorded 94 Covid-19 infections with 17 discharged from hospitals. Most of the active cases, now hospitalized in 11 cities and provinces, are returnees from Europe and the U.S. and people who’d come into close contact with them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 186 countries and territories, claiming nearly 12,000 lives so far.