Vietnam Airlines reverses suspension of Europe services

By Anh Duy   March 14, 2020 | 10:15 pm PT
Vietnam Airlines reverses suspension of Europe services
An aircraft of Vietnam Airlines prepares to take off from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines.
National flage carrier Vietnam Airlines has reversed a decision made Saturday noon to suspend carrying passengers from Europe to Vietnam.

After it announced the decision as a Covid-19 prevention measure, the carrier received messages from many Vietnamese people in Europe wishing to return home, so it has reverted to its previous schedules, a Vietnam Airlines representative said late Saturday.

However, they will interview and measure the body temperature of passengers before boarding to ensure they are healthy enough to return. The airline will refuse to take on board passengers showing signs of a cough or fever, the carrier stated.

Passengers must also wear masks, gloves and have their health monitored on the flight. After landing, passengers will be quarantined for 14 days in accordance to regulations. All crew members will wear special medical protective gear to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus, it added.

Vietnam Airlines had announced Saturday it will stop carrying passengers from London, Paris and Frankfurt to Vietnam from Sunday onwards, but would continue operating Vietnam to Europe flights to transport passengers back to their home countries.

The move came after the Vietnamese government suspended entry for visitors coming from or going through the U.K. and Schengen countries in the previous 14 days, with Europe emerging as the new epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The only carrier in Vietnam with direct flights to European countries like England, Germany and France, Vietnam Airlines is set to reduce the number of weekly flights from Hanoi and Saigon to the continent by 14, starting March 25.

Vietnam has recorded 37 new active cases over the past week, raising the country’s total Covid-19 infections to 53. All the previous 16 patients had been discharged from hospitals by February 26.

The Covid-19 outbreak has thus far spread to 151 countries and territories, with the death toll climbing to over 5,800.

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