Thousands crowd Tan Son Nhat airport as travel restrictions loom large

By Huu Khoa   March 18, 2020 | 01:33 pm GMT+7

​Thousands of travelers flocked to the HCMC's Tan Son Nhat airport as Vietnam plans travel restrictions to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

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On the afternoon of March 17, Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport was packed with travelers wearing masks waiting to complete entry and exit procedures. 

From March 18, Vietnam will stop issuing new visas to all foreigners as part of efforts to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The restriction applies to arrivals from all countries and territories, except for those who are eligible for visa waivers, including overseas Vietnamese and those who have to enter the country for special matters, like experts and highly-skilled workers. These people must present a statement confirming that they are free of the novel coronavirus to be allowed to enter Vietnam, and that document must be an official one released by competent authorities of the host countries and approved by the Vietnamese government.

While travelers wore masks, the immigration officers wore head-to-toe protective clothing.

While travelers wore masks, the immigration officers wore head-to-toe protective clothing.

After having their passports checked, passengers have to fill in health declaration forms. These days, the medical checkpoint at Tan Son Nhat International Airports works round the clock.Flights from Covid-19 hotspots to Vietnam are limited while those who are allowed to land in the country must be closely monitored and will be quarantined for 14 days in accordance with regulations.

After having their passports checked, passengers have to fill in health declaration forms. These days, the medical checkpoint at Tan Son Nhat International Airports works round the clock.

Flights from Covid-19 hotspots to Vietnam are limited while those who are allowed to land in the country must be closely monitored and will be quarantined for 14 days in accordance with regulations.

A medical officer (R) guides a Chinese visitor to fill in a form with detailed information about her departure and travel plans.

A medical officer (R) guides a Chinese visitor to fill in a form with detailed information about her departure and travel plans.

Three American passengers provide details of their prior travels before landing in Saigon.

Three American passengers provide details of their prior travels before landing in Saigon.

Long queues of passengers wearing masks have become a common sight at the airport.

Long queues of passengers wearing masks have become a common sight at the airport.

Entry procedures are faster for those who fill in online health declaration forms.

Entry procedures are faster for those who fill in online health declaration forms.

After declaring their health status, passengers have their body temperatures checked. Anyone having abnormal temperature will be placed under quarantine.

After declaring their health status, passengers have their body temperatures checked. Anyone having abnormal temperature will be placed under quarantine.

A medical officer keeps a watchful eye on the body temperature scanner.

A medical officer keeps a watchful eye on the body temperature scanner.

The passport is stamped by officials in protective dress after all checks are done and conditions are met.As of Wednesday, Vietnam had recorded 68 Covid-19 infections, 52 of them since March 6. The previous 16 patients have been discharged from hospitals.

The passport is stamped by officials in protective dress after all checks are done and conditions are met.

As of Wednesday, Vietnam had recorded 68 Covid-19 infections, 52 of them since March 6. The previous 16 patients have been discharged from hospitals.

 
 
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