Don’t come home now, Vietnam advises citizens abroad

By Hoang Phong    March 28, 2020 | 03:50 am PT
Don’t come home now, Vietnam advises citizens abroad
Vietnamese citizens have their body temperature checked at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC on March 17, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The Foreign Ministry has advised Vietnamese citizens not to return home at this time as many countries tighten borders over the coronavirus pandemic.

Many countries and territories are taking strong measures to fight the pandemic, including blocking entry and refusing transit. Many foreign carriers have stopped or canceled flight routes. While Vietnamese agencies have supported many Vietnamese citizens stuck at international airports, they cannot solve all problems in all cases, the Foreign Ministry said in a release Saturday.

The release urged Vietnamese citizens not to fly home at this moment and follow anti-pandemic regulations in their respective countries of residence.

In case it is absolutely necessary, citizens need to regularly update themselves with the rules of the host country and foreign carriers, ensuring that they have all necessary documents to return home. Those who do not have necessary documents may be refused exit or transit by foreign countries, the ministry noted.

Vietnam brought 800 of its citizens home safely between March 21 and March 25 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

HCMC's Tan Son Nhat and Hanoi's Noi Bai airports recently received a large number of Vietnamese passengers returning home from foreign countries amidst escalating fears over the pandemic, overloading local quarantine facilities.

The surge forced the country’s two largest airports to suspend all flights carrying Vietnamese citizens home at least until the end of this month.

Such flights have now been directed to Van Don airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Can Tho airport in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, southern Vietnam.

Starting March 22, Vietnam also suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers.

Only Vietnamese nationals and foreigners having diplomatic and official passports such as business managers, experts and high-skilled workers will be allowed to enter the country at this time, and all entrants will be quarantined for 14 days.

Vietnam has 174 confirmed Covid-19 cases so far, with most of the active ones being people coming from Europe and the U.S. and others who came into close contact with them.

Among them, three are in critical condition and 21 have been discharged from hospitals.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 199 countries and territories, claiming over 27,000 lives.

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