Vietnam cuts air, road transportation to curb Covid-19

By Staff reporters   April 1, 2020 | 03:16 am PT
Vietnam cuts air, road transportation to curb Covid-19
A woman undergoes immigration procedures at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport, March 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Vietnam has suspended all inbound flights, cut down drastically on domestic flights and halted passenger road transport including taxis until April 15.

The flight suspension would not apply to passengers who enter Vietnam for diplomatic or other official purposes; foreign guests who participate in important exchange activities; experts, business managers, highly-skilled workers and other special cases as approved by the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Covid-19. Localities in need of bringing in these people can make requests to central government agencies.

Vietnam has already suspended entry for all foreign nationals, including those of Vietnamese origin and family members with visa waivers, except the special cases mentioned above, starting March 22 as one of many measures taken to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The new directive will mean that all airlines, including international ones, would have to stop flying to Vietnam, and even Vietnamese would not be allowed to enter the country.

Additionally, the Transport Ministry has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to limit the number of domestic flights to two flights per day from Hanoi to Saigon and vice versa, one flight per day from Hanoi to Da Nang, and one flight per day from Saigon to Da Nang.

All contracted vehicles, coaches, taxis and buses would also be suspended nationwide until April 15, except for vehicles used for official purposes, or to transport food, workers and materials, the Transport Ministry has announced.

Only one train will travel from Hanoi to Saigon and vice versa each day. No ship is allowed to transport passengers from the mainland to islands; only goods can be transported.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had already announced a strict nationwide social distancing campaign lasting until April 15, in which people are discouraged from leaving their homes and public gatherings of more than two people are not allowed.

People should only leave home for emergencies, to buy food and medicine, and to work in factories, production facilities and businesses that involve trade in "essential" goods and services.

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