Vietnam suspends visa waiver for Italians as coronavirus knocks

By Viet Tuan, Phan Anh   March 2, 2020 | 02:01 am PT
Vietnam suspends visa waiver for Italians as coronavirus knocks
Foreign arrivals check in at Noi Bai Airport, Hanoi, February 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.
Italians will no longer be granted visa-free entry starting Tuesday as Vietnam responds to the coronavirus epidemic.

The suspension was suggested by the National Steering Committee for the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 at a meeting on Monday, and has been approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang confirmed.

Vietnam unilaterally started visa waiver program for Italians in 2015, with a maximum duration of 15 days.

The country has also suspended visa waiver for South Koreans starting Saturday amidst an ongoing Covid-19 epidemic worldwide, with complicated developments in Italy and South Korea.

Both countries have been named among top hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak, second only to China, where the disease was first detected last December. South Korea has reported over 4,300 infections including 26 deaths, while Italy reported over 1,700 with 41 deaths.

Vietnam suspects 115 people to be infected with the virus as of Monday, the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) announced.

The country earlier recorded 16 confirmed cases. All have recovered and been discharged from hospitals by February 26.

The global death toll has reached 3,058, mostly in mainland China.

go to top