Vietnam tightens entry for British, EU arrivals following rise of COVID-19 infection

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the temporary suspense of visa waiver program for nationals of Britain and seven European Union countries of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, the country's government announced Monday.

The announcement was made at a government meeting held in the capital city of Hanoi after Vietnam confirmed 14 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, which brought the total confirmed cases in the country to 30.

The 17th confirmed case in the country, reported on March 6, is a Vietnamese female who had traveled to Britain, France and Italy before returning her home in Hanoi from London. Two of her close contacts and 10 passengers on the flight she took to return Hanoi have later been confirmed to be infected.

Phuc ordered competent authorities to search for and put all travelers on the flight from London to Hanoi under quarantine for 14 days.

He also requested authorities to ensure sufficient supplies especially food, food stuff and medicine for local residents given that some parts of Hanoi and other localities are in lockdown for the disease prevention. He also approved the proposal of not sending officials overseas except for special cases amid rising concern over the epidemic worldwide.

Vietnam earlier suspended the visa waiver program for South Korean and Italian citizens.

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