Thu, 12 Mar 2020. Last updated Thu, 12 Mar 2020 22:18
Along with the unilateral suspension of visa exemption for 8 European countries, Vietnam will also temporarily not send officials to study or work abroad, except in special cases with the permission of the Prime Minister.
The direction was given at the government permanent meeting on prevention of COVID-19 on March 09, 2020. Previously, Vietnam had temporarily stopped visa exemption for Korean citizens from 00:00 on February 29 and Italian citizens from 00:00 on March 03 when these countries broke out the COVID-19 epidemic.
Currently, Vietnam tourism businesses still do not know the specific time to implement the policy of suspending visa preferences for 8 European countries. Therefore, Vietnam travel companies are concerned that EU travelers may fall into the situation of being stuck at the border gates if this policy changes suddenly.
On March 09, a number of travel companies operating the EU tourist market said they had received a notification from Vietnam Immigration Department to stop receiving European tourist visas, which means that visitors wanting to enter Vietnam must do visa procedures themselves in the host country. Representatives of Images Travel Company, specializing in European market, said the company is organizing tours for 40 different European groups of tourists in Vietnam. According to the plan, there will be over 70 groups of tourists, mainly French tourists coming to Vietnam in March 2020
Groups of European tourists are still planning to visit Vietnam in March and April; however, due to the current COVID-19 outbreak and the news that the Government will stop visa exemption for travelers from 08 EU countries, travel agencies have worked with partners, and are ready to cancel tours when official regulations apply.
Meanwhile, Saigontourist said that they have recently served a group of 39 people from Poland on the MICE tour, the tour ended on March 9, the majority of visitors in the group came to Vietnam for the first time. According to the schedule, the travel group visited Cu Chi, My Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Ha Long and Hanoi.
Organizing tours during the time of COVID-19 outbreak, businesses must actively coordinate with the local authorities in timely updating of practical information about destinations in Vietnam and make appropriate adjustments for visitors.