Vietnam Airlines, on Monday agreed to stop all its flights to South Korea as part of ongoing efforts to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, the company said.
“Due to the complicated situation of acute respiratory infections caused by COVID-19 in South Korea, Vietnam Airlines will suspend the operation of all routes between Vietnam and Korea from March 5, 2020,” the company said.
On Sunday, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), ordered Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City to stop receiving passenger flights from South Korea.
The ban began on March 1. and would continue indefinitely.
However, flights scheduled to arrive in Hanoi would be re-routed to Van Don Airport in Northern Quang Ninh Province.
While flights intended for Ho Chi Minh City would be sent to Can Tho Airport in the Mekong Delta.
According to the Vietnamese Government, Passengers on flights from South Korea will be allowed to pass through customs.
But they all need to have their temperature checked and will be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
On Sunday, Van Don Airport received 369 passengers from South Korea and were all placed under quarantine.
Another 600 arrived at Can Tho Airport on three flights.
The decision to suspend flights from Vietnam to South Korea will have a great effect as there are some 170,000 South Korean working in Vietnam and about 200,000 Vietnamese working in South Korea.
In 2019, Vietnam received 4.3 million tourists from South Korea, the second-highest number after Chinese tourists.
Earlier, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Dam, also removed visa-free entry for Italian citizens, making them the second nationality after South Korea to be denied visa-free entry.
However, the ban comes into effect at 1700 GMT on Monday. (dpa/NAN)