Asiana Airlines said on Sunday it has transported over 200 South Korean students to Vietnam as the Southeast Asian country issued entry permits.
South Korea’s second-largest carrier said in a statement that Asiana flight OZ733 left Incheon International Airport at 9:20 a.m. Sunday with 218 Korean students on board for Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.
The Koreans studying at international schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh reportedly secured a special permit from Vietnam to enter the country.
It marks the first for the Vietnamese government to grant entry permits for foreigners since it banned in March all foreigners from entering its territory in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asiana said that the transportation of Korean students is a one-off event, but it hopes it will help normalize flights between the two countries as soon as possible. KBS WORLD reported.
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 appeared in Vietnam on Jan. 23, 2020. Of the confirmed cases that have appeared in Vietnam to date, 280 are Vietnamese, and the rest are foreigners. Vietnam has reported no cases of community spread since April 17.
Vietnam lifted its 22-day social distancing directive on April 23. The government advises all citizens and foreigners to wash hands regularly, wear masks in public, and maintain interpersonal distance of at least one metre.
Most trades and services are back in business. Flights, public transportation, inter-provincial transportation, hotels, monuments, tourism attractions, and government offices have reopened with safety measures in place.
Only Vietnamese nationals, foreigners on diplomatic or official business, and highly skilled workers allowed to enter the country at this time. Anyone entering Vietnam must undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival.