Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given permission for Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees in the northern province of Bac Giang, a lychee growing hub.
Three hundred and nine of them are expected to enter Vietnam in June and be tested for Covid-19 during a 14-day quarantine period, La Van Nam, chairman of Luc Ngan District in Bac Giang.
The Chinese side is closely coordinating with their Vietnamese counterparts for this, he said.
The traders will have to show Covid-19 negative certificates issued by competent Chinese authorities. Upon arrival in Vietnam, they will be quarantined in five hotels and guesthouses in Bac Giang.
Following that, those who test negative will be granted a certificate saying they are virus-free and permitted to interact with local farmers.
Since March 22 Vietnam has not allowed entry for foreign nationals except those with diplomatic and official passports and business managers, experts and high-skilled workers. All are quarantined for 14 days.
Other special cases seeking entry have to be approved by the PM.
Luc Ngan District has 15,290 hectare of lychee orchards, and is likely to produce 85,000 tons this year. Of this, 34,000 tons are fresh fruit for the domestic market, 36,000 for exports and 15,000 for processing.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnamese lychees are mainly exported to China, but smaller quantities also go to countries in the Middle East and the EU, Russia, the U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Australia.
Vietnam has gone 45 days without community transmission of Covid-19. It has reported 328 infections without any deaths, of these 49 are active patients as 279 have recovered after treatment.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit 213 countries and territories, with more than 370,472 deaths reported.
Reporting by Nguyen Quy @Vnexpress