Cambodia has announced that it will start rejecting Vietnamese at the border this week amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The rejection will take effect from 11:59 pm on March 20, the kingdom said in a notice dated March 18 to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh.
“Entry by Vietnamese nationals into Cambodia and Cambodian nationals into Vietnam by land, waterway, and air will be temporarily suspended,” the notice says.
“This measure is primarily [to] avert the inconvenience of quarantine requirements for both Vietnamese and Cambodian nationals who travel to Vietnam from Cambodia.”
The measure does not apply to Vietnamese and Cambodian holders of diplomatic and official passports, the notice notes.
The Cambodian side expressed its hope that authories in the two countries will work together to facilitate and ensure the transport of goods across their border will not be disrupted.
Cambodia requests that Vietnam help with the repatriation of Cambodian nationals, if any, placed under quarantine in Vietnam over COVID-19 concerns.
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Vietnam has suspended its visa issuance to all foreigners since Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday, adding that the suspension will last for 30 days.
All people entering Vietnam must undergo medical checks and follow epidemic preventive measures as required, according to government regulations.
All the above measures do not apply to those entering Vietnam for diplomatic and official duties.
Aside from arrivals that are already subject to isolation, people arriving from the U.S., European countries, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will also be required to stay in quarantine camps for 14 days – the incubation period of the novel coronavirus.
Vietnam has confirmed 76 COVID-19 cases so far, with 16 having fully recovered and been discharged from the hospital.