Jun 02, 2020 / 18:22

Vietnam repatriates first citizens from Australia, New Zealand

The Hanoitimes - Both Australia and New Zealand are easing restrictions except border controls.

Vietnam on June 2 repatriated 344 citizens from Australia and New Zealand, the first repatriation flight from those two countries amid strict travel rules there due to coronavirus.

 Passengers on the flight. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

The flight by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines picked up passengers in Sydney and Auckland and landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

The passengers are those of priority like children under 18, the elderly, those with pre-existing diseases, pregnant women, workers having expired visa, student without dormitories, and stranded visitors.

 All passengers required to wear personal protection equipment. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Australia has become one of the main destinations for Vietnamese students and visitors.

Due to rising coronavirus infections, Australia has limited travel options. It is up to each state and territory to decide when and how far they will relax restrictions.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s government will consider a move to lift all Covid-19 restrictions except border controls.

As of June 2, Australia reported 7,221 coronavirus cases while New Zealand has 1,504 infections.

Under the request by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad and Vietnam Airlines continue to bring citizens home depending on the citizens' demand, the pandemic evolution, and the country’s quarantine capacity.

So far, the country has repatriated more than 5,000 citizens from different parts of the world.

Until now, Vietnam has not allowed international flights and keeps borders closed to foreign visitors, except for diplomatic staff, skilled workers, and experts.