Apr 16, 2020 / 15:13

Vietnam’s tourism ministry gives support to stranded foreign tourists

The Hanoitimes - Local hospitality businesses need to collect, update and report to the tourism authorities about the number of foreign guests who are forced to stay at their facilities due to reasons beyond their control.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has asked local tourist accommodations to exempt and reduce room charges for foreign tourists who are stuck in Vietnam due to the coronavirus pandemic, until the Ministry of Transport can arrange flights to send them home.

 Foreign tourists wearing face masks in Hoi An, Quang Nam province. (Photo: To Quoc)

Earlier, the VNAT had requested the provincial authorities to urgently check and list foreign tourists who are stuck in the localities due to border closures and flight suspension. These foreigners are passengers who may be in quarantine, stranded due to flight suspension or in transit to a third country which closed its borders.

The provincial authorities will report to the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs about the number of foreign tourists, their departure points in Vietnam and countries/territories where the tourists come from.

During this stay-at-hotel period, tourist accommodations are required not to organize buffet and cater for guests right inside the room, supervise guest health and take measures to ensure the safety of guests and employees. They should remind guests to refrain from going out, make mandatory medical declarations, regularly check body temperature, wear face masks and keep a two-meter distance from each other when in contact.

In late March, the Vietnam’s Immigration Department has also facilitated procedures for extension of temporary residence for foreigners who are unable to leave the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, foreigners who entered Vietnam with a visa waiver or tourist visa (including electronic visas) and who have their resident permits expired but do not have any sponsoring entity and cannot leave due to reasons beyond their control may seek their embassies or consulate general sponsorship for their extension of temporary residence for a maximum of 30 days while awaiting departure, and submit their application at the Vietnam Immigration Department. The policy remains effective until April 30.

Foreign individuals who entered Vietnam for business, visiting relatives or other purposes, should contact their sponsors (agencies, organizations or individuals) according to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam for residence extension.

Persons who have exceeded their valid temporary residence period for less than 10 days due to situations of force majeure (with documented evidence) may be considered for exemptions from administrative sanctions.