March 15, 2020 / 12:06 PM / 23 days ago

Vietnam introduces compulsory testing for arrivals from coronavirus-hit areas

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s health ministry on Sunday said all passengers coming from or through China, South Korea, the UK and Schengen countries will be compulsorily quarantined and tested for coronavirus.

“The compulsory quarantine applies to arrivals from March 14,” the health ministry said in a statement. “Those whose tests are positive will get immediate treatment while the rest will be quarantined for 14 days.”

The ministry in a separate statement said people, including foreigners, were required to wear face masks in public places.

Schools remained shut nationwide. Cinemas, clubs and bars, massage parlours, karaoke shops and online game centres in urban cities are required to close until the end of March.

Vietnam reported 37 new coronavirus cases over the past week, taking the tally to 53. The number is rising with authorities saying a spate of new infections was traced to a flight from Britain.

The Southeast Asian country denied entry and stopped issuing tourist visas to citizens from Europe’s Schengen visa-free area and Britain starting from midday March 15.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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