HANOI, 12 January 2021: Vietnam has temporarily suspended
inbound flights from the UK and South Africa two countries that have reported
new variants of the SARS-CoV-19 virus.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc confirmed the move, and the
government says it is studying an option to extend the suspension to other
countries that have reported cases of the new variant.

On 18 December, national authorities in South Africa
announced the detection of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 that is rapidly
spreading in three provinces of South Africa. South Africa has named this
variant 501Y.V2, because of a N501Y mutation.

PM Phuc also tasked the Ministry of National Defense to
coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security and People’s Committees of
border provinces to strengthen border control in order to prevent illegal
entrants.

The Ministry of National Defense and People’s Committees of
provinces and centrally-run cities shall have to ensure that all entrants
comply with 14-day mandatory quarantine at concentrated sites and medical
surveillance for another 14 days after mandatory quarantine.

Meanwhile, the government reported that from 10 April 2020
to 3 January 3, 2021, 240 rescue flights had been completed to repatriate more
than 66,000 Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad due to Covid-19.