|Foreign tourists walking around the Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)
The order came on March 18 following media reports of service establishments across the country refusing service to foreigners, even showing signs of discrimination against them over coronavirus transmission fears.
The incidents seem to have increased as recent positive cases in Vietnam were mostly imported from Europe, where the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic as the outbreak in China has waned.
To maintain the image of Vietnam as a friendly, hospitable, and safe destination, the Government leader asked that People’s Committees of all provinces and cities take stock of all foreign visitors in their area and direct tourist destinations to closely follow the Law on Tourism on committing no discrimination against foreign tourists.
Complex cases that go beyond their authority must be immediately reported to higher authorities for settlement.
The Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to direct localities in the implementation of prevention and combating COVID-19 in line with health authorities’ instructions, and put in place measures to support foreign tourists to protect their safety.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was tasked with devising guidelines and scenarios to avoid regretful incidents and working with countries’ embassies in Vietnam in dealing with any incident to maintain the image of the country.