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Vietnam grants entry ban exemptions to 340 S. Korean business travelers

All News 16:24 April 28, 2020

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- Vietnam has granted 340 South Korean business travelers exemptions from its coronavirus entry ban, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, with their chartered flights set to depart for the Southeast Asian country later this week.

The exemptions came amid Seoul's stepped-up diplomacy to persuade foreign countries to allow essential overseas trips by businesspeople, as part of a broader effort to limit the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The employees of 143 Korean firms, including 127 small and medium-sized enterprises, will use either of the two flights set to depart at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Their companies will cover the costs for the flights arranged by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The workers have already tested negative for the novel coronavirus. But upon arriving at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam, they will undergo a 14-day quarantine at their hotels.

"The South Korean Embassy in Vietnam has finally gained the approval from the Vietnamese government following continued negotiations with the central and local governments in the country," a foreign ministry official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"We think that Vietnam has granted the exemptions in consideration of the close economic cooperation relationship between South Korea and Vietnam," the official added.

President Moon Jae-in, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and other top officials have stressed in virtual meetings with their counterparts that responses to the pandemic should not cause unnecessary barriers to international trade and exchanges.

Since last month, Seoul has carried out negotiations with 21 countries to secure entry ban exemptions for about 5,600 South Korean business travelers. Of them, eight countries have so far allowed around 3,020 Koreans to enter their territories.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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