Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked local authorities at all levels to strictly deal with acts of discrimination against foreigners after reports that some restaurants, hotels and shops in Vietnam have refused to serve them on fear they pose risks of coronavirus transmission.
An article on Saigon Times wrote that the pandemic caused stigma among the Vietnamese people. When the government suspended the entry for all the travelers from China and South Korea, many people only thought the request only applied to the citizens of these two countries.
The article told the story of a Chinese expert, living in Le Van Luong street, Hanoi, who was rejected to continue living in his rented apartment when he was back from an overseas business trip. Though showing his medical examination paper, still he was kicked out of the his apartment building.
Some other media outlets ran stories about foreigners denied services at accomodation facilities.
In order to promptly rectify and preserve the image of a safe and friendly country and its people, the PM requested the people’s committees nationwide to urgently monitor the situation of foreign tourists in the locality and handle all acts of discrimination and refusal to serve foreign tourists. All inpiduals and organizations involving in tourism industry are asked to strictly abide by the Tourism Law provisions on non-discrimination against tourists.
The PM also asked localities, tourism businesses and accommodation establishments to carry out the Covid-19 prevention and control in accordance with the government instructions and the guidance of the health agency, and take proper measures to support foreign tourists.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also asked to coordinate with other ministries, agencies and local governments as well as foreign embassies in Vietnam in handling those cases and preserving the image of Vietnam – a hospitable and friendly country.
In a thread titled "We are not welcome" on TripAdvisor, a global travel platform, some foreigners showed understanding of such behavior of some Vietnamese.
“Well it is the virus that is not welcome. The problem is that Vietnam had almost got rid of it and then foreigners and Vietnamese brought it back. Now many locals think they will catch it off foreigners. Things going great in Nha Trang and none of what you mentioned happening here. Russians are piling in and having a great time on the beaches and islands,” a tourist wrote.