The Vietnamese government on March 13 decided to exempted 186 Samsung Display engineers from 14-day mandatory quarantine that is required for anyone arriving from South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported.
Yonhap cited a statement from the South Korean Embassy in Hanoi that these engineers left Incheon International Airport on March 13 to Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh province. From there, they will go directly to Bac Ninh province in northern Vietnam where Samsung Display has its OLED display module factory.
However, they will be separated from existing employees and stay at away places to minimize contact among workers.
Vietnam currently requires all visitors, including businesses, diplomats, or officials, from South Korea or transiting through South Korea, to be quarantined in 14 days amid the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in that country, which has reported one of the highest numbers of infections outside China.
Prior to making the exemption, Vietnamese authorities inspected Samsung's operations and deemed it qualified in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the report added. The remaining engineers in South Korea will leave for Vietnam in the coming weeks.
South Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Park Noh-wan previously said Samsung may face losses of up to US$10 billion if engineers and experts of the South Korean conglomerate are put into quarantine upon entering Vietnam
Park suggested all South Koreans with a health certificate issued by the South Korean authority should be allowed to enter Vietnam without being isolated.
Samsung Display’s factory in Vietnam assembles OLED displays used in smartphones made by Samsung Electronics, Apple and Huawei.
The embassy said it is working with the Vietnamese government to grant similar exemptions to engineers from other South Korean companies that operate plants in Vietnam.
Vietnam is South Korea’s No. 3 export market as well as the fifth-biggest source of Korean imports. Samsung Electronics alone accounts for one fourth of Vietnam’s exports and makes over half of its global smartphones in the country.