The order came on Wednesday following media reports of service establishments across the country refusing service to foreign nationals, even showing signs of discrimination against them over coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission fears.

The incidents seem to have increased as recent positive cases in Vietnam were mostly imported from Europe, where the WHO has declared the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic as the outbreak in China has waned. Vietnam News Agency reports.

Related: Popular resort areas say no to visitors after detecting Covid-19 carriers

To maintain the image of Vietnam as a friendly, hospitable, and safe destination, the Government leader asked that People’s Committees of all localities 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 to be settled.

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.

Also read: Vietnam reports nine new coronavirus cases, bring its total to 85

The foreign ministry is 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.