Vietnam has increased restrictions on British and other European nationals visiting the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday it suspended visa-free travel for people from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

It followed a similar move for travellers from South Korea and Italy, with people instead required to obtain a visa from an embassy ahead of arrival.

Now the Vietnamese Embassy in London has said it will temporarily stop processing visas. No end date was given.

In a statement, it said: “Only applicants with visa approval letter from the Immigration Department of Vietnam can apply for visa issuance from the Embassy.

“For those who wish to travel to Vietnam, they need to contact their Vietnamese sponsors/tour-operators for arrangement of their visas with the Immigration Department of Vietnam.

“Once they get the visa approval letter from the Immigration Department, they can contact Vietnam Embassy for the issuance of their visas.”

The UK Foreign Office said: “Anyone planning to travel to Vietnam is advised to get a visa before booking flights.

“British citizens arriving in Vietnam will be required to fill in a health questionnaire and undertake basic health tests on arrival. False declarations regarding health history could lead to prosecution.

“If you have questions about entry requirements for your specific itinerary, you should contact the Vietnamese Embassy in London or, if already in Vietnam, the nearest Immigration Office.”

The US has announced it will not admit travellers who have been in 26 countries within the Schengen border-free travel area within 14 days of their arrival from March 13.

The countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Thailand has suspended visa on arrival status for nationals from Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.

Italy has banned all tourist arrivals until April 4, with only those visiting on business or for emergency reasons permitted.

British nationals already inside Italy are allowed to return to the UK, though this is being made more difficult as airlines have begun to cancel flights.

Sri Lanka has suspended visas on arrival, although UK passport holders can apply in advance online or at the embassy.

Israel has announced all arrivals must self-quarantine for two weeks. Air France, Lufthansa Group carriers, Virgin Atlantic and Wizz Air have suspended flights to the country.

Malta and Uganda have similar measures in place.

Some countries, such as Tajikistan, have imposed and then waived wide-ranging travel bans, causing confusion for travellers.