Vietnam has exempted Samsung Display engineers from its 14-day quarantine that is mandated for anyone arriving from South Korea.
Some 700 of the display maker's engineers will be allowed to enter the country and get straight to work without needing to be quarantined for two weeks, according to a Korean media report citing South Korean government officials.
186 engineers have already left Incheon International Airport for Van Don International Airport in Vietnam, the report said. They will go directly to Bac Ninh Province in Northern Vietnam where Samsung Display has its OLED display module factory. They will be separated from existing employees and housed in different quarters.
Prior to making the exemption, Vietnamese authorities inspected Samsung's operations and deemed it sufficient in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the report added. The remaining engineers in South Korea will leave for Vietnam in the coming weeks.
The decision to send the engineers to Vietnam was made to prevent delays in the company's production schedule, the report said.
A Samsung Display spokesperson confirmed the matter but declined to elaborate further.
The decision comes after the South Korean embassy in Vietnam requested for the engineers to be exempt from the country's quarantine procedures when entering the country if they could provide medical examination reports that proved they did not have the virus.
Samsung is the largest single foreign direct investor in Vietnam and accounts for one-fourth of the country's exports.
The company has two handset factories in Vietnam that account for half of its total global production. The company also recently shifted some of its handset production in South Korea to Vietnam to minimise the impact of its employees in South Korea contracting the virus.
Earlier this month, the South Korean tech giant began construction of a $220 million research facility in Hanoi.
There were no casualties and production has not been affected, Samsung said.
Employees within its semiconductor business are now required to answer weekly, online self-examination questions regarding the outbreak.
Expected to be completed by end-2022, the $220 million research centre will create 800 new roles -- pushing the company's local headcount to 3,000 -- and boost capabilities in artificial intelligence and 5G, amongst others.
Samsung and LG are seeing more coronavirus cases as the number of infected in South Korea continues to rise.
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