Vietnam opens door wider, resuming six international flights

The Vietnamese government has agreed with the proposal of the Ministry of Transport on the resumption of six international flights from Vietnam to some countries.

The government has allowed the Transport Ministry to reopen flights to mainland China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan from September 15, followed by Laos, Cambodia from September 22, the Government Office said Tuesday evening.

The ministry had proposed that passengers allowed entry includes Vietnamese citizens, foreigners carrying diplomatic and official passports, experts, business managers, high-skilled workers, investors, and their family members.

The government’s permission has added international students and family members of Vietnamese citizens to the list of those allowed entry in the latest loosening of arrival restrictions.

The flights are not opened to tourists yet.

There will be a maximum of two round trips a week between the destinations opening up, and the number of flights will be adjusted depending on actual demand.

Passengers must have a certificate showing they tested negative for the novel coronavirus within three days of boarding the flight. That test must be conducted using the real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method.

Upon landing in Vietnam, the arrivals would be tested again with the RT-PRC method at centralized quarantine camps.

The quarantine period for those who test negative twice would be reduced from 14 to five days, following which they have to remain at their accommodation or place of work until the 14 days are up under supervision of local authorities. Those showing signs of infection will have to continue staying at the centralized quarantine facilities.

Those entering Vietnam after transiting from a third destination must stay in centralized quarantine camps for 14 days and undergo tests as required.

All arrivals will have to pay for their quarantine and tests.

Quarantine options

After taking necessary screening steps at quarantine camps, foreign arrivals have different options for continued quarantine.

Foreigners holding official or diplomatic passports and their families can be quarantined at their offices' guest houses or at lodgings of their choice.

Experts, investors, business managers, high-skilled workers and their families, international students and foreign family members of Vietnamese citizens will be quarantined at their company offices, factories or lodgings.

Vietnamese arrivals will be quarantined at military camps or lodgings.

The Health Ministry had already announced that those entering Vietnam for a period of less than 14 days will not have to be quarantined at centralized camps, but they must ensure compliance with all other requirements, including wearing a mask and refraining from shaking hands. They also need to complete medical procedures, including tests for Covid-19 and the organization that invites them needs to guarantee that it, or an international insurance company, will bear all medical and other expenses if they contract the disease in Vietnam.

The government's decision came not long after the Transport Ministry said earlier Tuesday that it is yet to allow resumption of flights pending final decisions on quarantine and testing procedures.

Vietnam has suspended all international flights since late March.

The country has recorded 1,063 Covid-19 cases so far with 35 deaths. No local transmission has been recorded for 12 days.


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