COVID-19 in Vietnam: Travel Updates and Restrictions

COVID-19 in Vietnam: Travel Updates and Restrictions

In light of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, Vietnam has imposed several travel restrictions on those entering the country. As of May 15, 2022, Vietnam has confirmed 10,695,036 cases of COVID-19 with 43,065 deaths, but 9,349,592 patients have recovered.

Those planning to travel to Vietnam should be aware of the latest current restrictions:

  • Vietnam has waived the COVID-19 testing requirement for all international arrivals from May 15 under official notification No. 416/CD-TTg after a significant reduction in the number of cases.
  • Vietnam suspended medical declaration requirements for all international arrivals from April 27 as COVID-19 cases fell across the country. Medical declarations for domestic travel have also been suspended.
  • Vietnam’s Ministry of Health released COVID-19 entry procedures for foreign entrants on March 15 Official Letter No. 1265/BYT-DP. According to the document, foreign entrants must:
    • Negative COVID-19 test using RT-PCR method 72 hours before entering Vietnam, or rapid antigen test (no self-test) 24 hours before entering Vietnam. This does not apply to children under the age of 2;
    • Make a health declaration before entry (see screenshot at the end of the article) and download the PC-COVID app; and
    • If not tested for COVID-19 before departure, it will be tested within 24 hours of arrival in Vietnam. If negative, travelers can travel anywhere within Vietnam; no quarantine required.
  • Visitors entering Vietnam should also purchase medical or travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment with a minimum liability of USD 10,000.
  • The eVisa government website link is now open for visa submission.
  • The Vietnamese government agreed on March 15 to resume the visa-free policy for 13 countries for up to 15 days, regardless of the purpose of entry. This applies to citizens of Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The visa waiver policy was in place before the pandemic. More details on the entry process are awaiting the government.
  • The government has agreed to reopen Vietnam for international tourism from March 15. Detailed reopening plans are expected to be announced by the relevant government departments soon.
  • Vietnam lifted restrictions on the frequency of scheduled international flights starting February 15, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
  • Vietnam has cancelled rapid COVID-19 tests for international passengers before boarding and upon arrival in Vietnam. The measure was earlier implemented for travelers from countries where the Omicron variant has been detected. However, negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test results 72 hours prior to international arrival remained.
  • The government issued a new directive on January 18 to allow foreign employees and overseas Vietnamese with valid TRC, PRC and visa exemption certificates to enter Vietnam without approval from the immigration department and the local People’s Committee.
  • The Vietnam Immigration Service has announced that it will stop the automatic extension of stay for foreigners stranded in Vietnam from January 15. Due to border restrictions, foreign tourists entering the country from March 1, 2020 have previously implemented extension of stay measures. epidemic.
  • Passengers from countries where the Omicron variant has been detected must undergo a rapid COVID-19 test at their own expense before boarding and upon arrival in Vietnam. In addition, self-isolation places such as residences and hotels must meet the standards set by the Ministry of Health, otherwise they must be isolated in a centralized manner. Airlines have asked authorities to drop the rapid testing requirement, as travelers must test negative for RT-PCR 72 hours before boarding.
  • While Vietnam has approved the resumption of international flights to nine destinations from January 1, 2022, only five international routes to the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia and Singapore have been confirmed.
  • Hanoi lifted the centralized quarantine rules for travelers from countries where the Omicron variant was detected by the transport authorities.
  • Passengers from Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding, the ministry said. Only passengers from high-risk or lockdown areas must provide test results within 72 hours.
  • According to the Ministry of Health, travelers who enter Vietnam for business purposes for less than 14 days will be exempted from the quarantine requirement, however, they must comply with epidemic prevention measures, including living in separate accommodation. The Ministry of Health may provide more details.
  • From January 1, 2022, Vietnam has lowered quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals. Entrants with a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 are only required to self-isolate at home or accommodation for three days upon entering Vietnam. Two RT-PCR tests will be performed on the first and third days of entry. If negative, the entrant will still need to monitor his health for the next 11 days. More details are likely to be released by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport.
  • The Vietnamese government has approved the resumption of international flights between Vietnam and nine destinations from January 1, 2022. These destinations include San Francisco or Los Angeles, Singapore, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Beijing or Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. Awaiting more details on the timetable and entry procedures.
  • The Vietnam Immigration Department announced that the visas of foreigners entering Vietnam with Visa Waiver Program, e-Visa or tourist visa from March 1, 2020 will be automatically extended until December 31, 2021. The measure applies to foreigners who entered Vietnam from March 1, 2020, allowing them to leave the country until December 31, 2021 without any penalties or paperwork.
  • Vietnam plans to allow foreign tourists to be vaccinated at selected locations including Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and others in three phases starting in November. Phase two will begin in January 2022, with more locations to be added to the list, with full reopening expected sometime in June or July 2022. Tourists on tours have arrived at the above locations since November 20.
  • Vietnam temporarily recognizes COVID-19 vaccine passports or certificates from 72 countries including China, US, UK, UAE, Thailand, India, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Germany, France, Cambodia and Canada to facilitate entry of fully vaccinated people foreign entrants.
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City eased social distancing measures on September 21 and October 1, respectively, to help recover their economies through pandemic prevention and control. Residents of Ho Chi Minh City must receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and obtain a QR code through a prescribed health app to move around the city.
  • Vietnam has shortened the centralized quarantine period for fully vaccinated foreign arrivals to seven days from the previous 14 days. Arrivals must also test negative for the virus within 72 hours of arrival, followed by a further 7 days of self-monitoring after the quarantine period. Additionally, those who have contracted COVID-19 and have demonstrated recovery from the virus within six months People will also shorten the quarantine period. The government has yet to provide further details and an implementation date.
  • Published by the government on September 15 Circular 330/TB-VPCP Vietnam Airlines is allowed to resume international routes with six countries – Guangzhou (China), Tokyo (Japan), Seoul (South Korea), Taipei (Taiwan), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Vientiane (Laos). However, inbound travelers are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result three days before departure and retest upon arrival in Vietnam. However, commercial flights have not resumed pending further instructions from government authorities.
  • Foreign employees are allowed to quarantine at company factories, company headquarters, or designated hotels/facilities. Additionally, if they test negative twice, they can be released and self-quarantined at their residence or company headquarters in accordance with local health department regulations.
  • While Vietnam Airlines started one-way flights to Japan on September 19, the airline will release a specific route schedule after official confirmation from the authorities.
  • Vietnamese authorities will charge quarantine fees for anyone entering Vietnam from September 1. However, medical expenses for Vietnamese nationals infected by the pandemic will be covered by the state budget. Foreigners must pay their own medical expenses. International arrivals who choose to stay in government quarantine facilities must pay a minimum of VND 120,000 (US$5) per day.
  • Expatriate employees who want to enter Vietnam should ensure they have a sponsor who can assist in obtaining the necessary paperwork and be prepared for the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam
  • Vietnam to issue electronic visas to citizens of 80 countries from July 1, 2020 Resolution 79/NQ-CP. Details about the country list can be accessed here. While this is a positive sign, Vietnam’s borders remain closed to foreign tourists due to the pandemic, and the government has yet to make any official announcement on when it will reopen.
  • From 12 noon on March 15, Vietnam has suspended all visas and will deny entry to travellers from the UK and 26 Schengen countries; this includes travellers who have visited or transited through these countries in the past 14 days. This will be valid for 30 days.
  • From March 7, all travelers to Vietnam are required to submit a health declaration upon arrival. Passengers can complete this declaration at the airport or submit it online via this link (picture below).
  • Do not travel while sick; those traveling sick may be quarantined and tested.
  • Travellers may be subject to other restrictions when returning to their country of origin, including entry restrictions and quarantines.

The Vietnamese government officially declared COVID-19 an epidemic on February 1, and authorities took swift and stringent measures to control the virus.

Several Vietnamese businesses, residential complexes and restaurants have installed their own precautions to keep customers safe.

Due to the pandemic, travelers should monitor restrictions and follow advice issued by local and national authorities.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health is updating information on the epidemic here, and the Ministry of Tourism has also listed travel updates here.

Additionally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), basic precautions people can take to reduce their risk of coronavirus include:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing;
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs; and
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.

Sample health declaration form:

Note: This article was first published on March 9 and has been updated to include the latest developments.

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