COVID-19 in Vietnam: updates and travel restrictions

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In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has imposed several travel restrictions on those entering the country. As of December 29, 2021, Vietnam has confirmed 1,680,985 cases of COVID-19 with 31,362 deaths, although 1,264,282 of the patients have recovered.

Those planning to travel to Vietnam should be aware of the latest restrictions currently in place:

  • Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreigners since March 22, 2020, until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19. The measure does not apply to diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts and skilled workers.
  • While Vietnam has approved the resumption of international flights with nine destinations as of January 1, 2022, only five international routes have been confirmed, such as to the United States, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia and Singapore.
  • Hanoi has removed the central quarantine rule for travelers from countries that have detected the Omicron variant according to transport authorities.
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have imposed a centralized quarantine regardless of vaccination status for anyone arriving from countries that have detected the Omicron variant.
  • The transport ministry said passengers in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho do not need to provide negative COVID-19 tests before boarding flights. Only passengers arriving from very high risk localities or closed areas should provide test results within 72 hours.
  • Travelers entering Vietnam for commercial purposes for less than 14 days will be exempt from quarantine requirements according to the Ministry of Health, however, they must comply with pandemic prevention measures, including staying in separate accommodation. Further details will likely be provided by the Department of Health.
  • Vietnam has reduced quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals from January 1, 2022. Arrivals with negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test results would not need to self-quarantine at home or at their place of accommodation only for three days upon entering Vietnam. Two RT-PCR tests will be performed on the first and third day of entry. In the event of a negative result, participants are still required to monitor their health for the next 11 days. Further details will likely be released by the Ministries of Health and Transport.
  • The Vietnamese government has approved the resumption of international flights between Vietnam and nine destinations from January 1, 2022. These include San Francisco or Los Angeles, Singapore, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Beijing or Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul and Taipei. Further details on entry times and procedures are awaited.
  • The Vietnamese Ministry of Immigration has announced automatic visa extensions until December 31, 2021 for foreigners entering the country with visa waiver programs, electronic visas or tourist visas since March 1, 2020. La measure applies to those who entered Vietnam since March 1, 2020, allowing them to leave the country without any penalties or paperwork until December 31, 2021.
  • Vietnam plans to allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists under a three-phase plan starting in November at specific locations such as Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and others. The second phase would start in January 2022 with other locations added to the list with a full reopening scheduled for June or July 2022. Tourists on organized tours have arrived at the aforementioned locations since November 20.
  • From October 21, the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport removed the full vaccination requirement for domestic air passengers. However, passengers in high-risk areas or locked areas would still need a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before their flight. Passengers from other regions would need one of the following, such as a negative COVID-19 test, proof of vaccination, or a COVID-19 recovery certificate.
  • Vietnam has temporarily recognized the passport or COVID-19 vaccine certificates of 72 countries, including China, United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, India, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Germany, France, Cambodia and Canada, among others, to facilitate the entry of foreigners who are fully vaccinated.

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This article was first published by Vietnam Briefing which is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors across Asia from its offices worldwide, including in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, and Russia. Readers can write to [email protected]


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