Vietnam suspends inbound passenger flights as of Oct. 9 due to COVID-19. Domestic measures eased. Entry ban for most foreigners in place.
Alert Begins 09 Oct 2020 09:16 AM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Nov 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Entry restrictions, travel and business disruptions, quarantine measures
Vietnam has halted inbound passenger flights as of Oct. 9 to improve quarantine procedures for arrivals and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The resumption date of the flights is unclear. Prior to the flight suspension, officials required arrivals to test negative for COVID-19 up to five days before the travel date, isolate at designated facilities for at least five days, and test for COVID-19 twice at the quarantine sites, with limited exemptions. Additionally, the government exempted foreign experts, business managers, investors, and diplomats who are visiting Vietnam for less than 14 days from isolation requirements, though these foreigners would still have to comply with other health protocols like testing for COVID-19 before departure and upon arrival. Authorities may revise these isolation rules upon resuming inbound passenger flights. Foreigners remain banned from entering Vietnam, with exceptions for foreign experts, investors, managers, skilled workers, and resident diplomats.
The central government is allowing public transport vehicles, including buses, taxis, trains, ships, and planes, to operate nationwide with precautions in place. Safeguards include requiring passengers to wear facemasks, complete health declaration forms before the trips, and frequently sanitize their hands. However, areas with COVID-19 activity may implement additional transport restrictions.
Parts of Vietnam have relaxed controls due to decreased local COVID-19 activity, though several areas have maintained some restrictions. The central government has given provincial or city authorities discretion to modify curbs to local conditions. Da Nang has resumed intercity travel and reopened most nonessential businesses; local officials continue to suspend discotheques, bars, karaoke lounges, and massage parlors. Tourism activities are ongoing in some areas, including Hoi An and Phu Yen Province. Precautions in tourism sites typically include requiring visitors and workers to wear facemasks, maintain physical distancing from each other, and clean their hands regularly. Additionally, in various locations, including Ho Chi Minh City, people have to wear facemasks when in public; violators may face fines of VND 100,000-300,000 (USD 4-13). Central and local officials may reintroduce or implement additional controls if new COVID-19 activity increases further.
While short-term trips to Vietnam for leisure purposes remain banned, officials have started to reissue electronic visas to foreign nationals from 80 locations, including Australia, mainland China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea, the UK, and the US. Officials have approved visa extensions through Oct. 31 for foreigners already in Vietnam.
Background and Analysis
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.