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Changes amid the Covid-19 pandemic: An up-to-date guide for foreigners in Vietnam

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Travel Alert ( Top News )

Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in such a drastic way that it greatly and prolongedly affects how we live, the way we work and travel. The unprecedented times are forcing every country around the globe to adapt, change and create new policies day to day, and Vietnam is no exception. If you are feeling overwhelmed with tons of news on the local media regarding changes amid the pandemic in Vietnam, you should read this summed-up guide for latest updates of the Covid-19 situation in the country. 

By 5 May, Vietnam records:
•    271 confirmed cases of Covid-19
•    In which 232 cases are successfully recovered
•    39 active cases are under treatment
•    0 deaths

For up-to-date data, check on the official website of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam for Covid-19 pandemic.

Changes in immigration regulations

With the Covid-19 spreading in a complex manner on a large scale across the world, the Government of Vietnam has decided to:
•  Temporarily suspend visa exemption policy and entry to all foreigners since 22nd March, 2020 until further notice.
•  Those entering Vietnam for diplomatic and official purposes, for participation in major diplomatic events, or experts, business managers or highly skilled workers, the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of National Defense will coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and other relevant agencies to issue visas if necessary
•  All entrants in these categories into Vietnam will be subject to medical checks and mandatory 14-day quarantine
•  The Transport Ministry will create favourable conditions for flights carrying foreign passengers out of Vietnam.

Changes in transportations 
By 29th April, all international flights are still halted except for some flights carrying students, workers and overseas Vietnamese back to Vietnam. 

For domestic flights, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, low-cost carriers Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways together operate 20 returned flights per day running on the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City route and 6 returned flights per day on the Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh – Danang route, with a specific number of flights being allocated to each airline. From Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh to other localities around the country and inter-provincial routes, each airline would operate a single flight per day to meet the travel demands of local people. With the government’s social distancing measures in place, it is required for relevant units operating in the aviation industry to strictly comply by limiting the number of passengers on flights and ensuring that all the passengers are tested negative for the virus.

During this period, 4 pairs of passenger trains are set to operate on the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City route. From 30th April onwards, Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City trains will run as usual but base on the demand and train capacity.

The nationwide Social distancing
As an emergency measure to handle the virus, Vietnam officially declared Covid-19 a national epidemic and issued an order on nationwide social distancing for 15 days starting from 1st April, 2020. It called on the public to stay at home and only go out if necessary for buying food and medicine or working in factories or production facilities that produce essential goods and other emergency cases.

Besides this, people should maintain a safe physical distance of at least 2 meters and not gather in groups of more than two in public places. All must wear face masks when going outside, and report to authorities immediately when you experience any symptoms of the virus or know anyone coming from the infected area without being placed in quarantine. Fill out responsibly the online medical declarations, or download NCOVI application on App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android devices.

After 15th April, the country was then divided into 3 groups: High risk, Medium risk and Low risk. Since Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City belonged to Group 1 – High risk, social distancing was extended for another week under the same rules in the two biggest cities, asking residents to stay put where they are and not to leave their home.

Since 16th April, Vietnam didn’t record any new cases in the communities, however, some recovered patients test positive again, along with three new cases of two Vietnamese students flying back from Japan and one British expat, whom were put in quarantine right upon arrival.

From 22nd April onwards, social distancing has started to expire in most areas, restrictions are being lifted for restaurants, public transportation businesses, manufacturers and companies. Schools have reopened nationwide since 4th May. It is good news that the government and people’s efforts have, to some extent, controlled the impact of the disease outbreak.


Tourism and recreation closures and cancellations

Being highly exposed to disease, tourism and recreation industries are greatly hurt and suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to unavoidable closures and cancellations of many tourist sites, recreational activities and festivals in Vietnam. However, since the middle of April, major tourism hot spots have reopened for locals and tourists after lockdown, which are Halong Bay, Sapa, Ninh Binh, Quang Binh, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Phu Yen, Dalat, Vung Tau, Phu Quoc and Con Dao Island. Regardless, karaoke, bars, massage and spa services, dance and gym clubs, religious festivals and events with gatherings of crowds of more than 20 people will continue to be suspended.

Visitors should always take extra care when travelling in order to prevent further spreading of Covid-19. Check out some prominent cultural and sport events that are canceled or postponed until the situation improves as below: 
•    F1 Vietnam Grand Prix – Postponed 
•    Da Nang International Fireworks Festival 2020 – Cancelled
•    Huế Festival 2020 – Postponed to 28th August, 2020
•    Da Lat Sufferfest – Postponed
•    Quang Binh Marathon – Postponed
•    Techcombank Ha Noi Marathon – Postponed
•    Sunrise Sprint – Postponed to 3rd May, 2020
•    Da Lat Ultra Trail 2020 – Postponed to 19th-21st June, 2020

Recommendations for travellers

You should definitely follow all regulations on Covid-19 prevention based on instructions from the health sector for your own safety and the community wellness.

- Seek for immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath. Notify the airline, railway or road staff or call the Hotline 19003228. Truthfully share your travel schedule with medical staff.
- Always use a face mask. Make sure the mask covers the mouth and nose and avoid touching it while in use. If using disposable masks, put them in the trash after use.
- Avoid close contact with strangers in public places and gathering in large groups. Maintain a safe physical distance of at least 2 meters if you can.
- Maintain hand and respiratory hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and clean water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with tissue or by coughing/sneezing into your elbow.
- Safe food practices. Only use foods that are cooked and ensure food safety. Avoid close contact with wild animals, whether live, sick or dead.

With current situation, Vietnam is taking all actions towards a safe destination for every traveller and preparing to reopen to foreign in the near future once the pandemic is under control. We look forward to welcome you in our beautiful country in the coming time. Visit Threeland Travel's Blog or write us at [email protected] for exclusive Vietnam holiday deals and get more up-to-date information. 

  • Staying positive Chirag Rawal

Staying positive

Thanks for your update. I hope you guys are staying safe through this tough time.