Since the inception of the infamous COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has been at the forefront of combating the spread of the virus within its borders. Because of its proactiveness, Vietnam was able to quickly contain the virus from where it was detected inside the country. Vietnam has also taken measures to prevent external sources of the virus from entering. This resulted in a swift travel restriction for those planning to travel to Vietnam. Below is an overview of the Vietnam travel COVID-19 regulations and restrictions.
Currently, Vietnam has imposed 3 decrees, including Decree 15, 16, and 19, regulating public measures to prevent further outbreaks of the virus within the country. Decree 19 is considered most relaxed with some entertainment services allowed, while Decree 16 is the most serious with strict social distancing practices. Which decree is applied depends on the severity of the outbreak, and some changes might be added to cater to specific situations. Currently (as of October 2021), social distancing are pretty relaxed almost everywhere as the majority of new cases are quickly detected and safely quarantined.
Some main guidelines to look out for:
Vietnam Travel COVID-19 Regulations: Violations to Look out for
Vietnam is very strict with the rules to prevent the uncontrollable outbreak of the virus, so much so, if you happen to break one of the rules, it can result in a fine or even legal punishment. Here are the major regulations to keep in mind:
Since March 22nd, Vietnam has suspended all entries into the country and will not be issuing visas to foreign nationals in an attempt to limit the spreading of COVID-19. Officially, Vietnam has suspended all visa exemptions as a part of the Vietnam travel COVID-19 regulations as of March 15th, 2020 for the following countries:
Exemptions are made for officials and diplomatic personnel, but they are still required to have a medical check upon arrival and a 14-day quarantine before interacting with the public. However, any official personnel who will be in Vietnam for less than 14 days will not have to have a mandatory quarantine period but must follow Vietnam’s strict regulations of COVID-19.
All foreigners who have entered Vietnam after March 1st, 2020 will receive an automatic visa extension until October 31st, 2021, as stated by Vietnam’s Immigration Department. To request to stay after the proposed date, Vietnam’s health declaration form is mandatory. Because this process will need to be checked by doctors and government employees, it is even more imperative to start as soon as possible.
All foreigners who have entered Vietnam before March 1st may be considered for the visa extension but must acquire adequate documents from their embassy. The embassy must approve of the reasoning and proof documents for why they were unable to leave Vietnam.
Along with that, all foreigners in Vietnam are expected to have practiced self-quarantine for some time. They must also have certified documentation that they have been treated for COVID-19 and/or are virus-free. If they wish to eventually leave Vietnam, these documentations will be important to present to immigration officials to travel outside of the country.
Vietnam Immigration Department building
For more information about the new policy: (024) 39387320 - Vietnam Immigration Department.
Individuals who have traveled to Vietnam for work or business-related reasoning are encouraged to contact their visa agent to situate any visa concerns before their visa is close to the expiration date.
For entrance to Vietnam, travelers need to pay a quarantine fee. If infected, the medical treatment for Vietnamese nationals comes from the state fund. Meanwhile, foreign nationals must pay for themselves.
Read more on COVID-19 Testing and Treatment in Vietnam
Starting on April 1st, Vietnam has suspended all passenger flights from all airlines into Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines has also announced that it has suspended all two-way international flights from March 25th until further notice. However, the good news is that Vietnam has continued international air routes with Guangzhou, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo from September 15th, and Phnom Penh and Vientiane from September 22nd.
Due to the current outbreak of the Delta variant, all flights, trains, buses, and other public transportation have been greatly limited.
Health declaration form
Vietnam has made it a requirement that all travelers entering Vietnam must submit a health declaration form along with complying with a COVID-19 medical check upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form at the airport or prepare it in advance through this weblink. Travelers are legally responsible for ensuring that all information on the form is true and accurate.
The line for a quarantine health check at an airport in Hanoi
A quarantine center in Vietnam
Upon arrival, if a traveler is tested positive for COVID-19, Vietnam has the right to isolate them along with all who were in close contact for a 14 to 21-day quarantine period. Typically, if the traveler is from an inbound flight, the whole flight will go into quarantine. Local health authorities will be regularly visiting hotels or sites of quarantine for check-ups until the quarantine period has passed.
If an individual who is in quarantine is tested negative before their quarantine time window is up, they will still need to complete the rest of their quarantine period. If an individual continues to show positive signs of COVID-19, then their mandatory quarantine will be extended depending on their symptoms.
Government health worker sanitizing a beach
Within Vietnam, health officials have declared the temporary closures of several tourist sites that are high-risk since the beginning of the pandemic. These locations were often reported as where cases of the virus have been confirmed. As a result, the tourism industry in Vietnam went into a decline.
However, as of April 23rd, tourist attractions were allowed to reopen under the new regulation against COVID-19. This ensures that safety measures must be taken for all visitors and that a new culture of proactiveness must be in place.
Several festivals and events in Vietnam have been officially canceled or postponed in response to the pandemic. The Vietnamese government has taken direct control to ensure that large festive public gatherings will not happen.
The following events have been postponed or canceled for the year:
Vietnamese citizens in a queue to get tested for COVID-19
The Vietnamese government has taken the pandemic extremely seriously and enforced strict regulations to keep the number of cases to as few as possible. The government quickly formed the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to communicate with the public. The committee took action in launching an educational campaign throughout the country with an equal focus on its online presence.
A makeshift COVID-19 test station
Travel-related key actions from the government to contain COVID-19:
Following the government, many private businesses in tourism and accommodations have implemented preventative measures to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, such as wearing masks and using hand sanitizers.
Safety poster promoting uniting against COVID-19
Travelers in Vietnam during this pandemic should be vigilant in monitoring restrictions and regulations by the national and local authorities. Also, basic precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the virus should be practiced as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO):
The hope is to welcome all tourists back into the country within the near foreseeable future. As the situation with COVID-19 develops, the Vietnamese government will continue to be prepared to respond appropriately to ensure that the people within its borders are safe from the pandemic.. Starting with a steady return of domestic travelers within Vietnam, the next step would be to allow international visitors to enter the country when appropriate.
© Written by Long Tran for itourvn.com