Almost two years on from the border being shut, Vietnam’s tourism sector is ready to welcome back foreign tourists in the next few days.
According to the Ministry of Health’s proposed regulations, with negative COVID-19 tests, fully vaccinated foreign tourists in Vietnam may freely travel after only one day of isolation following entry.
This is part of the set of pandemic rules that the ministry sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism on the plan to reopen international tourism in the new normal, scheduled to start from March 15, 2022, after over two years of closures due to COVID-19, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The reopening of tourism activities under new normal should be based on the assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak level in each locality and area that is expected to provide accommodation, sightseeing and entertainment services for tourists, while at the same time, the locality needs to have a backup plan to respond to possible COVID-19 developments during the reopening process to guarantee absolute safety for tourists and the local community, the ministry noted.
According to the report, foreign tourists from 12 years and older who want to enter Vietnam must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last dose received at least 14 days but no more than six months before the date of entry – which is verified via vaccine passport forms that Vietnam has officially recognised, or other documents that were authenticated by relevant authorities in case those documents have been approved for direct use in Vietnam; or that they have recovered from COVID-19 within six months of the entry date – which is verified by documents showing proof of a positive RT-PCR test or recovery from COVID-19 or other equivalent documents.
High-risk people such as those aged 65 years or older, pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions but not requiring constant monitoring and treatment at medical facilities, should limit travel until new recommendations and strictly comply with COVID-19 vaccination rules before entering Vietnam.
Tourists will need to have a negative RT-PCR/RT-LAMP test result within 72 hours of entry, approved by authorised authorities of the country where the tests were conducted.
Tourists will need to make medical declarations and are required to install the Vietnam COVID-19 app (PC-COVID) during their entire stay in the country.
At the border gates, tourists who show symptoms of suspected COVID-19 infections (coughing, fever, runny rose, sore throat, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell, etc.) should report to the health authorities at the border gate for appropriate health measures.
Also read: Vietnam new visa policy for foreign tourists will be issued very soon. Here’s what you should know
The 5K message – Khẩu trang (facemask), Khử khuẩn (disinfection), Khoảng cách (distance), Không tụ tập (no gathering), Khai báo y tế (health declaration) – must be strictly followed during the movement from the border gate to the place of accommodation, with limited stopping, parking along the road, and contact with the local community recommended. In special/emergency cases where a rest stop is needed, safety measures must be taken to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
In the first 24 hours after entry, tourists are required to remain at their place of accommodation and have a COVID-19 test.
In the first 72 hours after entry, tourists are recommended to not leave their place of accommodation, but if they want to leave, they will need to have a negative COVID-19 test result every day before going out (either rapid antigen tests or RT-PCR tests).
If tourists do not travel outside of their place of accommodation within the first 72 hours after entry, they will only need to undergo two COVID-19 tests – one on the first day of entry, and another on the third day of entry. If results return negative both times, they can travel freely outside of their accommodation 72 hours after entry, but still need to self-monitor their health condition for the following seven days and comply with pandemic prevention measures.
Tourists under 12 years old may enter Vietnam along with their parents/relatives without the need for COVID-19 vaccination certificates.
If these children have either – been vaccinated against COVID-19 or once contracted COVID-19 – then they (except children younger than two years old) will follow the COVID-19 protocols and testing regulations just like for tourists aged 12 years and older.
Children who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against COVID-19 or have never been infected with coronavirus must not go outside of their place of accommodation in the first 24 hours of entry. In the seven days afterwards, they would need to have a negative COVID-19 test every day before going outside of their accommodation.
Children under two years old don’t need to undergo COVID-19 tests and can partake in activities outside their place of accommodation along with their parents and relatives (eligible entrants), even though they are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or contracted the virus before, Vietnam News Agency reported.