Some foreigners entering Vietnam on commercial flights resumed this month will be required to undergo centralized quarantine from five to seven days.
Vietnam is expected to resume commercial flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Guangzhou, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan from September 15, and Laos and Cambodia starting September 22.
Around 20,000 passengers are scheduled to arrive in the country each month, Government Office Chief Mai Tien Dung said at a meeting Friday.
Passengers would include Vietnamese citizens, foreigners carrying diplomatic and official passports, experts, managers, high-skilled workers, investors, and their family members. The flights are not opened to tourists yet.
Under the Transport Ministry’s proposal, there would be two weekly round trips on the HCMC-Guangzhou route, two weekly services on the Hanoi-Tokyo and HCMC-Tokyo routes as well as four trips from Hanoi and HCMC to Seoul, and four weekly trips to Taipei.
Dung said passengers must furnish a certificate showing they tested negative for the novel coronavirus within five days before boarding the flight. Upon landing in Vietnam, they would have to undergo centralized quarantine from five to seven days and would be tested for Covid-19 twice using the real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Those reporting negative results would remain at home or their place of work until they complete the 14-day quarantine period as per health ministry protocol under the supervision of local authorities. Those showing signs of infection will have to continue the centralized quarantine.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in Vietnam last January, the country required those coming from abroad to be quarantined at centralized facilities for 14 days.
Foreign passengers, including Vietnamese returning from abroad, would have to pay for all quarantine and testing expenses. Costs for PCR testing in Vietnam are proposed at VND 1.2 million ($52) per person.
During their stay, passengers will be required to install Bluezone, a Bluetooth-based app that helps determine if a person has come into close contact with a Covid-19 patient.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam had brought the second outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic under control since the country has experienced eight clean days without new domestic infections.
“It must be ensured that foreign arrivals cause no new outbreaks,” Phuc stressed.
Vietnam suspended all international flights on March 25. Many foreigners who have been kept out of the country due to travel restrictions have pleaded with the government to reopen the borders and resume international flights so they could reunite with their families.
The country has recorded 1,059 Covid-19 cases, 128 of which remain active. So far, 35 people have succumbed to the pandemic, many of them elderly patients suffering underlying conditions like diabetes and/or kidney failure.