From March 15th, Vietnam’s borders will be wide open albeit in ‘new normal’ conditions.
On Wednesday 16 February, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam made the announcement after long consultations with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The goal, well-understood by Government leaders, is to re-ignite the tourism sector while safely and effectively living with the Covid-19 epidemic.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies in unifying regulations on international tourists while provinces and localities will receive detailed instructions to cope with the changes.
‘New-Normal’ Visa policies
The Ministry of Culture is also assigned to work with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant ministries and sectors to consult the Government on international visa policies for Vietnam.
Vietnam previously offered visa exemptions for 13 countries and bilaterally for 88 countries and territories.
However, due to COVID outbreaks in 2020, the Government stopped implementing this visa exemption process.
Under the proposed ‘new normal’ conditions, after March 15, restrictive measures on visa issuance will be removed and Vietnam will resume the same visa policies that were in place before the epidemic, including issuing visas, E-visas, and visa exemptions.
After March 15th, international tourists do not have to register for tours to visit Vietnam as in the pilot period.
To enable tourists to travel around Vietnam unrestricted, they need to meet the following regulations of the Ministry of Health:
- Show proof of two vaccinations
- Show proof of insurance
- Self-isolate for the first 12 hours upon arrival
- Receive a negative COVID test result at the end of the first 12 hours
Vietnam relaxes entry restrictions for tourists before March 15
Before complete tourism reopens in mid-March, the tourism ministry has eased entry restrictions for visitors coming to Vietnam under an ongoing vaccination passport trial program.
Released on Thursday by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the government's new regulations allow foreign travellers and overseas Vietnamese to travel to Vietnam on regular commercial flights, rather than only charter flights.
If tourists show a negative PCR test result after three days of arrival, they are free to visit other authorized destinations under the vaccine passport program.
The pre-assigned destinations include Khanh Hoa (Nha Trang), Kien Giang (Phu Quoc), Quang Nam (Hoi An), Quang Ninh (Ha Long Bay), and Binh Dinh (Quy Nhon) provinces, along with Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City.
Visiting Vietnam Before March 15th - What To Do
Currently, international visitors to Vietnam need to have a negative test result before boarding (within 24 hours for the rapid test method, 72 hours for the RT-PCR method).
Visitors also need to install at least one health management application (such as PC Covid) and turn it on continuously during their stay in Vietnam.
For international guests entering by air with suspicious symptoms, they must be tested immediately at the airport. If they cannot go directly to their pre-registered accommodation, they have to self-isolate within 24 hours and undergo rapid or RT-PCR testing.
Those with a confirmed case must continue medical monitoring for 14 days under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and strictly implement 5K measures which are (in Vietnamese):
- Wear a facemask (Khau trang)
- Regularly disinfect (Khu khuan)
- Social distance (Khoang cach)
- No gatherings (Khong tu tap)
- Make regular health declarations (Khai bao y te)
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also affirmed that international visitors entering Vietnam must pay insurance with a coverage level of 10,000 USD in the event of needing treatment for Covid-19 in Vietnam.
The government started allowing foreign tourists entry under the program last November. So far, nearly 9,000 foreign arrivals have been welcomed, half of them overseas Vietnamese coming to see their relatives.