Vietnam Cuts Quarantine Time for Fully Vaccinated Entrants

Fully vaccinated people arriving in Vietnam will have to spend seven days in centralized quarantine and self monitor their health in the following week, the Health Ministry said Wednesday.
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Vietnam Cuts Quarantine Time for Fully Vaccinated Entrants
Repatriated Vietnamese citizens from Japan waiting to do entry procedures at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh. Photo: VNA

Fully vaccinated arrivals to Vietnam with negative Covid-19 tests will only have to undergo seven days of centralized quarantine and another seven days for medical observation, according to a new instruction from the health ministry.

The decision, signed by deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen, is made based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, reported VNN.

Vietnam has updated its coronavirus guidance to full vaccinated entrants can now quarantine for just seven days instead of its previous 14-day recommendation.

Specifically, the reduced quarantine period – compared to previous 14 days of centralized quarantine and seven days of follow-up medical observation – is applicable to those having certified (by relevant authorities of the home country) proof of negative RT-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 72 hours prior to departure, having been fully vaccinated with the last dose at least 14 days but no more than 12 months before the entry time (with vaccination certificates); or in place of vaccination records, those having been infected with coronavirus (with documents proving the positive status using RT-PCR method no more than six months prior to the entry date), or proof showing they have recovered from the disease or hospital discharge or equivalent documents issued by competent authorities in the country where they have been treated.

All entries will have to be tested for Covid-19 on the first and the seventh day of the quarantine period (counting from the entry date). The first test could use either rapid antigen tests or RT-PCR tests, but the second test would have to be single-sample RT-PCR tests.

Vietnam Cuts Quarantine Time for Fully Vaccinated Entrants
A plane lands in Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh province, July 2018. Photo: VnExpress

Those completing centralized quarantine and travelling to their residences/hotels/accommodation for further observation must wear masks, keep a distance, and use the contact tracing app Bluezone, according to the health ministry’s document.

The Bluezone app is required to be active during the seven days of follow-up observation.

The health ministry has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue guidance on evaluating and certifying Covid-19 vaccination and recovery certificates. Localities should provide opportunities for entrants to be quarantined in hotels if needed, and entrants would pay the quarantine fees themselves, cited VnExpress.

The local authorities must strictly abide by the instructions from the health ministry in the management of quarantined persons and handover and reception of those completing centralized quarantine period to ensure no cross infections and spread of the virus to the community.

Vietnam Cuts Quarantine Time for Fully Vaccinated Entrants
Medical workers in protective suits stand outside a quarantined building amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Hanoi, Vietnam, January 29, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Since last month, the health ministry has trialed a similar quarantine approach in the northern province of Quang Ninh, which allows fully vaccinated individuals or recovered Covid-19 patients to undergo seven days in centralized quarantine.

Vietnam closed its borders from March last year and those allowed to enter have been mostly Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad, foreign diplomats, investors and high-skilled workers.

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