Vietnam restrains inbound flights until Tet holiday

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a proposal by several ministries to restrict inbound flights from now till the Tet Holiday due to the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant.
January 11, 2021 | 14:53
vietnam covid 19 updates jan 11 vietnam limits inbound flights until mid february Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (Jan 11): Vietnam limits inbound flights until mid-February
vietravel airlines officially launch its first charter flights Vietravel Airlines officially launch its first charter flights
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A Vietnam Airlines aircraft is seen on an apron at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.

Flights are only allowed with the Prime Minister’s permission following the proposal from the Ministries of Health, Foreign Affairs, National Defence, Public Security and Transport.

The PM asked the Ministry of National Defence to work closely with the Ministry of Health to set up concentrated quarantine facilities for the returnees, according to VOV.

He also requested provincial and municipal administrations to strengthen inspection at concentrated quarantine facilities except ones run by the military.

The Ministry of Health and local administrations were required to strictly follow procedures of receiving, transporting and monitoring those who finish the mandatory 14-day quarantine period at the aforementioned facilities. Anyone who breaks up the rules will be duly punished according to the law.

The PM also requested that the Ministry National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security strengthen border control to early detect and prevent any illegal entry.

The Ministry of Transport was assigned to consider plans to resume commercial flights to overseas destinations under the PM’s instructions after the Tet holiday to realize the dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery, as well as meet people’s travel demand.

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Vietnamese people on a repatriation flight Photo: VNExpress

Vietnam stopped commercial flights carrying experts and workers last month and allowed only repatriation flights as the Covid-19 situation got intense globally with a new variant spreading from the U.K, VNExpress reported.

On January 5, the government suspended flights from countries and territories with the new variants, starting with the U.K. and South Africa.

All entrants have to go through a 14-day mandatory quarantine except for cases determined differently by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A Vietnamese woman returning home from Britain was found to be the first case infected with the new, more contagious coronavirus strain.

She was among a group 305 passengers returning to Vietnam by Vietnam Airlines flight VN50 that landed in Can Tho on December 22. She is undergoing treatment at the Tra Vinh Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Hospital for a sore throat, slight fever and cough but does not have breathing difficulties.

Since Vietnam suspended inbound international flights late March, the government has organized over 260 repatriation flights to bring Vietnamese citizens back from 59 countries and territories, according to the foreign ministry.

Vietnam announced to resume commercial flight routes with six countries and territories - China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos and Cambodia - in September last year but does not allow inbound flights, apart from special flights to bring experts in.

Vietnam has reported 1,514 Covid-19 cases so far. Among patients under treatment, nine have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, eight twice and eight thrice. The fatalities remain at 35. A total of 17,634 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-affected regions are staying in quarantine nationwide.
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Malie Nguyen

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