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Vietnam to limit inbound flights ahead of Lunar New Year

January 12, 2021 | 12:09

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered subordinate levels to minimize inbound flights until the Lunar New Year holiday.

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All inbound flights, if any, must be agreed upon by four ministries before reporting to the government chief for consideration and decision. (photo: vgp)
All inbound flights, if any, must be agreed upon by four ministries before reporting to the Government chief for consideration and decision. (Photo: VGP)

All inbound flights, if any, must be agreed upon by four ministries, namely the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Transport, before reporting to the Government chief for consideration and decision.

The move was made due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants that are up to 70% more transmissible in many countries.

After the Lunar New Year, the Ministry of Transport was assigned to resume commercial flights as having been directed by the Prime Minister in favor of realizing the dual goal of COVID-19 containment and economic recovery as well as meeting citizens’ travel demand.

The Ministry of National Defense shall coordinate with the Ministry of Health to conduct thorough preparations for quarantining Vietnamese citizens repatriated from abroad.

The quarantine protocol must be reviewed and adjusted properly to ensure safety against the new COVID-19 variants.

In addition, provincial-level People’s Committees shall have to strengthen inspection of concentrated quarantine sites (excluding camps managed by the Army) to make sure that the regulations on pandemic prevention and control are strictly implemented.

A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a vietnam airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at noi bai airport in hanoi, february 21, 2020. (photo: reuters)
A health worker sprays disinfectant inside a Vietnam Airlines airplane to protect from the recent coronavirus outbreak, at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam February 21, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)

All entrants must be subject to 14-day mandatory quarantine, except for special cases decided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier on January 5, PM Phuc signed Directive 01/CT-TTg on strengthening prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he ordered suspension of inbound flights from countries and territories, firstly the UK and South Africa, that have reported new COVID-19 variants.

PM Phuc assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport to work out a list of countries and territories that the new regulations will apply to.

Vietnam has suspended all inbound international commercial flights since late March, but the government has been operating repatriation flights to bring home Vietnamese citizens stuck abroad amid the pandemic.

Some special flights carrying foreign experts and investors have been allowed to fly into Vietnam. All people entering the country have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The country on Tuesday suspended inbound flights from countries with new COVID-19 variants, initially Britain and South Africa.

One imported covid-19 case recorded on january 11 in vietnam . (photo: brookings)
One imported COVID-19 case recorded on January 11 in Vietnam . (Photo: Brookings)

Thanks to strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam fared much better than many nations, registering a total of 1,515 coronavirus infections and 35 deaths. Of the patient tally, 1,361 have recovered and exited hospitals. The country has gone 38 days with no locally transmitted cases.

A Polish man was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Monday. As reported by VGP, the man, aged 57, flew from Qatar to Ho Chi Minh City on January 9 on flight QR970.

He is being treated at the city’s Cu Chi field hospital.

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Jasmine Le