Vietnam to Pilot Reopening of 9 International Routes Starting 2022

Vietnam is set to reopen regular international flights in two phases, with the first connecting the country to nine markets, said Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam at a seminar on December 16 to seek solutions for the reopening of international routes.
December 17, 2021 | 12:14
Vietnam to Pilot Reopening of 9 int’l routes starting 2022
Illustrative photo: Ministry of Health

Cuong revealed that during the initial phase, the nation will resume nine international routes to traditional markets such as Beijing/Guangzhou, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, and San Francisco/Los Angeles, VOV reported.

During the second phase, along with these nine markets, the transport sector proposes reopening additional routes both to/from Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong (China), Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney, and Moscow.

Based on evaluation relating to the implementation of the two pilot phases and pandemic containment efforts, the CAAV will propose increasing the frequency of flights.

Priority will duly be given to fully-vaccinated arrivals or those who record a negative RT-PCR test, said Cuong, adding that the move will create favorable conditions for Vietnamese people abroad who wish to return home to visit their relatives at the end of the year.

He also pointed out that 98% of people nationwide have got their first Covid-19 dose, while there is a high rate of people receiving two jabs, noting that the reopening of international flights will facilitate travel and gradually restore normal life.

Vietnam to Pilot Reopening of 9 International Routes Starting 2022
Aircraft park at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, June, 2020. Photo: VNE

According to new guidance issued by the Ministry of Health, fully vaccinated foreign arrivals with negative Covid-19 test results will only need to self-quarantine at home or places of accommodation for three days upon entry into Vietnam by air.

The new regulations will be effective from January 1, 2022, the day Vietnam is set to resume regular international flights on a pilot basis, VNA said.

The arrivals must have proof of negative Covid-19 test results (using the gold-standard PCR method) within 72 hours prior to entry (except in the case of children under two years old), must declare their health status before entry and must install Vietnam’s PC-COVID app (available on both Android and iOS) for contact tracing and medical declaration purposes.

Arrivals that are Vietnamese citizens, including Vietnamese citizens residing overseas and the spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens, who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, can be given free inoculation during the quarantine period if they agree.

Entrants who have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19, must not make direct contact with others nor leave their places of residence or designated accommodation (hotels, motels, resorts, offices, dormitories, guest houses, etc.) during the first three days.

Two RT-PCR tests will be conducted, on the first and third day since the date of entry.

If the results return negative, then the entrants still need to self-monitor their health status for 14 days after arrival, but this is already a huge step down from the current policies of mandatory seven days of concentrated quarantine and seven days of follow-up medical self-observation.

If they are willing to get a Covid-19 test (RT-PCR) on the tenth day, then the medical self-observation could end then.

For entrants who have not been fully vaccinated, upon entry, they will stay at home or place of accommodation for seven days, with RT-PCR tests conducted on the first and seventh day.

If the results are negative, the full two weeks of self-observation is applied, with another RT-PCR test to be done on the fourteenth day from the entry.

For entrants who are under 18 years old, above 65 years old, pregnant women, or having underlying health conditions (without requiring care or observation of medical facilities), they will be allowed to go into quarantine with their parents or caretakers.

The caretakers must be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 and sign a ‘commitment’ document giving their voluntary willingness to quarantine with another person after having been informed of the risks of virus transmission. They will also be subject to the same stringent testing regimes and Covid-19 prevention and control measures expected of foreign arrivals.

Vietnam to Pilot Reopening of 9 International Routes Starting 2022
Photo: Tien Phong News

Representatives of local airlines also affirmed their readiness to operate regular international flights while partnering alongside travel firms and accommodation establishments in a bid to design concrete programs for passengers.

Hoang Ngoc Thach, commercial director of Bamboo Airways, said Vietnamese people’s travel demand overseas remains high, adding that the carrier has already reserved slots to major airports in the United States and France to meet the rising demand.

The airline has also purchased wide-body aircraft and made full preparations for the resumption of international flights in the future.

Currently, people entering the nation still have to be isolated for seven days and have their health monitored during this period, in line with regulations of the Ministry of Health.

The Government has recently agreed upon a plan to restore regular international passenger flights to countries with a high safety factor as of January 1, 2022.

Vietnam grounded international flights in March last year, for a long time allowing in only its nationals, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers coming by special flights.

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