Vietnam will no longer quarantine double-dosed visitors as part of efforts to facilitate the entry of tourists and overseas Vietnamese who are stranded abroad and want to return to their home country for the upcoming Tet holiday (Lunar New Year) in early February 2022.
|Vietnamese citizens in a repatriation flight operated by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. Photo: Vietnam Airlines|
Under the new regulations, fully vaccinated inbound travelers with negative Covid-19 testing results will be quarantined at home within a certain period of time to ensure safety for themselves and the community, according to reports from a government meeting on December 8 chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
For unvaccinated visitors, they will be quarantined at domestic facilities with the best conditions and get vaccine injection, Dam said, asking authorities to pay attention to the demand for returning of Vietnamese workers, students, and citizens stranded abroad and overseas Vietnamese.
He emphasized that overseas Vietnamese must be “treated the same way as Vietnamese citizens.”
“Returning to the homeland is a very legitimate desire and we must promptly engage in the work of facilitating their entry in the context of the approaching Lunar New Year,” he stressed.
"Over the past time, Vietnam has repatriated nearly 200,000 citizens from 60 countries and territories on more than 800 flights."
He said despite the high number of infections, the pandemic in Vietnam remains under control with a high vaccination rate and good treatment of critical cases to mitigate fatalities. Therefore, authorities need to change their mindset on welcoming stranded Vietnamese people and overseas Vietnamese.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Health is tasked with issuing regulations on the new move prior to December 15. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport is required to speed up the resumption of international flights.
Currently, Vietnam imposes one-week quarantine and subsequent seven days of medical surveillance to incoming people who are fully vaccinated and diagnosed negative for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR testing.
The country has begun a “vaccine passport” policy in early September 2021 to welcome foreign investors, experts, skilled workers, Vietnamese citizens, and overseas Vietnamese in certain places like Quang Ninh in the north, Danang in the central region, and Can Tho in the south.
The country has exchanged the vaccine passport programs with more than 80 countries and negotiated with nearly 90 other nations on the same issue.
Vietnam has switched anti-pandemic strategy from “zero-Covid” to “adapting safely to Covid-19” since October 2021 after several months of struggling with the widespread transmission across the nation, mainly in the south. Under the new Covid-19 response strategy, it has facilitated the entry of foreign experts to serve the recovery plans.
The overseas Vietnamese community has around 5.3 million living in 130 countries and territories worldwide with 98% residing in 21 countries across North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.