Representatives of the city’s Department of Health, Department of Tourism and Department of Information and Communications, as well as Vietjet Airlines and the Southern Airport Authority, spoke during a press conference in the city on Friday afternoon about the incident. 

Nguyễn Thúy Bình, deputy general director of Vietjet Airlines, said that on September 30 Vietjet flight VJ963 carried 158 passengers from Incheon, South Korea to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City.

However, upon arrival, some passengers did not agree to be quarantined at the hotel. Before the flight, the airline representative had informed the passengers about quarantine regulations and necessary COVID tests, as well as the prices of hotels selected to be quarantine areas in HCM City.

“We informed them about the US$100 price per room for each night, and all the passengers agreed to the price before the flight. But when they arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất airport, some customers did not agree to the price,” Bình said.

Đòan Quốc Bình, deputy director of the Southern Airport Authority, said that, after flight VJ963 landed, only three passengers agreed to the initial commitment they had made with Vietjet Airlines.

After the authorities intervened, 17 of the 158 passengers agreed to quarantine at designated hotels for VNĐ1.2 million (US$51) per day, and another 140 passengers were taken to a quarantine hospital in Cần Giờ District. One person with signs of chronic kidney failure was transferred to Nguyễn Tri Phương Hospital.

The city has two hotels used for cabin crews to quarantine and 940 rooms at eight hotels as paid quarantine places for people entering the city, according to Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, deputy director of the city’s department of Tourism.

About 700 rooms at these hotels are being used and the remaining 240 rooms are vacant. Most of them are 2-5 star hotels, with an average price of VNĐ1.2 to VNĐ5 million ($51 to $215) per room per night, which does not include fees for shuttle services, laundry or other services.

Phan Thanh Tâm, deputy director of the city Centre for Disease Control, said that arrivals could stay in one room for up to two persons at paid quarantine hotels.

To prepare for upcoming international flights to Việt Nam, city departments and agencies have proposed adding 16 hotels with a total of 1,025 rooms, which will be used for commercial flights. The rooms, which have been assessed, meet the regulations of quarantine areas and staff training.

This story was first posted on Vietnam News