Post-Pandemic Travel: Vietnam Welcomes 30 International Flights in November

Vietnamese airlines will conduct nearly 30 flights this month to carry foreign tourists to Kien Giang, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa.

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Foreign tourists are seen walking in Hoi An ancient city in the central province of Quang Nam before international arrivals were halted. (Photo: baochinhphu.vn)
Foreign tourists are seen walking in Hoi An ancient city in the central province of Quang Nam before international arrivals were halted. Photo: baochinhphu.vn

Khanh Hoa, Phu Quoc and Da Nang are among the five localities allowed to welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists from November onwards under a pilot plan. The two other localities are the provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ninh.

International tourists with vaccine passports or those who have made a full recovery from Covid-19 can visit these destinations without a quarantine mandate.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said at a seminar on November 12 that national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines would operate one flight to the central city of Da Nang on November 17.

Meanwhile, Vietjet Air will operate one to Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang on November 20.

Another 24 additional flights will carry foreign tourists to the three localities, mainly from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand, he said.

On November 11, two flights from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan arrived in Khanh Hoa province, home to famous tourists hotspots Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, carrying 429 passengers.

Foreign tourists on Bui Vien pedestrian street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, 2018. Photo by VnExpress
Foreign tourists on Bui Vien pedestrian street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, 2018. Photo: VnExpress

Bui Quoc Thai, Deputy Director of the Kien Giang’s Department of Tourism, said Phu Quoc is scheduled to welcome the first flight from the RoK’s Incheon airport at noon on November 20.

Earlier, Vietjet Air had sought approval to fly 250 tourists from the RoK to Phu Quoc on November 20 under the vaccine passport programme. All tourists would be taken to the Vinpearl Resort and Spa Phu Quoc for a three-day tour package.

Following the five destinations, the pilot plan will be expanded by connecting destinations through regular charter and international commercial flights as from January 2022.

The tourists can participate in travel programmes that combine multiple destinations after completing their tours at the first destination within seven days. Five destinations – Kien Giang, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ninh – will be piloted first and some other localities will be added to the programmes later as long as the pandemic conditions permit and the local authorities submit proposals to welcome international tourists.

Vietnam’s tourism market will fully open to international tourists in the last phase, the starting time of which will be based on the latest pandemic situation on the evaluation of the two previous phases.

What are requirements for tourists?

South Korean tourists in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province, February 2020. Photo by VnExpres
Korean tourists in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province, February 2020. Photo: VnExpres

Tourists must prove certificates of taking full doses of the Covid-19 vaccination or Covid-19 recovery recognised by authorities in Vietnam, except children under 12 years old accompanied by parents or guardians. For Covid-19 recovery patients, the time from being discharged from the hospital to the time of departure must not exceed six months.

Other conditions include having negative results for SARS-CoV-2 test by RT-PCR/RT-LAMP method within 72 hours before departure and certified by the authority of the country conducting the test (from time of sampling) and having medical or travel insurance that covers Covid-19 treatment worth at least USD50,000.

Tourists must have their temperature regularly checked and install the IGOVN application during their stay. Masking is required, and there will be no quarantine mandate.

On the first day of entry, tourists will be taken to the accommodation facility and have Covid-19 tests. They could continue their stay if the tests prove negative; otherwise, they will be taken to a medical facility and the cost will be covered by insurance or travel agency.

Within the first seven days, tourists must adhere to the schedule, observe pandemic prevention regulations and take self-tests every two to three days. In case of having any symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat, they must inform medical staff for screening tests.

After seven days, those who continue to stay in Vietnam must be tested for Covid-19 and could travel to other localities within the programme if the results are negative. Those who want to see their relatives in Vietnam need to register with their tour operators./.

Post-Pandemic Travel: Vietnam Welcomes 30 International Flights in November
Vietnam has temporarily recognised vaccination certificates or vaccine passports of 72 countries and territories worldwide. Photo: VNA

Vietnam closed its doors to foreign tourists and grounded international flights in March 2020, and has since allowed entry only to Vietnamese repatriates and foreign experts and highly-skilled workers.

The country recorded a 79% year-on-year decline in the number of foreign visitors in 2020. It welcomed just 3.83 million foreign visitors last year against a record 18 million in 2019.

Vietnam has temporarily recognised vaccination certificates or vaccine passports of 72 countries and territories worldwide that were officially introduced to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These countries and territories include Poland, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Republic of Korea (RoK), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Oman, Thailand, Romania, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Sri Lanka, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Germany, Russia, the UK, Austria, San Marino, Laos, Singapore, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, the US, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Norway, Sweden, Israel, France, Turkey, Azerbaijan, India, Switzerland, China, Pakistan, Ireland, Greece, Kuwait, Colombia, the Netherlands, Australia, Finland, Taiwan (China), Hungary, Belarus, Cambodia, Algeria, Canada, Indonesia, Nepal, Mexico, Bolivia, Croatia, Portugal, Turkmenistan, Palestine, Qatar, Libya, Egypt, Timor Leste, Ukraine, the Philippines, Malaysia, Luxembourg, Argentina, Jordan, and Brunei.

Rosy Huong