COVID-19 in Vietnam: Travel Updates and Restrictions
In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has imposed several travel restrictions on those entering the country. As of March 15, Vietnam had confirmed 57 cases of the coronavirus, though 16 of the patients had recovered.
Those planning to travel to Vietnam should be aware of the latest restrictions currently in place:
- As of 12:00 pm on March 15, Vietnam suspended all visas and will deny entry to travelers from the UK and the 26 Schengen countries; this includes travelers that have visited or transited through these countries in the past 14 days. This will be effective for 30 days.
- In addition, Vietnam has suspended visa on arrival for all foreign nationals except for those on official or diplomatic trips. Those who currently hold visas to enter Vietnam will need to undergo screenings and may be quarantined when entering the country.
- From March 7, all travelers coming to Vietnam will be required to submit a health declaration upon arrival. Passengers can fill out this declaration at the airport or submit it online via this link (picture below).
- Those that are assessed to have symptoms of the epidemic will be transferred to designated health facilities for isolation.
- There is a temporary ban on travelers with travel history to mainland China, except for those on official or diplomatic missions.
- We have also heard of travelers in more remote border crossings into Vietnam being denied entry if they possess any China visa history in their passport. If travel is required, we recommend using the main border entry-exit points.
- Do not travel if you are sick; those that travel while sick, risk being quarantined and undergo tests.
- Visa-free travel has been suspended for South Korean and Italian nationals as well as ethnic Vietnamese from these countries. In addition, travelers arriving from or those that have transited through Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk in South Korea in the past 14 days will be denied entry.
- In addition, visa-free travel has also been suspended for eight countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK from March 9.
- Travelers from China that are permitted to enter Vietnam, as well as those from South Korea, Iran, and Italy, are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon entry.
- Flights and passenger trains, as well as various border crossings to mainland China, remain suspended.
- All Vietnam carriers have suspended flights to South Korea, while other foreign airlines have reduced the number of flights significantly between Vietnam and South Korea.
- Flights to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao remain operational though they are operating with reduced capacity.
- Additional restrictions are possible for travelers when they return to their country of origin, including entry restrictions and quarantine.
The Vietnamese government officially declared COVID-19 as an epidemic on February 1, with authorities taking swift and strict measures to contain the virus.
These include measures such as the suspension of schools, the cancelation of festivals and tourist activities nationwide. In addition, bars, clubs, and movie theatres have also been closed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City until March 31.
In addition, several Vietnamese businesses, residential complexes, and restaurants have installed their own preventative measures to keep customers safe.
Due to the epidemic, travelers should monitor restrictions and comply with advisories issued by the local and national authorities.
In addition, basic precautions one can take to reduce their risk to the coronavirus as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) are:
- Wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub;
- Cover nose and mouth with tissues or inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing;
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
- Thoroughly cook meat and eggs; and
- Avoid unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals.
Health declaration form sample: