Foreign visitors entering Vietnam will no longer have to present COVID-19 vaccine certificates or go under mandatory quarantine, according to the latest policy released by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.
The regulations, issued late Tuesday when Vietnam announced its full resumption of international tourism activities, state that visitors with negative COVID tests can enjoy quarantine-free travel from day one.
Visitors must monitor their health during the first 10 days of their stay and notify medical professionals in Vietnam if they experience any COVID-19-like symptoms.
Travellers entering Vietnam via air routes will have to present proof of negative COVID-19 tests before departure and the results must be certified by the authorities of the country where the tests are conducted.
Those entering via road, sea and rail can take the test within 24 hours upon arrival. If the results are negative, they may travel outside of their place of accommodation, with public health measures still in place.
The tourism industry comprised nearly 10% of the country’s economy before the pandemic.
Arrivals must make a medical declaration before entering and use Vietnam’s COVID-19 mobile application during their entire stay according to regulations. If one shows symptoms of COVID-19 infection or has positive test results, they must immediately notify local health authorities to take medical measures as regulated.
Children under 2 years old are not required to take COVID-19 tests, and they can still enter Vietnam and take part in activities outside of the place of accommodation with their parents or relatives even if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or contracted the virus before.
Vietnam has administered over 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, covering 80% of the country’s 98 million people, according to the Health Ministry.
Under the latest rules, there is no longer a requirement for the COVID-19 vaccination or recent recovery certificates like in previously proposed plans from the ministry.
Vietnam closed its border and stopped issuing tourist visas in March 2020 to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It partially reopened to international tourism last November for visitors travelling in strict bubbles.
In Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where streets were bustling before the pandemic, many shops have closed due to a lack of tourists. The few that remain open are struggling.
“It has been very hard. Business is so slow because there are no foreign tourists,” said Tuyet Lien, the owner of a shop selling silk and other souvenir products.
“I’m very excited the country is reopening completely. The tourists will come back soon and business will thrive again,” Lien added.