Vietnam recently announced plans to reopen the country to international tourists. Flights are expected to return by the end of this year, and various popular tourism destinations are reopening, including Phu Quoc Island, Khanh Hoa’s Nha Trang City and Quang Ninh Province. Vaccination programmes are progressing nationwide, in preparation for the return of foreign travellers.
On 21 October, the Ministry of Transport and The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) submitted a proposal to the government for the return of international flights that will proceed in four stages. The flight frequency is expected to be just one per day for the first month of operations, then expand in stages thereafter.
Stage one (Q4 of 2021) includes trial inbound flight packages for foreign visitors that include tickets, Covid-19 tests, quarantine hotels and meals. Quarantine requirements will be either seven or 14 days, depending on whether all passengers on the inbound plane are fully vaccinated. This first phase will be open to citizens of Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and several others. Available destinations include to Quang Ninh, Khanh Hoa and Da Nang.
Stage two (January-March 2022) will see four weekly return flights to Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho and Phu Quoc Island. The list of source destinations will be expanded to include China and Hong Kong. As with the first phase, passengers will need to prove they have been fully vaccinated, and also present a receipt of payment for at least a week in an approved quarantine centre.
Stage three (April-June 2022) could involve quarantine requirements being waived, to be replaced by the ‘vaccine passport’ system. The usual entry requirements and Covid-19 testing protocols will still apply, but arrivals will be permitted to self-isolate for the first week of stay.
Stage four (July 2022 onwards) would see normal service resumed, with regular international flights schedules reinstated for all international travel. However, this will depend on the pandemic status at that time, along with the situation in Vietnam with regards to immunity and general preparedness.
To date, Vietnam has registered 877,537 cases of Covid-19; a figure that includes 798,124 recoveries and 21,487 deaths. Coronavirus has been found in 62 of the country’s 63 cities and provinces (the only exception being Cao Bang, where safety measures has been especially strict). Since it began mass vaccinations on 8 March 2021, Vietnam has administered just over 71 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to its population of 98 million people. According to the national information hub for coronavirus vaccination, nearly 20 million people have already received both doses.
For most of 2020 and early 2021, Vietnam remained virtually free of Covid-19. This was because the country was quick to impose border restrictions and quarantines, deploying intensive contact tracing teams where needed and imposing localised lockdowns to keep the virus at bay.
With consistently low cases and a speedy response to new infections, the country was ranked in the top three out of almost 100 countries graded by the official Lowy Institute Covid Performance Index, which assesses the overall success and efficiency of each nation’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, Vietnam was one of only a handful of countries worldwide to register economic growth (2.9%).
However, the emergence of the Delta virus in May 2021 pushed the country’s capabilities to their limit. In response to the last outbreak, the government issued strict stay-at-home orders in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The situation has now improved, and the country is looking to safely and steadily reopen its tourism infrastructure in the months ahead.
The Panorama Destination Vietnam office has been put into ‘hibernation’ until further notice, or until the global Covid-19 situation has stabilised. We are working to ensure the safety of Panorama Destination clients when the country, and our operations, reopen. We have already introduced a set of health and safety protocols based on a dedicated Covid-19 policy and continue to work alongside the Government and with other DMCs in Southeast Asia, to ensure safe and standardised services for all returning visitors. Our offices in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia remain open. Panorama Destination will continue to provide the latest breaking news regarding Covid-19 and its impact on tourism via our social media channels:
(Please note that the Covid-19 situation continues to develop on an almost daily basis. All information above is accurate at the time of writing – for the latest updates, please refer to our social media channels, or get in touch directly)