As the world responds to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Vietnam has taken positive steps to help control the spread of the disease. Vietnam has seen far fewer cases than other Asian countries, largely thanks to the swift action taken.
Foreign nationals should, be aware of travel restrictions that have been implemented in recent weeks.
As of March 22nd, 2020, entry into Vietnam has been suspended for all foreign nationals. Some exceptions apply.
These precautions are temporary and should be lifted once the virus is under control.
The number of Coronavirus patients in Vietnam itself remains low, and no new cases have been reported since 17th April, indicating that the measures have been effective in curbing the spread of the virus.
Coronavirus Entry Restrictions for Vietnam
At the moment, non-Vietnamese citizens are not allowed into the country.
The only exceptions are:
- Foreigners entering for diplomatic and official purposes
- Travelers who need to participate in major diplomatic events
- Business managers
- Highly skilled workers
In these cases and in an emergency, the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of National Defence will coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and other relevant agencies to issue the necessary visas.
Those foreigners from the travel ban, and Vietnamese nationals arriving from abroad, will undergo health checks and be put in mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
The Prime Minister has also announced the suspension of all international flights until at least April 30th.
Under normal circumstances, nationals of several foreign countries are able to spend up to 15 days visa-free in Vietnam or apply for the Vietnam eVisa for stays of up to 30 days.
Visas on arrival for Vietnam have been suspended for all international travelers apart from official or diplomatic visits.
As this is a developing situation, all travelers are advised to keep up to date with the lasted alerts before departing.
Foreigners are eligible for automatic Vietnam visa extension
To assist international travelers unable to leave Vietnam due to the current situation, automatic visa extensions are being issued.
Foreigners who arrived in Vietnam with a tourist visa on or after March 1st, 2020 will automatically have their stay extended until the 30th of June.
It is also possible for these visitors to depart the country during this period without being subject to standard Vietnam visa extension procedures.
Anyone who arrived in Vietnam before March 1st may also be eligible for an automatic visa extension. They must be able to provide diplomatic notes or documents issued by Vietnamese authorities which prove that they have been unable to exit the country because of COVID-19.
Visa holders are required to inform officials of their accommodation and medical status during the extension period.
Other travel implications and measures against COVID-19
Thanks to the improving situation, the Vietnamese government issued a Directive on April 25th allowing for certain measures to be relaxed.
Whilst non-essential amenities such as bars and entertainment venues will remain closed for the time being, the following services may now resume activity provided all safety measures are put in place.
- Domestic airlines, more flights are now available
- Public transportation including trains
- Wholesale and retail
- Hotels and other kinds of accommodation
- Tourist sites
- Sports training facilities
- Some children are returning to school
Gatherings of more than 20 people in public spaces which are not offices, schools, or hospitals continue to be prohibited and social distancing remains in place.
Current restrictions differ depending on the province to those with future Vietnamese travel plans are advised to check with the hotel, travel agency, and transport providers.
The wearing of face masks has been made obligatory in public spaces including supermarkets and all means of transport. Masks must also be worn at airports and when taking a flight.
Vietnam visa and travel policies have returned to normality. All travellers entering Vietnam need to submit mandatory health declarations on arrival.
Tourism in Vietnam During the Coronavirus Outbreak
So far, the swift, preventative action taken has helped to stop new cases of COVID-19 in Vietnam. The relaxation of measures will be gradual and cautious to ensure that this remains the case.
The distancing directive which had been in place since March 31st has now been lifted in Vietnam. Whilst people are advised to maintain a distance of a minimum of 1 meter between themselves and other people, mandatory confinement is over.
Vietnamese festivals and events have been postponed to later in the year
A number of important festivals and events in Vietnam have already been rescheduled for later in the year. The new itinerary also suggests that officials are hopeful that the situation in Vietnam will continue to improve in the coming months.
The new dates for some popular events in Vietnam are as follows:
- Sunrise Sprint: May 3, 2020
- Da Lat Ultra Trail 2020: 19th till 21st June 2020
- Hue Festival 202: August 28th, 2020
A number of other occasions, such as the Techconbank Ha Noi Marathon and Vietnamese Formula One Grand Prix has now been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health advice for travelers in Vietnam
Tourists are being asked to follow the standard advice being issued internationally as part of the global effort to deal with COVID-19.
- Avoid travel in case of any symptoms
- Wash hands on a regular basis using soap and water, use alcohol-based gel when soap and water not available
- Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Maintain 1-meter distance from others
- Eat only food which has been cooked thoroughly
- Wear a face mask in crowded places
In the unlikely event that somebody catches the virus, in most instances, the patient will experience flu-like symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, a sore throat, fever and/or respiratory problems.
Anyone displaying symptoms should seek medical advice immediately, many countries now have a dedicated helpline in place to offer advice to those who believe they may have been infected.
Travelers feeling unwell in Vietnam are asked to call the Vietnamese health hotline on +84 19003228.
Vietnam Named as Best Country to Visit Post-Pandemic
The American magazine “Travel and Leisure” has recently named Vietnam as the first place to go once international travel resumes following COVID-19.
Vietnam’s successful handling of coronavirus was one of the reasons why the country was selected. Thanks to fewer cases in Vietnam than elsewhere, it is hoped that tourism can return in the near future.
The US publication also highlighted Vietnam’s stunning landscapes as one of the reasons to prioritize a trip to the Asian nation. Due to reduced footfall in recent months, it’s likely that Vietnam’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other natural wonders are even more beautiful.
In addition, “Travel and Leisure” magazine drew attention to the low cost of Vietnamese holidays to support their conclusion.