Today marks an important milestone for Vietnam’s economic and tourism recovery as the country finally fully reopened its borders to international travelers. The much-anticipated border reopening was clouded by doubts and confusions, considering the lack of detailed COVID-19 safety protocol for arriving guests, aside from the initial announcements made in February.
Earlier today, the situation at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport arrivals area wasn’t as festive as one could expect on the first day of reopening but it wasn’t that bad either. Although most of the arriving guests are returning Vietnamese, a number of foreign tourists also emerged from the gates, all excited to see and experience the Southeast Asian nation.
If you’ve been at the airport a month ago, there’s no way you can get food from any food kiosks lined up at the arrivals area. But today, the food stalls have been reopened, and vendors were all eager to offer quick bites.
This afternoon, international flights from Singapore, Istanbul, and Taipei landed, bringing with them the first leisure travelers Vietnam has had since the borders were shut off in March 2020.
For travelers to be granted entry to Vietnam, the following requirements should be met:
- Full vaccination against COVID-19
- Negative COVID-19 test result (within 24 hours prior to departure from the country of origin for rapid tests; 72 hours for RT-PCR)
- COVID-19 antigen test upon arrival
- 24-hour self-isolation in accommodation until a negative COVID-19 result is furnished
- At least one COVID-19 mobile app installed and running throughout the stay
- Health monitoring for 14 days
- Medical insurance for COVID-19 treatment worth at least $10,000
Those showing COVID-19 symptoms like fever and cough would have to be tested when they land at any of the international airports in Vietnam.
Pre-pandemic time, entering Vietnam for business or leisure was trouble-free. But like everywhere else in the world, the spread of COVID-19 changed how things used to work. Two years in the pandemic period, most countries have eased their border policies but not Vietnam.
There has been no official announcement yet until hours ago, Vietnam agreed to waive visa requirements for a 15-day stay for citizens from 13 countries: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the UK.
The Vietnamese government is expected to waive more restrictions and clarify entry regulations in the coming days and weeks.