With international travel demand rapidly picking up, travel-hungry souls are now making a list of where they’re spending their summer. Most, if not all, prefer destinations that are easily accessible and do not require a great deal of paperwork. The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought so many challenges and troubles; people just want a hassle-free vacation right now.
Vietnam, which only resumed inbound tourism a month ago, has the easiest entry requirements in Southeast Asia, as noted by travel tip and guide hub Travel Off Path. To enter the country, travelers only need a negative COVID-19 test result (taken within 72 hours before arrival for RT-PCR and within 24 hours before arrival for a rapid antigen), a valid tourist visa, and travel insurance that covers COVID-19.
Tourists are not required to present a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or undergo quarantine when they land at any of Vietnam’s 12 international airports.
“Basically, that now means that whether you are fully vaccinated or not, all visitors follow the same guidelines for entry,” reads the Travel Off Path blog.
Neighboring countries Cambodia and Thailand reopened their borders to international travelers long before Vietnam. However, as the travel hub noted, they are implementing different entry restrictions for vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors.
Vietnam has also already resumed its pre-pandemic visa policies, allowing citizens from 24 countries with which it has unilateral and bilateral agreements to enjoy a visa-free holiday for a minimum period of 14 days. To stay beyond the allowed number of days, tourists can easily apply for a visa extension upon their arrival.
Citizens from 13 nations, including the United Kingdom, France, and Japan, are also included in the visa exemption scheme.
For visitors coming from these 80 countries, e-visa applications have been reopened. E-visa costs $25 and can be paid using any of the payment methods offered on the Vietnam Immigration website. Approval usually takes three days from receipt of documents and payment.
Those entering Vietnam by road, railway, or sea must take a COVID-19 test before their departure, the same with air passengers. But those traveling in longer durations must do follow-up tests at ports of entry.
Visitors showing symptoms of coronavirus will also be required to take a test, and should comply with the policies imposed by the Ministry of Health.
All international arrivals — regardless of their mode of transportation to Vietnam — have to make health declarations at the Tokhaiyte website prior to their departure from their country of origin. Everyone is also required to install the PC-COVID mobile app for health monitoring and easy contact tracing.
Within 10 days of entry, tourists have to use the app to declare any health condition that may be deemed similar to that of COVID-19 — fever, nasal congestion, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing, headache.
The health ministry also urges tourists to wear face masks when in public and practice social distancing to keep themselves and others safe.
While Vietnam’s daily coronavirus infections are now on the decline, the threat of the infectious disease remains prevalent. Latest record from the health ministry showed 12,012 new COVID-19 cases, taking the national tally to 10,475,819. Of these confirmed positive cases, nearly nine million have already recovered. Vietnam’s death toll stands at 42,957.
Health and safety precautions for travelers
Vietnam Tourism Board has outlined a comprehensive health and safety guideline for visitors to Vietnam. These policies are encouraged to be followed at all times.
- Avoid traveling if you have a fever and cough. If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, alert healthcare services and share your recent travel history with them.
- Maintain social distancing. Stay a meter or more away from others, especially those who are sneezing or coughing or have a fever.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to spray your hands frequently.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of dirty tissues immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with live animals. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch live animals or animal products in markets.
- Eat only well-cooked food. Ensure your meals, especially animal proteins and dairy products, are thoroughly cooked and prepared in a sanitary environment.
- Discard single-use masks. If you choose to wear a single-use mask, ensure it covers your nose and mouth, avoids touching the mask, and wash your hands after removing it.