Health Ministry proposed to tighten entry requirements

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The Health Ministry has released an emergency official dispatch on Covid-19 prevention and control associated with entrants, recommending the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism to tighten the quarantine time and testing requirement for travelers.

The Healthy Ministry requires travelers aged 12 or over to present a negative test result from PCR taken within 72 hours prior to the arrival and vaccination/recovery certificate. The last dose must be received at least 14 days and up to 6 months before the entry.

The Official Spatch also says that the travelers must self-isolate at the place of residence for 72 hours after arrival and conduct the Covid-19 test twice, each on the first day and the third day after arrival. It is mandatory to self isolate in the first 24 hours. In case of relocation, the travelers must test for covid-19 three times in three days. The same entry requirements apply to children under 12. The unvaccinated children are not allowed to leave the place of residence in 24 hours. Free travel is possible if they have negative test results in consecutive 7 days. Children under 2 are exempt from the testing.

Previously, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism proposed free travel if the entrants finish their 24 hours of quarantine and have a negative Covid-19 test result. Besides, the Ministry suggested accepting the rapid antigen test result (administered within 24 hours before the departure) or PCR test result (taken within 72 hours prior to the departure.

As far as health declaration application is concerned, the Health Ministry requires travelers to install the application PC-COVID during the period of their stay. Anyone developing coronavirus symptoms at the borders must contact the medical agency for quarantine. When leaving the airport, the travelers must get a nonstop drive to the hotel.

These changes were said to be strict and against the spirit “full reopening” of the government.  Some experts expressed the concern that the strict entry requirements would make Vietnam lose competitive advantage in tourism industry while some other Asian countries had restarted tourism business long ago with easy entry requirements. The Official Dispatch remains controversial and continues to be revised before it is submitted to the Prime Minister.

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