Vietnam today announced that it will be scrapping its quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements for international travelers, as of March 19. In an example of Asia’s gradual reopening, the country just resumed welcoming foreign visitors on Tuesday and now moves to make it even easier for tourists to enjoy a Southeast Asian vacation.
After two years of remaining inaccessible to foreign visitors amid the pandemic, Vietnam kicked off efforts to revitalize international tourism on March 15 by resuming its visa issuance program and reinstating its visa exemption policy for 13 countries, which, unfortunately, does not include the U.S., according to the Health Ministry’s news release.
While they’ll no longer need to quarantine, travelers will have to provide proof of a negative PCR or LAMP (loop-mediated amplification) test, taken within 72 hours of their departure for Vietnam, or can opt for a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure. However, children under the age of two are exempt from testing requirements.
Travel + Leisure reported that the Vietnamese government had previously indicated foreign arrivals would be subject to vaccination requirements when the country reopened, but nothing along these lines was outlined in today’s announcements or on government websites.
International arrivals will still be required to complete a health declaration form and download the PC-COVID app for use throughout their stay. They’ll also need to provide proof that they’ve purchased a travel insurance policy carrying a coverage minimum of VND$50,000 (roughly US$10,000) to cover the cost of any COVID-related health care they might potentially require during their trip.
Visitors must monitor themselves for symptoms for the first 10 days of their stay and immediately inform the nearest medical facilities if they develop COVID-like symptoms, and they are still required to wear masks in public spaces.
According to USA Today, the tourism industry accounted for nearly 10 percent of Vietnam’s overall economy prior to the onset of the pandemic. A statement released by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism today said that, between 2015 and 2019, Vietnam’s tourism sector was the fastest-growing one in the world, increasing an average of 22.7 percent per year during that period.
It also claimed that “Vietnam is one of the six countries which achieved the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage rates in the world, creating favourable conditions to resume socio-economic activities, including tourism.” According to its Health Ministry, 80 percent of Vietnam’s population, 98 million people, are now fully immunized, with over 200 million vaccine doses administered to date.
But, as is the case with some other global destinations that are currently dropping COVID-19 restrictions, Vietnam has recently seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases, with counts reaching record-high daily averages of almost 200,000 cases in the past two weeks. However, Health Ministry officials have said that most of those are Omicron infections and that most patients present with only mild symptoms that don’t require hospitalization.
For more information, visit vietnam.travel.