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Vietnam’s transport ministry postpones plan to reopen int’l air routes

Tuesday, September 15, 2020, 18:05 GMT+7
Vietnam’s transport ministry postpones plan to reopen int’l air routes
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City is packed with people before the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport on Monday said it had postponed a plan to reopen several international air routes from Tuesday as it is waiting for an official decision from the central government.

The transport ministry and Hanoi People’s Committee on Monday convened a meeting with relevant agencies to discuss the resumption of air routes to several international destinations.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health is drafting procedures regarding COVID-19 tests and quarantine for arrivals along these international routes.

The health ministry is expected to report to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control on the complete procedures on Thursday.

Relevant ministries and agencies still need to discuss the entry conditions and requirements for each group of passengers, namely officials, experts, investors, and Vietnamese citizens.

Localities in Vietnam, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, have not calculated the expected number of arrivals to make necessary preparations at local quarantine facilities.

Therefore, the transport ministry decided to postpone its plan to reopen international air routes and will continue to discuss resolving these issues with relevant authorities.

A complete plan will be submitted to the national COVID-19 committee for a final decision.

The ministry previously proposed that regular flights between Vietnam and China, Japan, and South Korea be operated from September 15, while flights between the Southeast Asian country and Laos, Cambodia, and Taiwan would resume from September 22.

Passengers of these routes would be diplomats, officials, Vietnamese citizens who wish to return home, Vietnamese citizens who travel for work, and foreign experts, skilled laborers, investors, and employees of key projects.

According to Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, the country is focusing on managing arrivals and local airlines are free to resume one-way flights from Vietnam to certain international destinations.

National carrier Vietnam Airlines is expected to start operating one-way flights from Vietnam to Japan on September 18.

Passengers of these flights will be people who need to travel from Vietnam to Japan for study and work.

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