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Vietnam PM green-lights resumption of commercial flights to Thailand

Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 14:01 GMT+7
Vietnam PM green-lights resumption of commercial flights to Thailand
Two ground-duty officers monitor arrivals through computer screens at an airport in Vietnam in this undated file photo. Photo: Van Binh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given the permission for the reopening of commercial flights to Thailand with safety measures in place and detailed schedules to be decided by two deputy prime ministers. 

The safety measures PM Phuc mentioned include efficient processing of passengers at airports to reduce the risk of transmission due to overcrowding, quarantine plans, and carrying out quick tests at quarantine venues.

Phuc also required that each flight have a specific disease prevention plan.

Detailed flight schedules must be reported to Deputy PMs Pham Binh Minh and Vu Duc Dam for decision making.

PM Phuc’s permission for the resumption of commercial flights to Thailand comes a week after the government allowed the reopening of air services to mainland China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan from September 15 and to Laos and Cambodia on Tuesday, September 22.

The PM also ordered the transport ministry to consider increasing the frequency of flights to bring in foreign experts and investors as well as Vietnamese nationals from abroad.

The only foreign passengers allowed now are experts, investors, business managers, skilled workers and their families, international students, and family members of Vietnamese citizens.

They are required to present certificates showing they tested negative for COVID-19 within three days before their flights.

Vietnam began barring entry to foreign nationals on March 22 and suspended international commercial flights from March 25 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Since then, charter flights to the country have only been arranged to bring in experts, skilled workers, and diplomats, and to repatriate Vietnamese citizens stranded in other nations and territories due to the pandemic.

Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally stood at 1,068, with 947 having recovered and 35 virus-related deaths as of Tuesday morning.

The country has gone nearly three weeks without documenting any locally-transmitted cases.

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