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Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to further expand paid quarantine

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to further expand paid quarantine

Friday, November 06, 2020, 15:35 GMT+7
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to further expand paid quarantine
A health official takes samples from a woman for COVID-19 tests in Vietnam. Photo: Viet Dung / Tuoi Tre

Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh has sent a written notice to province- and city-level authorities to request the addition of paid quarantine rooms for entrants to the country.

The official urged local leaders, especially in Hanoi, Can Tho City, and Ho Chi Minh City, to expand quarantine zones at hotels and lodging facilities to accommodate arrivals to Vietnam via regular commercial flights.

Provinces that have paid quarantine facilities must report to the Ministry of Health and cooperate with the Ministries of National Defense, Public Security, Foreign Affairs, and Transport to arrange a safe, effective quarantine process for entrants and a trouble-free operation for hotels.

Hanoi has 15 hotels and facilities certified to accommodate entrants during their mandatory 14-day quarantine period while Ho Chi Minh City boasts 21 certified facilities, two of which are allowed to pick up arrivals at the airport.

The number of certified quarantine facilities is expected to rise in the future.

The cost of airport pickup and a 14-day quarantine streak at hotels has drawn complaints since some hotels have announced fees four times higher than their usual lodging rates.

Other complaints have decried regulations that require all arrivals to book separate transportation from the airport to quarantine facilities. 

Accordingly, each individual passenger or married couple is forced to pay VND4-12 million (US$173-518) for a 45-seater bus.

As announced by the Ministry of Health, Vietnam had documented 1,210 cases of COVID-19 transmission by Friday morning, with 1,069 of them having fully recovered.

The country has gone 65 days in a row without any new community transmission.

Vietnam has suspended all regular commercial air routes since March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, save for two flights from South Korea in September.

Currently, the Ministry of Health is drafting an official protocol for quarantining entrants from international flights, which is expected to pave the way for the resumption of regular international air services.

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