Air travelers from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi are now only required to mornitor their health at home or accommodation establishments, according to a new decision announced by the Hanoi People’s Committee on Monday afternoon.
Hanoi authorities had stipulated mandatory seven-day quarantine at centralized facilities and another seven days of self-isolation at home or other accommodations for fully-vaccinated air passengers from Ho Chi Minh City.
The capital administration agreed with the Ministry of Transport to restart commercial flights on Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi-Da Nang routes from October 10 to 20 with one return trip per day.
The authorities limited the number of passengers on each flight to 50 percent of its normal capacity.
Passengers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the second dose taken at least 14 days and no longer than 12 months before departure, or COVID-19 recovery certificates issued six months before departure time.
In addition, passengers must show negative COVID-19 test certificates issued within 72 hours before boarding time.
In the new decision signed by the capital’s deputy chairman Nguyen Manh Quyen on Monday afternoon, officials made some amendments to those regulations, which had been criticized by the public and experts as unnecessary and troublesome in the context of the economic and travel reopening.
Accordingly, passengers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and testing negative for the virus within 72 hours before departure can monitor their health at home or accommodation establishments upon their arrival in Hanoi.
Other regulations, including the number of passengers on each flight and the flight frequency, remain the same.
Following the amendments, nearly 120 passengers on Vietnam Airlines’ flight VN216 that left Ho Chi Minh City for Hanoi at 5:00 pm on Monday became the first commercial customers to successfully travel on the route after it had been suspended since mid-July.
They were subject to mornitoring their health at home in accordance with the new regulations.
Vietnam has documented 838,653 community transmissions in 62 out of 63 provinces and cities since the fourth outbreak started on April 27.
Ho Chi Minh City is the hardest-hit locality with 411,655 cases, while Hanoi has recorded 4,270 cases and Da Nang has registered 4,927 infections in this bout.
The Ministry of Transport recently allowed 38 flights on 19 domestic routes, including those connecting Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang, to resume operations on Sunday.
However, the lack of detailed instructions on quarantine regulations in Hanoi prevented Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet from carrying out flights from Ho Chi Minh City to the capital city on the same day.
The situation repeated on Monday as some passengers who purchased tickets for flights from the southern city to Hanoi that day complained that all 20 hotels designated by authorities in the destination as concentrated quarantine facilities rejected them for various reasons.
The Vietnamese government has gradually reopened the national economy since early this month, as the country has basically kept the COVID-19 pandemic at bay, with new infections and deaths falling markedly nationwide, as assessed by the Ministry of Health at a meeting on Saturday.