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Vietnam transport ministry floats quarantine regulation relaxation to restore int’l flights

Vietnam transport ministry floats quarantine regulation relaxation to restore int’l flights

Monday, December 06, 2021, 11:44 GMT+7
Vietnam transport ministry floats quarantine regulation relaxation to restore int’l flights
A plane is pictured at an airport in Vietnam. Photo: Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has mooted that the central government ease quarantine regulations and expedite recognition of ‘vaccine passports’ to prepare for resuming international flights.

The transport ministry submitted to the Government Office a document on solutions for restoring international flights, which was based on the suggestions of local airlines.

The government should request the Ministry of Health to consider the maximum relaxation of quarantine regulations for international arrivals, it said, adding that the country should gradually remove quarantine regulations for these passengers.

The government should task the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with speeding up the negotiations with countries and territories regarding the mutual recognition of ‘vaccine passports.’

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry of Information and Communications need to work together to establish a specialized app that allows flight passengers to file health declarations, which will assist in the control and tracing of international arrivals.

On November 30, the Ministry of Transport convened a working session with representatives of Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, and Airports Corporation of Vietnam to discuss the difficulties and solutions regarding the restoration of regular international air routes.

At the gathering, all airlines and airport operators agreed that international flights between Vietnam and other countries should be resumed.

To ensure feasibility, local airlines suggested the removal of quarantine regulations for passengers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease if they test negative for the novel coronavirus 72 hours prior to their flights.

Airport operators stated that they are ready to welcome back international travelers as all of their employees have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, while the airdromes are equipped with necessary facilities and equipment for pandemic prevention and control.

Representatives of relevant ministries and sectors expressed their support for the proposal, stating that the resumption of international flights will meet the travel demands of residents and promote the recovery of international tourism and the whole economy in general.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. 

Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, highly-skilled workers, and students have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements in place.

Vietnam has documented 1,309,092 patients since the COVID-19 pandemic first struck it early last year, with 1,006,460 recoveries and 26,260 deaths.

More than 73 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one dose while over 54 million are now fully immunized.

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