UPDATED: September 28, 2020
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam has closely monitored the situation and installed a series of proactive, comprehensive measures to combat the spread of the virus within the country and prepare its public health facilities. Past experience with other epidemics places Vietnam in a strong position to protect its population as well as visitors passing through. Below is a full overview of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam as it relates to travellers.
Current of COVID-19 situation in Vietnam
- Confirmed infections: 1074
- Recovered cases: 999
- Deaths: 35
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 appeared in Vietnam on Jan. 23, 2020. Since March 22, the country’s borders have been closed to foreign travellers. Only Vietnamese nationals, foreigners on diplomatic or official business, and highly skilled workers allowed to enter Vietnam at this time. Anyone entering Vietnam will need to undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Visa policies for travellers
To staunch the spread of COVID-19, Vietnam is not allowing entry or issuing visas to foreign nationals, from March 22, 2020 until further notice, except for those travelling for official or diplomatic purposes, who must undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam. These human must pay for their own quarantine expenses as of September 1, 2020. However, those whose visit is for less than 14 days are no longer required to quarantine, but they must comply with Vietnam’s regulations, including international health insurance and expenses covered by their sponsor organization.
Vietnam’s Immigration Department has announced that all foreigners who entered Vietnam after March 1, 2020 on visa exemptions, e-visas or tourism visas will be given automatic stay extensions at no charge until September 30, 2020. Travellers still in the country should declare their temporary residence to local police, through their landlords or hotels, and must complete Vietnam’s online health declaration here.
Visitors who entered the country before March 1 may be considered for the extension, provided they can show an official letter from their embassy or consulate stating they were unable to leave the country due to objective reasons. Foreigners who have undergone quarantine or treatment for Covid-19 in Vietnam are also eligible for the extension. They must bring their certification documents to show immigration officials when leaving Vietnam.
For questions about the new policy, please call Vietnam’s Immigration Department at +84 24 3938 7320.
Vietnam has officially suspended all visa exemptions for citizens of South Korea, Belarus, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Travellers who have entered the country on visa waivers or tourist visas are given automatic visa extension until September 30, 2020. Those who have entered Vietnam for business, visiting relatives, or purposes other than travel should contact a visa agent to address their visa concerns.
Closures and cancellations due to COVID-19
A number of festivals and events in Vietnam have been cancelled or postponed in alignment with the government’s directive to avoid public gatherings:
- Huế Festival 2020 – Postponed to 2021
- F1 Vietnam Grand Prix – Postponed
- Quang Binh Marathon – Postponed
- Da Lat Sufferfest – Postponed
- Sunrise Sprint – Postponed to 2021
- Techcombank Ha Noi Marathon – Postponed
- Da Nang International Fireworks Festival 2020 – Cancelled
Preventative steps by the Vietnamese government
Vietnam’s Prime Minister officially declared COVID-19 an epidemic in Vietnam on Feb. 1, 2020. Although confirmed cases remain low within the country, authorities are taking swift and strict preventative measures to contain the virus. The government has formed a National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to direct efforts and communicate to the public.
The National Steering Committee has launched an online management and administration centre for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, and on March 6, Vietnam announced it will produce 10,000 COVID-19 test kits daily.
Below are the key actions taken by Vietnam to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Closure of overland border crossings between China and Vietnam
- Suspension of flights to and from Mainland China and South Korea
- 30 testing centers appointed to conduct Covid-19 screening and diagnosis
- Mandatory medical declarations for all inbount travellers
- 14 days quarantine for all travellers from outbreak area
- For hospitals designated by Ministry of Defense to handle potential cases
- Increased prevention and control measures at health care facilities
- 45 quicks respones medical teams setup to asisist hospitals nationwide
- Cancellation of festivals and tourism activities countrywide
- Temporary closure of public schools in 63 provinces
Health and safety precautions for travellers
The World Health Organization outlines these basic practices to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
- Avoid travelling if you have a fever and cough. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, alert health care services and share with them your recent travel history.
- Maintain social distancing. Stay a metre or more away from others, especially those who are sneezing or coughing, or have fever.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to spray your hands as often as you like.
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of dirty tissues immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with live animals. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch live animals or animal products in markets.
- Eat only well-cooked food. Make sure your meals especially animal proteins and dairy products are thoroughly cooked and prepared in a sanitary environment.
- Discard single-use masks. If you choose to wear a single-use mask, ensure it covers your nose and mouth, avoid touching the mask, and wash your hands after removing it.
“Any travellers experiencing symptoms of the virus: fever, cough and difficulty breathing – should immediately call Vietnam’s health hotline 19003228”