Vietnam could finally let tourists back in from the end of March

Feb 8, 2022

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Adventure-thirsty travelers have received another boost after Vietnam announced plans to fully reopen its borders to foreign visitors “ideally at the end of March and no later than the end of April.”

Those were the words of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh who has begun easing his country out of one of the strictest zero-tolerance COVID-19 policies in Southeast Asia.

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“We may be facing a further rise of omicron and possibly other new variants,” he said at the end of January. “However, with higher rates of vaccination along with other measures, we will be able to reopen the country safely, for the sake of economic recovery and development.”

Vietnam has been taking baby steps in its quest to reopen its borders to visitors, having been all but closed off from the world since the spring of  2020. 

Related: These are the best times to visit Vietnam

It began with allowing visitors on package tours to enter the island of Phu Quoc, as well as Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang and other parts of the country in November. More locations were added to that list in January.

But that has not attracted the level of visitors Vietnam’s ailing tourism industry needs to climb back to its feet after a crippling pandemic.

What are Vietnam’s travel restrictions now?

Vietnam has been all but closed to foreign visitors since it suspended visa waivers, issuing of visas and the entry into Vietnam for most foreign nationals, regardless of vaccination status, in the spring of 2020. Only visitors with special reasons for visiting, such as diplomats and those with special business, were allowed in.

Limited tourists are allowed, but may only do so by joining one of the state-sanctioned tour groups operating tours to destinations approved by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

“When entering Vietnam you must quarantine in either a designated hotel or a preapproved residence for [three] days,” the FCO website reads. “You will need to take a PCR test on [day three] and self-monitor up to day 14. You will be responsible for paying any hotel charges and for coronavirus testing costs.”

When and how will the entry policy change?

The Ministry for Tourism has said it plans to reopen its borders to tourists from March 31, at the earliest.

Vietnam has agreed to temporarily recognize COVID-19 vaccine passports from 72 countries, including the U.K., to ease the transition to normal travel conditions.

What are the vaccination requirements?

You will have to be either fully vaccinated or can prove you have recently recovered from COVID-19, according to the ministry.

You will also be required to present a negative PCR test taken within the last 72 hours before arrival, as well as proof of £37,000 (about $50,000) medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment.

Featured image by Kiszon Pascal/Getty Images.

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