Vietnam did not reopen to tourists today as planned, reopening date remains unknown
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Although Vietnam was expected to welcome back international tourists starting March 15, Vietnamese authorities haven’t formally confirmed entry requirements, adding nothing but confusion for tourists waiting to go back to the Asian nation.
If you are eagerly awaiting news on when Vietnam will officially reopen and what entry requirements might look like, here’s everything we know so far.
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Entry protocols remain unclear as of March 15
Although Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism sent proposed entry requirements to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in February to facilitate the resumption of international travel starting March 15, no official word on entry requirements has been released to the public. This has effectively delayed the official reopening of Vietnam to tourism to an unknown date.
Currently, there’s no application for entry and entry requirements remain speculative, based on suggestions by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.
The deputy prime minister allegedly told the country’s Ministry of Health to “promptly revise regulations and requirements” for incoming travelers, according to recent reporting by Bloomberg, which also said the government recently resumed 15-day visa exceptions for travelers from specific countries, not including the U.S.
Proposed entry protocols
On Feb. 15, the MOCST suggested a variety of reopening protocols, which we may see apply to travelers when the country officially reopens:
Proof of vaccination
All visitors age 12 and older to Vietnam would need to either show proof of full vaccination or recent recovery from COVID-19 to enter the country.
To be considered fully vaccinated, one’s final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine must be administered at least 14 days and no more than six months before departure, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Alternatively, travelers could potentially present documents certifying recovery from COVID-19 within the previous six months.
Testing requirements with quarantine
Secondly, travelers over the age of 2 may need to show results of a negative COVID-19 test, specifically an RT-PCR/RT-LAMP test taken within 72 hours or a rapid test taken within 24 hours. In addition to the predeparture test, you may need to take a second rapid test within 24 hours of entry and quarantine, although the length of quarantine has not yet been specified.
On March 1, the Health Ministry proposed a three-day isolation period for tourists, per Bloomberg.
Additionally, visitors might be asked to buy and show proof of medical or travel insurance with a minimum liability of $10,000 to cover any COVID-19-related costs.
Lastly, and this was also the case pre-pandemic, Vietnam requires Americans to obtain a visa to travel to the country. Visa applications are available via the Vietnam Embassy in Washington, D.C., which states you can apply for a visa in person, by mail, online or by email.
Neither the MOCST nor embassy officials responded to requests for comment or clarification on the proposed entry requirements or when Vietnam might officially reopen to tourists.
How this uncertainty affects travelers
Until the country announces firm reopening details, there’s no application or online portal for tourists to apply for entry to the country, which has been a necessary component with most countries during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, this means many travelers are putting their trips to Vietnam on hold.
“I was interested in visiting Vietnam later in March, but with unclear entry requirements, I’ve shifted gears on focusing on Thailand, which has clear guidance on how to enter the country,” TPG credit cards reporter Chris Dong said.
Answers to questions about when and how travelers from across the world will be able to once again visit Vietnam remain unknown as of March 15. Updated guidance is not currently available from the MOCST, Vietnamese government, U.S. Embassy in Vietnam or Vietnam Embassy in Washington, D.C.
This story will be updated when new information becomes available.
Featured photo of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam by Alex Stoen/Getty Images.
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