Vietnam to lift Covid-19 restrictions on international flights

FILE: An arriving South Korean traveller leaves Phu Quoc international airport on November 20, 2021, as the island welcomes its first international tourists to arrive after a Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine passport scheme kicked off this month in Vietnam.

Hanoi, Vietnam | Vietnam will lift coronavirus restrictions on international flights for fully vaccinated passengers from Tuesday, the country's aviation authority said in a statement.

The communist nation has virtually closed itself to the world since March 2020 due to the pandemic, dealing a severe blow to its vital tourism sector.

Authorities have slowly eased the curbs in recent months, with visitors trickling in under a bubble arrangement since November.

Starting Tuesday (1700 GMT Monday), "Vietnam will lift restrictions on passenger carriage on scheduled flights and non-scheduled flights," the civil aviation authority said.

The statement, released Sunday, did not say how many flights would be allowed to enter, but indicated arrivals could be permitted to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Anyone wanting to enter Vietnam must be fully vaccinated and will have to observe a three-day quarantine, either at home or in a hotel, according to regulations.

Travellers must still abide by existing entry-exit regulations and pre-pandemic healthcare requirements, the authority said.

More than 90 percent of adults in the country have received two Covid-19 vaccine doses. The government is considering inoculating young teenagers as it accelerates the rollout of booster shots.

Vietnam is currently reporting around 20,000 new daily cases, and has recorded more than 2.5 million infections with nearly 39,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

© Agence France-Presse

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