Vietnam lifts Covid-related international flight ban: what you need to know

The South-East Asian country is restoring flight capacity to pre-pandemic levels

Vietnam has lifted restrictions on international flights from February 15. Ruslan Baradash / Unsplash
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Vietnam has lifted coronavirus restrictions on international flights for fully vaccinated passengers from Tuesday.

The country's aviation authority made the announcement on Monday.

“Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights starting February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level,” said state-run newspaper Tuoi Tre.

Commercial passenger flights can now arrive in Vietnam from any country for the first time since it sealed its borders in March 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 via air travel.

Dinh Viet Son, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, confirmed that partner destinations had been informed of the move and all had agreed to resume commercial flights, other than China.

South Korean tourists arrive at Phu Quoc International Airport, as the Vietnamese island welcomed its first international tourists following a Covid-19 vaccine passport scheme. AFP

Vietnam has remained tightly sealed off to most of the world since the onset of the global pandemic. However, this has severely hampered the South-East Asian nation's tourism economy.

In November, some tourists returned to the resort island of Phu Quoc under strictly controlled Covid-19 tourism pilot programmes.

Is Vietnam open for travel?

Shop houses along the riverfront in Hoi An, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Vietnam. Getty Images / Lonely Planet Images

In December, the nation eased entry restrictions for travellers from 15 destinations, including France, South Korea, the UK, the US and Germany, under coronavirus vaccine passport schemes. Travellers flying to Vietnam from one of the 15 approved countries must be fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test result.

Quarantine requirements were also eased, with vaccinated tourists only needing to self-isolate for three days instead of the previous 14 days.

But no updated travel rules for tourists coming from other international destinations have been published since the announcement. Vietnam previously said it would fully reopen to tourists in June this year.

Following Monday's announcement, the country is the latest South-East Asian country to begin to ease Covid-19 related travel restrictions.

In January, the Philippines announced it would reopen to vaccinated tourists in February and Malaysia is looking to fully reopen its borders next month to tourists who have been double-jabbed.

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Updated: February 15, 2022, 9:41 AM
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