Hanoi: In response to a spate of new cases of COVID-19, Vietnam is stepping up its measures to stop the virus from entering and spreading within the country.
Vietnam is still welcoming international tourists who have not visited outbreak areas within the past 14 days; however, all travellers are advised to monitor their health closely and take precautions before coming to Vietnam. Once in the country, you will need to follow the instructions and regulations of the Vietnamese government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
To help prepare you for what you can expect in Vietnam at this time, below is an outline of new policies related to travel, as well as the health precautions Vietnam is requiring of all inbound visitors.
Visa exemptions and temporary bans
From noon on March 15, Vietnam is suspending all visas and entry for citizens of 27 countries, as well as those who have transited through these countries in the past 14 days. Please see the list below.
Vietnam will also stop issuing visas on arrival for all foreign nationals, except those travelling for official or diplomatic purposes. The bans will be in effect for 30 days.
Temporary closure of tourism sites
Within the country, Vietnamese health officials have temporarily isolated several locations that are deemed high-risk, or those that have been recently visited by travellers with confirmed cases of the virus. Tourism sites across the country are also setting aside closure days to disinfect their premises.
Until March 26, Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay, Cat Ba Island, and tourism sites in Ninh Binh including the Trang An Eco-tourism Complex will not be receiving any new visitors. The Hoi An Ancient Town has suspended sales of tickets to the UNESCO Heritage Site, as well as its pedestrian-only hours in the Old Town until the end of March 2020. Other destinations such as Ly Son Island, Cham Islands, and Con Dao are also not receiving tourists at this time.
Several areas in Sapa and Hanoi have been zoned off and blockaded, and a number of cruise ships in Ha Long and Hai Phong were recalled and disinfected — both after it was confirmed that they were visited by travellers with COVID-19.
NOTE: Please note that many hotels in Vietnam are now requesting guests to undergo temperature checks at reception. Guests with temperatures of 37 degrees and below should have no trouble checking in.
Screening centres and health hotlines
Travellers with symptoms of COVID-19 or those concerned they may have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus should call Vietnam’s health hotline: 1900 3228
Vietnam has appointed 30 screening centres nationwide to carry out testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 disease, as well as 45 quick response teams to assist health facilities in the processing and treatment of COVID-19 patients. For the full list of screening centres, please see this link.
For a full overview of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam as it relates to travellers, as well as daily updates, please see our travel advisory here.