Two of Vietnam’s airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietjet Air have announced that they will resume domestic flights starting April 16, after the government’s 15-day social distancing campaign ends.
A representative of VietJet Air told local media, that in addition to resuming most of its previously suspended routes on April 16, Vietjet Air will also operate three individual flights from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on April 11, 12, and 13.
Bamboo Airways announced that will resume flights on the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City route from April 16, while other routes will begin operating from April 20 onwards.
Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier has said that it is considering resuming its Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City flights and some additional routes, but as of Sunday, a final decision had not been made.
All of the airlines have said they will continue to implement Covid-19 protection measures that include requiring passengers and crew to keep a safe distance from each other when queuing up. Airlines have also said this will include creating safe distancing inside their aircraft, but details have yet to be released as to whether they will place limits on the number of passengers who can fly on a particular flight.
Passengers will also be required to check in online, produce health reports, wash hands regularly, and wear masks and gloves. The airlines have also said that they will be stringent and will refuse to take on board any passenger who is unable to produce a personal medical report, as well as passengers who show symptoms such as fever, or anyone who may have recently passed through any epidemic-stricken areas.
The Vietnamese government had asked all carriers to suspend most if their domestic flights from April 1 to April 15 as the country launched a nationwide social distancing campaign that they hope has helped curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
During the government’s campaign, only two flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, one between Hanoi and central Da Nang City, and one between Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang have been operating each day.
There are still doubts as to whether Vietnam is ready to emerge from its April 1 ~ 15 shut-down and social distancing campaign, and Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long suggested that the country extend the social distancing campaign for at least two additional weeks in an effort to curb community transmission of the virus.
A formal decision from the government as to whether the social distance campaign will be extended, is expected to be announced on either April 13 (Monday) or April 14 (Tuesday).