Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has told the Transport Ministry to speed up the resumption of commercial flights to countries that are considered safe, such as Japan and South Korea.
The prime minister said that the country’s airlines should immediately arrange flights to transport Vietnamese workers to South Korea and Japan, the country's largest export labor markets, and that flights to other locations should resume once safety plans have been created and approved.
In order to stem the global Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam suspended all international flights on March 25th and since that time has operated only a limited number of flights to repatriate citizens and other individuals who had been stuck outside of the country after the travel ban was enacted.
In July the Ministry of Transportation suggested resuming 1 to 2 flights per week to Cambodia, mainland China, Japan, Laos, South Korea and Taiwan. The government was moving ahead with is plans when it was forced to put everything on hold after the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus in mid-July.
The Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) asked the government to resume flights to countries that have contained the pandemic, and allow foreign tourists entry if they meet pandemic prevention requirements.
Requirements for visitors that the VABA wanted the government to enact include pre-testing for Covid-19 before they depart on flights to Vietnam, as well as a mandatory 14-day quarantine at either a government facility or a hotel designated by the government.
Prior to September, the Vietnamese government had paid all quarantine costs but the Prime Minister decided that from September 1st the government will only pay quarantine related costs for Vietnamese citizens, and that foreigners entering the country must pay for their own costs at either a government facility or hotel.
In the event that individuals are infected with the Covid-19 virus and need hospitalization, the government will pay all medical costs for Vietnamese nationals, but foreigners will have to pay for their own medical treatment.