UPDATED: July 15, 2020
Since the start of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Vietnam has closely monitored the situation and installed a series of proactive, comprehensive measures to combat the spread of the virus within the country and prepare its public health facilities. Past experience with other epidemics places Vietnam in a strong position to protect its population as well as visitors passing through.
Travellers in Vietnam may have questions about the spread of the virus in Vietnam, as well as which policies are in place in Vietnam. Below is a full overview of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam as it relates to travellers.
Vietnam's Immigration Department has announced that all foreigners who entered Vietnam after March 1 on visa exemptions, e-visas or tourism visas will be given automatic stay extensions at no charge until July 31, 2020. Travellers still in the country should declare their temporary residence to local police, through their landlords or hotels, and must complete Vietnam's online health declaration here.
Visitors who entered the country before March 1 may be considered for the extension, provided they can show an official letter from their embassy or consulate stating they were unable to leave the country due to objective reasons. Foreigners who have undergone quarantine or treatment for Covid-19 in Vietnam are also eligible for the extension. They must bring their certification documents to show immigration officials when leaving Vietnam.
For questions about the new policy, please call Vietnam's Immigration Department at 024 3938 7320.
Current snapshot of COVID-19 situation in Vietnam
The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 appeared in Vietnam on Jan. 23, 2020. Of the confirmed cases that have appeared in Vietnam to date, 324 are Vietnamese, and the rest are foreigners. Vietnam has reported no cases of community spread since April 17.
Vietnam lifted its 22-day social distancing directive on April 23. The government advises all citizens and foreigners to wash hands regularly, wear masks in public, and maintain interpersonal distance of at least one meter.
Most trades and services are back in business. Flights, public transportation, inter-provincial transportation, hotels, monuments, tourism attractions, and government offices have reopened with safety measures in place.
Only Vietnamese nationals, foreigners on diplomatic or official business, and highly skilled workers are allowed to enter the country at this time.
Anyone entering Vietnam must undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
Visa policies for travellers to Vietnam
To staunch the spread of COVID-19, Vietnam is not allowing entry or issuing visas to foreign nationals, from March 22 until further notice, except for those travelling for official or diplomatic purposes, must undergo medical checks and 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam.
Vietnam has officially suspended all visa exemptions for citizens of South Korea, Belarus, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Travellers who have entered the country on visa waivers or tourist visas are given automatic visa extension until July 31, 2020.
Those who have entered Vietnam for business, visiting relatives, or purposes other than travel should contact a visa agent to address their individual visa concerns.
Flights changes related to COVID-19 in Vietnam
All passenger flights to Vietnam on all airlines are suspended from April 1, 2020. Since February 1, all flights to and from mainland China on all airlines have been indefinitely suspended by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. Vietnam Airlines has announced it will suspend all its two-way international flights from March 25 until further notice.
All inbound travellers coming to Vietnam will be required to submit a health declaration and undergo COVID-19 medical checks upon arrival. Travellers can fill out the health declaration at the airport or submit it in advance at this link.
Closures and cancellations due to COVID-19
A number of festivals and events in Vietnam have been cancelled or postponed in alignment with the government’s directive to avoid public gatherings:
• Huế Festival 2020 - Postponed to August 28, 2020
• F1 Vietnam Grand Prix - Postponed
• Da Lat Sufferfest - Postponed
• Quang Binh Marathon - Postponed
• Techcombank Ha Noi Marathon - Postponed
• Sunrise Sprint - Postponed to May 3, 2020
• Da Nang International Fireworks Festival 2020 - Cancelled
• Da Lat Ultra Trail 2020 - Postponed to June 19-21, 2020
Preventative steps by the Vietnamese government
Vietnam’s Prime Minister officially declared COVID-19 an epidemic in Vietnam on Feb. 1, 2020. Although confirmed cases remain low within the country, authorities are taking swift and strict preventative measures to contain the virus. The government has formed a National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to direct efforts and communicate to the public.
The National Steering Committee has launched an online management and administration centre for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, and on March 6, Vietnam announced it will produce 10,000 COVID-19 test kits daily.
Below are the key actions taken by Vietnam to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
In addition to these, many private Vietnamese businesses, residential complexes and tourist accommodations have installed their own preventative measures to keep customers safe.
Health and safety precautions for travellers
Travellers in Vietnam are encouraged to take sensible precautions against COVID-19 during their trips.
The World Health Organization outlines these basic practices to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
1. Avoid travelling if you have a fever and cough. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, alert health care services and share with them your recent travel history.
2. Maintain social distancing. Stay a meter or more away from others, especially those who are sneezing or coughing, or have fever.
3. Wash your hands regularly with soap and running water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer to spray your hands as often as you like.
4. Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of dirty tissues immediately and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
5. Avoid contact with live animals. Wash your hands with soap and water if you touch live animals or animal products in markets.
6. Eat only well-cooked food. Make sure your meals especially animal proteins and dairy products are thoroughly cooked and prepared in a sanitary environment.
7. Discard single-use masks. If you choose to wear a single-use mask, ensure it covers your nose and mouth, avoid touching the mask, and wash your hands after removing it.
Any travellers experiencing symptoms of the virus — fever, cough and difficulty breathing — should immediately call Vietnam’s health hotline: 19003228.
Travellers looking for updated statistics on COVID-19 can use the Coronavirus app.
Updates from the Vietnamese government: https://ncov.moh.gov.vn
News updates from Vietnam Tourism: https://vietnam.travel/media-industry