Vietnam to resume regular international flights in July

Wednesday, 2021-03-31 14:52:47
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Overseas Vietnamese repatriated from Japan undergoing medical supervision at Da Nang airport, February 2021. (Photo: NDO/Anh Dao)
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NDO – Vietnam plans to resume regular international passenger flights from this July, according to a plan developed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

The CAAV has submitted the three-phase plan to the Ministry of Transport, in which the first phase will only allow charter flights (combos) for Vietnamese nationals. Specifically, Vietnamese airlines and their partners (travel companies) will coordinate with diplomatic missions and local authorities that quarantine the returnees to organise the flights after obtaining approval from the relevant agencies with the price covering flight tickets, COVID-19 testing, isolation and catering for 15 days, as well as fees for transport to the quarantined hotels.

The CAAV proposed to immediately deploy the first phase, in concurrence with repatriation flights organised by the Government, with the frequency based on the isolated reception capacity of the receiving localities. Flights will be authorised only after the quarantine reception plans have been agreed by the local authorities.

Starting from July 2021, the resumption of international routes will be transferred to phase 2, with deployment of regular passenger flights into Vietnam and quarantine after entry applied for both Vietnamese nationals and foreigners (must have a negative test for COVID-19). These flights will initially operate on routes between Vietnam and Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China), with a frequency of four flights per week on each route, applied for each airlines of each party from both sides.

Airlines must submit a flight plan that includes the local approved quarantine admission plan where the airport is located. It is expected the total number of weekly flights with passengers entering Vietnam from Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China) will be 24 flights per week with the number of passengers needing isolation at 6,000-7,000 per week.

Phase 3 is expected to start from September. Depending on vaccination progress in Vietnam and an assessment of herd immunity after public mass vaccination, the CAAV will deploy regular flights carrying passengers into Vietnam that do not require post-entry isolation with "vaccine passports" applied.

The market for deployment during the third phase is countries/territories that announce the acceptance of the COVID-19 epidemic effect of the same vaccines Vietnam has announced for wide application in its territory. The initial frequency is expected to be seven one-way flights per week on each route for the airlines of each party.

At this stage, Vietnamese authorities will not require concentrated isolation for passengers who test negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR technique 3-5 days prior to their entry and those having international immunisation certificates for COVID-19 vaccines, recognised by Vietnam as effective to be deployed in the country.

Post-entry passengers must declare to the local authorities their place of residence and quarantine themselves at their residence for 7-14 days (according to the guidance of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health). Passengers who do not have a SARS-CoV-2 negative test and international immunisation certificates are required to be in quarantine for 14 days on a full-cost basis (similar to a combo flight).