Hanoi scraps centralized quarantine for visitors from Omicron-hit countries

By Doan Loan   December 30, 2021 | 08:18 am PT
Hanoi scraps centralized quarantine for visitors from Omicron-hit countries
A man performs procedures at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport in October 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi has reverted a previous decision to put visitors from Omicron-hit countries into centralized quarantine and is expected to make a new announcement later.

A representative of the Ministry of Transport said Nguyen Manh Quyen, deputy chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee, announced at a Thursday meeting that the city has scrapped the requirement.

Previously on December 27, Hanoi requested that all visitors coming from Omicron-hit countries must be put into centralized quarantine regardless of their vaccination status or Covid-19 recovery.

In a document sent to the government on December 29, the transport ministry said eliminating centralized quarantine for entrants is necessary for the resumption of international flights. Hanoi's decision therefore would be a roadblock to the plan, making the resumption improbable.

The transport ministry requested that localities follow guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, which stated that people who are either fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 would only need a three-day home quarantine period from Jan. 1. Those who don't would get a seven-day home quarantine period.

Vietnam is expected to resume international flights to nine markets starting January 1, 2022, including Japan, Singapore and the U.S. All nine markets have recorded Covid-19 infections with the Omicron variant.

Vietnam confirmed its first Omicron case on December 28, a person arriving in Hanoi from the U.K. on December 19. The person has been quarantined upon arrival and is receiving treatment at the 108 Military Hospital.

The coronavirus variant Omicron, first identified in late November, has raised fresh alarms due to its high number of mutations and higher transmissibility.

Around 100 countries and territories have detected the variant, including many in the Asia-Pacific like Australia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

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