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Hanoi scraps quarantine for visitors from high-risk areas

By Viet Tuan   November 18, 2021 | 05:05 am PT
Hanoi scraps quarantine for visitors from high-risk areas
A civil defense staff guards an area where Covid-19 close contacts are isolated at home in Ha Dong District of Hanoi, November 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
Hanoi has scrapped quarantine requirement for visitors from high-risk areas, two days after it was imposed and met with opposition from experts and the public.

The city now demands self-isolation or self-monitoring based on the visitors' vaccination status.

People are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 will have to self monitor their health for seven days after arrival and be tested on the first day, according to a decision issued Thursday night.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated have to self-isolate for seven days, be tested twice during this period, and monitor their health for another seven days. People who have not received any vaccine shot have to isolate themselves for 14 days, and be tested for the coronavirus on the seventh and 14th days.

Earlier Hanoi imposed seven-day self isolation on everyong traveling from high-risk areas, as well as the medium-risk HCMC and several southern provinces. The requirement prompted several people to cancel their travel plans while experts said it did not fit in Vietnam's new strategy of living safely with Covid-19.

The new decision came as the Health Ministry also proposed quarantine relaxation on close contacts of Covid-19 patients.

In a letter sent to authorities in 63 cities and provinces on Tuesday, the Health Environment Management Agency under the ministry noted that by now, many localities have achieved significant vaccine coverage and many people have recovered from Covid-19.

This means that the risk of spreading the virus in the community is considerably lower than before.

Therefore, the agency proposed that local authorities cut the quarantine for people having had close contact with Covid-19 patients from 14 days to seven days if they have been vaccinated with two doses at least 14 days and no more than 12 months prior.

Close contacts who’ve had only one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine can be asked to self-isolate for 10 days while the unvaccinated are still subjected to the 14-day quarantine mandate, the agency proposed.

All close contacts must be tested three times for the virus during their quarantine periods, it stressed.

The agency also proposed granting home isolation for Covid-19 close contacts who are fully-vaccinated. For people in the other two categories, it is up to the local authorities to have them isolated at their residences or in centralized camps, it said.

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