Testing fully vaccinated passengers from low-risk areas unnecessary: aviation authority

By Doan Loan   October 17, 2021 | 11:16 pm PT
Testing fully vaccinated passengers from low-risk areas unnecessary: aviation authority
Passengers arrive at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport from HCMC, October 11, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed freeing certain air passengers from the negative testing requirement.

In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Transport Sunday, the CAAV said only passengers from very high- and high-risk areas, such as Ho Chi Minh City, should be subject to showing a negative test result before boarding a flight, regardless of their vaccination status.

However, passengers from areas with lower Covid-19 risk levels only need to fulfill one of the three following requests to be eligible to fly: having been fully vaccinated for over 14 days, recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months, or tested negative within 72 hours before departure.

The new rules should be applied from Oct. 20 when the first phase of the ministry’s plan to resume domestic flights ends.

After two months of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, flight services were resumed on 19 domestic routes on Oct. 10.

As regulated by the ministry, all passengers must be fully immunized at least 14 days before travel or have recovered from Covid-19 within the previous six months.

Besides, they must furnish Covid negative results obtained within 72 hours of departure.

According to data from the CAAV, in the five days of Oct. 10 – 14, airlines had operated 98 one-way flights among 200 that had been scheduled.

The flights on 16 routes had transported more than 5,900 passengers in total.

The low rate of operated flights, 49 percent, is ascribed to low booking rates, with many flights even receiving next to zero.

Among the reasons for the low booking rates is the low vaccination rate across many localities, especially for families with many members under 18 years old.

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