Vietnam considers cutting quarantine to 7 days for 'safe' visitors

By Viet Tuan   May 19, 2021 | 07:02 pm PT
Vietnam considers cutting quarantine to 7 days for 'safe' visitors
People line up at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat Airport for Covid-19 testing, May 6, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
Visitors to Vietnam who are categorized as "safe" might only be quarantined for seven days instead of the usual 21, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

He made the suggestion at a meeting with the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on Wednesday, but did not elaborate on who would be considered "safe," and instead ordered the Ministry of Health to draw up the categorization.

He also instructed the ministry to create new Covid testing plans for visitors and prioritize flights.

Vietnam currently mandates a 21-day quarantine for all visitors from abroad, up from the previous 14 days after several people were diagnosed with the disease after completing quarantine.

Dam said reducing the quarantine duration to a week is crucial to commerce, would relieve the burden on quarantine zones and reduce expenses for entrants.

"In not more than a week the health ministry must issue the new guidance, and carry out Covid-19 testing and quarantining procedures in accordance with [it]."

Dam said testing is expensive, and so localities must have strategic plans for mass testing to prevent resource loss.

The latest Covid wave has caused 1,678 infections in 29 cities and provinces, including 618 in Bac Giang and 361 in Bac Ninh. The two hotspots are home to several large industrial parks that employ thousands of workers.

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