Ministry proposes no centralized quarantine for passengers from Omicron-hit countries

By Doan Loan   December 29, 2021 | 10:12 pm PT
Ministry proposes no centralized quarantine for passengers from Omicron-hit countries
Foreign visitors at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong
The Transport Ministry has recommended that the country imposes no mandatory quarantine for visitors arriving from Omicron-hit countries, because it would make the resumption of international flights impossible.

The government had announced Monday that everyone coming from countries and territories where the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been detected would have to undergo centralized quarantine regardless of their vaccination or recovery status.

In a proposal submitted to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh Wednesday, the ministry said the requirement would prevent passengers from flying to Vietnam, as no one would want to undergo centralized quarantine on arrival.

One of the important factors for the resumption of regular commercial flights is the removal of centralized quarantine rule for passengers upon entry, the ministry argued.

The ministry suggested that provinces and cities follow the latest guidance issued by the Ministry of Health on December 16, stipulating that fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from Covid-19 will only need to self-isolate for three days starting Jan. 1. Also, all arrivals, except children below two, must have tested negative for the novel coronavirus using the PCR method within 72 hours before departure.

Vietnam’s aviation authorities have reached agreements with counterparts in the U.S., Japan, Singapore, Cambodia and Taiwan on reopening commercial flights from January. They are still in talks with Thai counterparts on this issue.

South Korea, Laos and China are yet to respond to Vietnam’s flight resumption proposal.

Vietnamese carriers have opened ticket sales to several foreign locations including the U.S., Japan and Taiwan.

Vietnam closed its borders and grounded international flights in March 2020, allowing in only citizens, foreign experts, investors, and highly-skilled workers coming in on special flights.

The country confirmed its first Omicron infection case Tuesday, a passenger returning from the U.K.

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