Vietnam welcomes two flights from US under vaccine passport policy

By Minh Cuong   September 12, 2021 | 06:06 am PT
345 Vietnamese citizens fully vaccinated in the U.S. arrived at the Van Don Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh in two flights Sunday.

The first flight landed at 11:18 a.m., carrying 161 passengers, the other one arrived about one hour later, with 184 passengers on board.

All passengers on the flights had already been fully vaccinated and had negative RT-PCR test results for Covid-19 validated by authorities in the host country 72 hours before departure, therefore meeting the Health Ministry criteria outlined in the vaccine passport program.

Vietnamese passengers undergo custom procedure at Van Don Airport, Sept. 12, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/ Binh Minh

Vietnamese passengers undergo immigration procedures at the Van Don Airport, Quang Ninh Province, Sept. 12, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/ Binh Minh

The passengers will be quarantined at the Vinpearl Resort and Spa Ha Long Hotel for seven instead of the usual 14 days.

All of them, deemed at low risks for Covid-19 infections, had to undergo procedures similar to normal repatriation flights like body temperature checks, submission of health declarations, wearing masks and keeping a safe distance at all times.

They were also divided into groups of old people, the disabled, pregnant women, children under 12 and other classifications to speed up customs procedures at the airport, said airport director Pham Ngoc Sau.

The Van Don Airport had welcomed its first international flight under the vaccine passport policy from Japan earlier this month. The government has approved pilot implementation of a vaccine passport program in the northern province of Quang Ninh, home to the nation’s first private airport. Vaccinated or recovered entrants will be quarantined for seven days on arrival.

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, students and highly-skilled workers have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements.

From Feb. 2020 to Sept. 2021, Van Don Airport has welcomed 232 flights carrying 46,722 passengers from different countries.

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