Making news

Vietnam fully reopens borders to tourists after pandemic hiatus

Hanoi-based Noi Bai International Airport welcomed the first international commercial flight on March 15 morning after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flight SQ192 from Singapore to Hanoi, operated by Singapore Airlines, marks a milestone as Vietnam fully opens its doors to international visitors, said Nguyen Thi Kim Nga, Deputy Director of Noi Bai International Airport.    

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said country has resumed services to foreign tourists from March 15, noting that domestic airlines have geared up for the restoration.  

To prepare for the increased frequency of international flights, the carriers have stepped up recruitment to fill up the layoffs triggered by the pandemic, the authority added.

According to the airlines, they allow international passengers to refund and change tickets free of charge since there have been no entry regulations in the new situation issued yet.

Bui Doan Ne, Secretary General of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA), said his association has proposed ministries and agencies restore the visa exemption policy for foreign arrivals, which was in force before the pandemic, and include more countries into the list.

Regulations on medical quarantine and testing should be scrapped to help foreign tourists feel secure in Vietnam, he suggested.

Many enterprises also shared the view that stringent regulations make it hard for them to approach international holidaymakers who would choose other countries with relaxed procedures.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the Ministry of Health to quickly adjust entry regulations, making them match the latest situation.

Such adjustments should be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) before March 15 for perfection and announcement, the Deputy PM requested in a document.

He also urged ministries, agencies and localities to coordinate with the MCST to safely and effectively launch tourism activities which, he stressed, should be convenient for tourists./.