After almost 3 months without domestic coronavirus infections, Vietnam currently has thousands of new infections each day. To keep the risk of further spreading as low as possible, the Vietnamese government has virtually sealed off the country from the outside world, which also affects the use of tourist and business visas. On this page, you can read about the impact of these measures on your travel plans. This information was last updated on 15 September 2021.
How serious is the coronavirus problem in Vietnam?
Vietnam was relatively quick with implementing rules against the coronavirus, but the country is seeing large-scale outbreaks since May 2021. Currently, 635,055 infections have been reported and 15,936 deaths have been confirmed as a result of the virus (as of 15-09-2021). While Vietnam seemed to have the coronavirus outbreak well under control for a long time, infections have been rising at an unprecedented rate in recent weeks. This is partly due to the slow vaccination programme in the country; only 5,2% of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Most of the infections are in the southern provinces. The increase in infections is so rapid that some countries, such as Egypt, have even imposed entry restrictions on travellers from Vietnam. The measures taken by the Vietnamese authorities are aimed not only at stopping the spread of the virus within Vietnam, but also at preventing infected people from entering the country.
Vietnam has also taken strict measures to stop a further outbreak of coronavirus / COVID-19.
Can I still travel to Vietnam?
The Vietnamese government has announced that it will soon reopen the island of Phu Quoc to fully vaccinated tourists. This experiment will last six months and is a pilot to see if other parts of Vietnam can also welcome tourists again.
In general, however, foreigners cannot travel to Vietnam until further notice. Persons with Vietnamese nationality are still allowed in, however. Exceptions are also made for persons that want to enter the country to offer medical or other specialised help, and there is also an exception in place for "experts, business managers and highly skilled workers" which are necessary to keep the Vietnamese economy running or get it back on its feet. These persons must acquire their visa through their Vietnamese business partner, and not through the embassy or consulate.
Travellers that are allowed to enter must have a medical certificate from a doctor which states that they do not have coronavirus symptoms and tested negative for COVID-19. They must present this statement at the passport check, and spend 21 days in quarantine at a designated location in Vietnam on arrival (a mandated hotel or a government established quarantine facility). During this time, they will be tested for coronavirus three times. If all tests are negative, they can spend the next 7 days in self-isolation, where they will be tested twice again. Travellers will have to pay for the cost of the quarantine and the tests themselves.
An exception to the quarantine rule is in place for diplomats, holders of service passports and business travellers, the above-mentioned "experts, business managers and highly skilled workers" and their familes, provided they are staying in the country for less than 14 days. However, they must undergo a PCR test 3 to 5 days before arrival in Vietnam, at a testing facility recognized by the Vietnamese government. In Vietnam, they must also regularly take a PCR test. Additionally, they are required to have health insurance which covers health costs abroad, or be able to provide a guarantee from their company that it will cover any coronavirus-related costs.
Is it still possible to apply for a visa?
Contrary to the VOA, applying for a Vietnam e-visa is still possible. However, applications are only processed once the travel ban is lifted. Keep in mind that it is not yet known when this will be, and if additional requirements will be set to travelling with a Vietnam visa.
When is it safe to travel to Vietnam again?
This is currently not known. Keep a close watch on this page and contact your travel agency or airline. Vietnam is currently dealing with extremely high infection numbers. It is expected that travelling to Vietnam will be discouraged for at least another month.
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I am still in Vietnam, what should I do?
Due to the rising infection numbers since the beginning of May, many provinces have banned parties, events, gatherings and religious meetings, and closed schools, catering facilities and other non-essential services. In provinces with particularly high infection rates, strict lockdowns apply. In Ho Chi Minh City, people are no longer allowed to leave their homes, not even for groceries. Throughout the country, wearing masks in public places is mandatory, and restaurants have a minimum distance requirement. Coronavirus tests are being performed in public places, which are mandatory. Violations of these hygiene regulations can result in heavy fines. You may be required to go into quarantine under undesirable and unhygienic conditions if you show signs of illness. In that case, contact the British embassy in Vietnam.
How do I return to the UK?
If you want to leave Vietnam, you can do so with a commercial flight from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, via the South Korean capital Seoul airport Incheon. Asiana Airlines, Korean Air and KLM offer flights. When returning to the United Kingdom from Vietnam, you will need to do the following before departure:
- take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel
- book and pay for COVID-19 tests, to be taken after arrival
- complete a passenger locator form
On arrival in the UK, you must quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days, and take 2 COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of your quarantine. If you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test.
If you are still in Vietnam and cannot or do not want to return yet, contact the Immigration Services to find out if and how you can extend your visa or residence permit. Offices of the immigration services can be found in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City
Disclaimer: the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had grave consequences for a large number of travellers, with or without a Vietnam visa. Not all consequences can be properly assessed at present and many measures and restrictions are changed on a daily basis. The information on this page has been put together with care, but it cannot be guaranteed that they are at all times complete and up to date. Also contact your travel agency and/or airline for the most recent development regarding coronavirus in Vietnam.