Vietnam has a relatively low number of coronavirus infections. To keep it that way, the Vietnamese government implemented a number of measures, which can also affect the use of tourist and business visas. On this page you can read the impact of these measures on your travel plans. This information was last updated on 1 October 2020
How big is the coronavirus problem in Vietnam?
Vietnam was relatively quick with implementing measures against coronavirus. Currently, 1,094 infections have been reported, and 35 casualties have been confirmed as a result of the virus (as of 30-09-2020). This makes Vietnam one of the countries that has managed the coronavirus outbreak the best. The steps taken by the government are not just aimed at stopping the current outbreak within national borders, but also to stop 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?
In general, foreigners cannot travel to Vietnam until further notice. This also applies to travellers that received a visa from the immigration service which states that they can enter the country. However, persons with the Vietnamese nationality are still allowed in. 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.
Each traveller that is allowed in must spend two weeks in quarantine at a designated location after arrival in Vietnam. Home quarantine or self-isolation is not possible in this situation. 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 7 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 my visa for a trip later this year still valid?
Many tourists already received a visa for a trip later this year, when the current coronavirus measures might not be in effect anymore. It is currently not known if the approved visas will be usable then. There is a big chance that they will be, but an official confirmation by the Vietnamese immigration service regarding this has not been given.
Is it still possible to apply for a visa?
Contrary to the VOA, applying for a Vietnam e-visa is still possible. There were reports in the media that starting 1 July, e-visa applications would be processed again by the immigration service. However, it seems that this will not be the case, and that the legal measure that allows for the issuing of e-visas from 1 July onward was simply an administrative measure, as the old law was set to expire on 30 June 2020. This change therefore does not mean that Vietnam will actually be issuing e-visas again from 1 July onward. Keep in mind that it is also not yet known when the travel ban will be lifted, 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. Travelling within Vietnam is limited, and gatherings are partially limited in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces. Keep a close watch on this page and contact your travel agency or airline. It is expected that travelling to Vietnam will be discouraged for at least another month.
I’m still in Vietnam, what do I do?
Try to return to your home country if possible. The measures taken by the government of Vietnam to combat the coronavirus might have been relaxed, but they can differ locally. You might be ordered to quarantine yourself under undesirable and unhygienic circumstances if you do not leave the country. In that case, contact the British embassy in Vietnam. The British government advises all tourists and other visitors that are still in Vietnam to leave the country through a commercial flight from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi via the South Korean capital Seoul. Asiana Airlines and Korean Air offer flights.
If you are still in Vietnam and cannot return yet, contact the immigration services, to find out if and how you can extend your visa of residence permit. Offices of the immigration services can be found in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City
Who is liable for the financial damages?
Coronavirus has resulted in a large amount of financial damages for travellers, travel agencies, tour operators and insurance companies. In some cases, you might be successful in claiming damages, but this will most certainly not always be the case. The immigration service of Vietnam also does not refund the visa costs which have already been made by the traveller, even if they cannot make use of the visa due to the coronavirus.
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.