After almost 3 months without domestic coronavirus infections, an infection was registered in Ho Chi Minh City near the end of November. 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 7 January 2021
How serious is the coronavirus problem in Vietnam?
Vietnam was relatively quick with implementing measures against the coronavirus. Currently, 1,505 infections have been reported and 35 casualties have been confirmed as a result of the virus (as of 06-01-2021). 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 spread of the virus within national borders, but also to stop infected people from entering Vietnam.
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. 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 had a coronavirus test performed on them prior to departure, present the negative test result at the passport check and spend 6 days in quarantine at a designated location after arrival in Vietnam. During this time, they will be tested twice. If both tests are negative, they can spend the remaining 8 days in self-quarantine. Travellers will have to pay for the cost of the quarantine themselves. Starting 1 September, 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 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. 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. 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?
The measures taken by the government of Vietnam to combat the coronavirus may have been relaxed, but they can differ locally. However, there is a general requirement to wear masks in public areas, and restaurants have a mandatory minimum distance. Violating the hygiene rules can lead to hefty fines. You might be ordered to quarantine yourself under undesirable and unhygienic circumstances if you show symptoms. In that case, contact the British embassy in Vietnam.
If you want to leave the country, that can be done through a commercial flight from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, via the South Korean capital Seoul at Incheon aiport. Asiana Airlines, KLM and Korean Air offer flights. Travellers returning from Vietnam are required to self-quarantine for 10 days. Additionally, starting 18 January, travellers returning to the UK from overseas are required to present a negative PCR test which was administered a maximum of 3 days before departure. 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
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.