August 31, 2020
Vietnam Plan To Reopen Commercial Routes to South Korea and Japan
[Hanoi Aug 27, 2020] Vietnam’s Prime Minister has requested some relevant agencies in Vietnam to look into the possibility of reopening commercial routes to and from Japan, South Korea, and some other countries with a high safety rating. He further requested for Vietnam labor flights to be restarted, allowing Vietnamese locals to leave the country and work in the aforementioned countries.
The Prime Minister released this announcement on August 27 during the standing meeting of the government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic prevention. During the meeting, the government has discussed the various solutions that were implemented. So far, Vietnam has been successful, and that the epidemic is under control on the national scale.
Essential Business Trips
The Ministry of Planning and Investment is behind the proposal to allow business executives and representatives of South Korean companies to come to the country for short business trips. Hoping to revive the country’s economy, the Prime Minister has agreed to this proposal. The list of South Korean enterprises that are planning to send business executives to Vietnam was handed over by South Korea’s embassy in Hanoi. A copy of which was also sent to specific investors.
It is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is responsible for arranging the flights of Vietnamese citizens that were stranded in other countries. The agency has also facilitated the entry of foreign investors, experts, and skilled workers into the country. Each flight was carefully planned in order to ensure the safety of all passengers. Among the safety measures that were put in place is the isolation of all visitors on arrival, according to the group of arrivals.
Expand Paid Quarantine of Incoming Foreigners
The Prime Minister of Vietnam has also agreed to extend the paid quarantine for all incoming passengers. Under this scheme, all incoming passengers are required to pay quarantine fees starting September 1st. Meanwhile, the state will bear the cost of the medical examination or treatment for those who will turn out positive of the Covid-19 disease. This mandate was part of Vietnam’s Law on Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control.
When the Covid-19 outbreak started around late March, the Vietnam government has decided to cease all commercial flights in and out of the country. This is to protect its citizens from getting infected with the deadly disease. Vietnam has so far been successful in containing the virus and has managed to contain it for several months. However, a recent outbreak in the city of Da Nang was reported.
The border is still closed at this time, and it’s not yet clear when the country will welcome foreign tourists again. However, cargo flights and other essential flights are ongoing, including the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to carry out repatriation flights of Vietnamese locals who were stranded in other countries when the pandemic started. Foreign nationals who were trapped in Vietnam have also been repatriated back to their respective countries. Priority is given to passengers who are under difficult circumstances. Furthermore, essential workers and experts were also prioritized.
International Flights From Asian Destinations
Around the middle of July, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has sought approval from the Prime Minister to open the borders for international flights coming from several Asian destinations. They requested for two flights per week, coming from each destination, which includes Seoul in South Korea, Guangzhou in China, Vientiane in Laos, Tokyo in Japan, Taiwan, and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
The ministry is expecting about 3,000 passengers to arrive in Vietnam each week on top of the special flights of repatriation and essential travels, as approved by the countries transport authorities. These flights would bring in around 1,500 passengers each week.
In order for passengers to be qualified for boarding, they should possess a valid visa and must follow the quarantine measures set by the Ministry of Health. As of August, Vietnam has recorded more than a thousand Covid-19 positive cases. Of these, 32 have died while 695 have recovered. The recent outbreaks in the provinces of Hai Duong, Quang Nam, and Da Nang are now under control and no new cases have been recorded.
Safety Guidelines from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health
To ensure the safety of visitors and residents of Vietnam, the Ministry of Health has issued safety guidelines and instructions. These guidelines have been strictly implemented all over Vietnam, including workplaces, schools, hospitals, and public transport. These guidelines were created to prevent epidemics in hospitals, prevent infection, and control the infection rates in the country.
The Ministry of Health emphasizes the importance of testing suspected cases early, accelerating vaccine research, and spreading awareness in the community. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Prime Minister has stressed that the National Steering Committee for the prevention of epidemic diseases must pay close attention to the immediate solving of the issues concerning the purchase of materials and medical equipment.