Vietnamese nationals in masks and protective clothes boarded a direct flight from the US back to Việt Nam earlier in December 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — People entering Việt Nam, who are fully vaccinated and have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, can self-quarantine at home instead of having to undergo mandatory centralised quarantine, said Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam in a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
Joined by the Ministry of Health and other ministries and departments, the meeting held late Wednesday focused on COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention when receiving Vietnamese nationals and foreigners from abroad.
The health ministry is required to issue new instructions on self-quarantine and health monitoring for people entering Việt Nam by December 15 at the latest, the day regular international flights are set to resume according to a proposed plan by the transport ministry earlier.
Following the new instruction, people entering the country who have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine and have a negative test for the virus can self-quarantine and self-monitor their health at home.
Unvaccinated people must also be offered quarantine locations with optimal conditions for an appropriate stay period. Vaccines will also be offered.
Reports presented at the meeting showed that Việt Nam has received over 200,000 highly-skilled workers and experts, and business executives from abroad for socio-economic development purposes.
There were also multiple repatriation flights bringing Vietnamese nationals back to the country, while ensuring pandemic prevention and control measures, and quarantine capacity.
Representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that the demand to return to Việt Nam is very high, especially among overseas Vietnamese people, students, and workers whose labour contracts have ended.
The foreign ministry is making efforts to allow people in extremely difficult circumstances to return to the country. Deputy PM Phạm Bình Minh has held working sessions with related departments on the matter.
Several localities have also been implementing the pilot programme to welcome international tourists while ensuring safety measures against COVID-19.
Following the direction of Deputy PM Lê Văn Thành, the transport ministry have been looking into reopening international commercial flight routes.
To date, however, there have not been any routes resumed due to reciprocity principles with foreign partners, and regulations on people allowed to enter Việt Nam on commercial flights.
The consensus is that the major concern at the moment is the pandemic control capacity in the country, especially with the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam in a meeting with the ministries on COVID-19 pandemic control and prevention for Vietnamese nationals, and foreigners entering the country from abroad. — Photo baochinhphu.vn
Taking into consideration the situation, Deputy PM Vũ Đức Đam emphasised that apart from welcoming foreign experts, workers, and international tourists for socio-economic development, ministries and departments must also pay attention to the needs of Vietnamese nationals abroad.
“[The demand to return] is very reasonable, and we have the responsibility to respond urgently, especially with the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday coming up,” he said.
Deputy PM Đam also noted that the pandemic situation has changed – even though community infections are still occurring and the number of new daily cases remains high, the country is still able to handle the outbreak thanks to a high vaccination rate and its focus on addressing severe cases and fatalities, which means "the mindset" with regards to receiving Vietnamese nationals back to the country must change.
All relevant agencies must urgently report to the respective person in charge on the task assigned, addressing the needs of the people.
Deputy PM Đam also required that the transport ministry, the aviation authority, and related departments must update and accelerate preparations to reopen international commercial flight routes, including flight reservation instruction.
The resumption of international commercial flight routes is an urgent need of various airlines, said the aviation authority.
The aviation authority also states that Việt Nam is connected to the “vaccine passport” system of other countries to ensure that everyone who books tickets on Vietnamese airlines is fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated people will be allowed to book tickets after registering their specific address for quarantine in the country.
Việt Nam, with a population close to 100 million, has administered over 130 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to date, with about 55.5 million people receiving the full two shots. — VNS