Fully vaccinated arrivals to Vietnam with negative COVID-19 tests will only have to undergo seven days of centralized quarantine and another seven days for medical observation, according to a new instruction from the health ministry.
The decision, signed by deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen, is made based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.
|Repatriated Vietnamese citizens from Japan waiting to do entry procedures at Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh__Photo: VNA|
Specifically, the reduced quarantine period – compared to previous 14 days of centralized quarantine and seven days of follow-up medical observation – is applicable to those having certified (by relevant authorities of the home country) proof of negative RT-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 72 hours prior to departure, having been fully vaccinated with the last dose at least 14 days but no more than 12 months before the entry time (with vaccination certificates); or in place of vaccination records, those having been infected with coronavirus (with documents proving the positive status using RT-PCR method no more than six months prior to the entry date), or proof showing they have recovered from the disease or hospital discharge or equivalent documents issued by competent authorities in the country where they have been treated.
All entries will have to be tested for COVID-19 on the first and the seventh day of the quarantine period (counting from the entry date). The first test could use either rapid antigen tests or RT-PCR tests, but the second test would have to be single-sample RT-PCR tests.
Relevant authorities will handle cases with positive tests in line with existing instructions and guidelines.
Those completing centralized quarantine and travelling to their residences/hotels/accommodation for further observation must wear masks, keep a distance, and use the contact tracing app Bluezone, according to the health ministry’s document.
The Bluezone app is required to be active during the seven days of follow-up observation.
The foreign ministry is asked to provide guidelines on verifying and approving COVID-19 vaccination certificates or COVID-19 recovery proof or the equivalent documents by foreign authorities.
The local authorities must strictly abide by the instructions from the health ministry in the management of quarantined persons and handover and reception of those completing centralized quarantine period to ensure no cross infections and spread of the virus to the community.
Those eligible for reduced quarantine could be arranged to pay for quarantine at hotels depending on their requests.
Previously, the northern province of Quang Ninh has been selected by the health ministry to carry out pilot implementation of the seven-day quarantine in July.- (VNS/VLLF)