The new opening date means visitors can arrive three months earlier than originally planned.
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SFrom March 15, Vietnam hopes to fully reopen to travelers, including Americans – with some travel restrictions – well ahead of the original June schedule.
The country imposed one of the strictest border controls in the world at the start of the pandemic – very few people have been allowed access since the spring of 2020. Vietnam has allowed foreign tourists to visit designated places thanks to a vaccine passport program from November 2021, but it will be the first time the country has fully reopened to unrestricted travel.
Although the country hopes to open early, it is not fully opening the doors. There are still a handful of entry requirements. To travel to Vietnam, you will need:
Proof of vaccination
According to the National Tourism Administration of Vietnam, visitors aged 12 and over must present proof that they are fully vaccinated. The last dose must have been administered at least 14 days ago, but no more than 6 months ago. Basically, those who received initial doses in the spring of 2021, but did not receive a booster, would not be considered sufficiently vaccinated.
Alternatively, visitors can present a “COVID-19 recovery certificate or equivalent documents certifying that they have recovered from COVID-19 disease, issued by a competent authority in the country of treatment within a period not exceeding 6 months “.
Compulsory tests and one-day quarantine
All travelers over the age of two must come with a negative COVID-19 test. The options are an RT-PCR/RT-LAMP test administered within 72 hours prior or a rapid test conducted within 24 hours of departure.
Once in Vietnam, travelers must go to their accommodation immediately and take a rapid test. (It remains to be determined whether this test can be self-administered or not.) If after 24 hours their test results have come back and are negative, they can move freely around the country. However, if they come back positive, travelers should be “medically isolated at the accommodation or treated in accordance with Ministry of Health regulations”.
Each traveler must also purchase medical or travel insurance that covers treatment costs associated with COVID-19 with a minimum liability of $10,000.
This is not new, but it should be noted that Vietnam requires travelers to obtain a visa before their trip.
There are several ways for US citizens to obtain a Vietnamese visa, but the easiest is to apply for a eVisa– also called “visa on arrival” – online and in advance. To apply you will need a passport, a 2 x 2 inch jpeg photo, a credit card for the $25 fee and an email address where the e-Visa can be sent . The visa is valid for single-entry stays up to 30 days. Processing takes three days. The e-Visa is valid for entry at 28 international checkpoints, including eight airports. For the full list of airports, seaports and border crossings where e-Visa is accepted, see the Embassy website.
If you intend to enter Vietnam through another point, you will need to visit a Vietnamese consulate or embassy to apply in person or obtain a written approval letter for a visa on arrival from your travel agency before departure.
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