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Vietnam Removes Health Declaration Requirement for Domestic, International Travelers

Citing Vietnam's continued success in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health announced domestic travelers will no longer need to make health declarations and restrictions will be eased for international arrivals.

"Vietnam has not tracked down any COVID-19 related cases and is returning to normalcy, which means health declaration for domestic travel is unnecessary," Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long explained earlier this week

Health declarations were part of the 5K protocol the ministry outlined in August 2020, along with hand-washing, social distancing, mask-wearing, and avoiding crowds as measures to slow the spread of the virus. As the pandemic situation worsened, the suggestions were made mandatory with applicable punishments for those not adhering to them.

Yet, as the number of serious cases dwindles in response to successful vaccination efforts, many cities and provinces have urged the ministry to loosen the regulations and only require mask-wearing and hand-cleansing.

Meanwhile, beginning Monday, May 2, international visitors to Vietnam will no longer be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 status nor be screened upon arrival. Starting today April 27, travelers are also not required to complete health declaration forms at border crossings. These requirements have caused extended delays and inspired complaints from inbound travelers at local airports.

The Ministry of Health explained that airlines already request travelers to submit a negative test before boarding so further certifications are not necessary once they land. The change follows the March 15 re-opening of the country with no quarantine mandates after nearly two years of largely closed borders. The policy aims to help ease airport congestion as tourism numbers rise. 

Cases, particularly fatal ones, are down in recent weeks across the country. In the last week, the average death toll was just eight, a 54% drop from the week before. During the same time period, Vietnam recorded an average of 33,200 cases per day, which is 20% fewer than the preceding week.

[Photo: Domestic tourists enjoy evening snacks on the step leading up to the Đà Lạt Market.]

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