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Vietnam Resumes Limited Flights to Japan, but Not Vice Versa

After service between Hanoi and Tokyo begins on September 18, flights to and from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Laos and Cambodia are expected to follow.

Tuoi Tre reports that Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has received permission to resume very limited commercial international flights, starting with three from Hanoi to Narita International Airport in Tokyo on September 18, 25 and 30. A flight from Saigon to Narita will follow on September 30.

One-way tickets will be priced at over VND10 million (US$430) and are intended for those in Vietnam that need to go to Japan to work or study. Return flights, however, have not been approved. The Boeing 787s used for the flights will undergo disinfectant procedures, while the flight crews will be required to undergo health screenings and quarantine upon return.

In the meantime, plans had been announced to resume select flights to Vietnam from China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan tomorrow, September 15, but exact details on these routes have not been announced. Flights from Laos and Cambodia should begin on September 22 to assist in the repatriation of Vietnamese citizens, the reunion of families, and the arrival of skilled foreign workers.

The 20,000 people expected to arrive each month on these flights will need to provide certification of having passed a COVID-19 test. They will then undergo quarantine at a government facility for five to seven days, and then self-quarantine for 14 days at home while their health status is closely monitored. 

Those arriving in Vietnam will be required to pay for their quarantine stay and testing, in a reversal of previous protocol. The limited flights represent a change from when all flights to Vietnam were arranged by the government. There is still no timeline for a resumption of flights for tourism purposes. 

[Photo via Flickr user David McKelvey]