The Vietnam Immigration Department has announced new measures to ease entry procedures for foreigners, overseas Vietnamese (OV), and their family members holding valid visas or visa exemptions. Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines’ first passenger flight to Europe since last year departs from Hanoi’s Ni Bài International Airport to London Heathrow on Monday, January 24.
Vietnam Immigration relaxes entry procedures
The easing of entry procedures was carried out in compliance with instructions issued by Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh in Government Office Document No. 450/VPCP-QHQT dated January 18, 2022. The move will hopefully ease worries of travellers as many shared about their experience in entering Vietnam in the previous weeks.
Foreigners and overseas Vietnamese with valid permanent or temporary residence cards, visas, or visa exemption certificates may enter Vietnam in accordance with the Law on Foreigners’ Entry without having obtained prior approval from ministries, sectors, or local authorities or having undergone pre-clearance procedures.
Foreigners who wish to enter Vietnam for market research, business, investment, work, conferences, study, or family visits but do not possess one of the above-mentioned documents must first obtain approval from the provincial People’s Committees or ministries, sectors, and central authorities before undergoing visa sponsoring and inviting procedures at the Immigration Department.
All entrants must follow the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 prevention regulations, which include submission of an online health declaration at https://tokhaiyte.vn, having a negative RT-PCR test result within three days or 72 hours prior to arrival, taking a rapid antigen COVID-19 test at the airport if arriving from a country with Omicron, and serving a three-day home quarantine or quarantine at any pre-selected place of accommodation (for fully vaccinated individuals or recently recovered patients), or seven-day hotel quarantine for not fully vaccinated individuals.
Vietnam is also open for travellers planning to visit for tourism provided that they join tour groups organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s experimental inbound tourism program for fully vaccinated tourists.
Foreign tourists could visit five destinations in Vietnam under this vaccine passport-based scheme aimed at reviving international tourism after two years of pandemic – Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa), Phu Quoc (Kien Giang province), Da Nang, and Quang Ninh, and Hoi An (Quang Nam). Binh Dinh and Ho Chi Minh City will also reopen soon for tourists.
The Immigration Department requested that the Consular Department (under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) notify Vietnamese embassies abroad in order to provide guidance to Vietnamese expats living abroad and their families.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam also urged that local and international airlines be notified of boarding rules, while municipal and provincial government authorities should offer guidelines to multinational businesses and foreign nationals operating in their territory.
Vietnam Airlines flies back to Europe
This week, Hanoi-based carrier Vietnam Airlines will resume regularly scheduled passenger flights to continental Europe and the United Kingdom. The move will be celebrated and welcomed by Vietnamese expats in Europe who sought for resumption of regular flights between Vietnam and Europe.
The first flight, to London Heathrow, has been rescheduled till Monday. Flights to Moscow and Frankfurt will be added later this week. Vietnam Airlines plans to launch regular flights to four European destinations by February.
Vietnam Airlines flew west to Frankfurt, Moscow, London, and Paris until COVID-19 halted flights. Vietnam Airlines halted all foreign operations in March 2020. Aside from government-sponsored repatriation missions and charter flights, the flights this week mark the start of Vietnam Airlines’ regular passenger service to Europe.
VN55 will fly from Hanoi’s Ni Bài International Airport to London Heathrow on Monday, January 24. The trip will be operated by an Airbus A350-900 and will take 12 and a half hours to travel the 5,737 miles (9,233 kilometers) between the two cities.
VN18 will depart London at noon on Tuesday for the return journey. The Airbus, on the other hand, will not return home immediately. Instead, VN18 uses the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The aircraft proceeds to Hanoi, landing at 09:55 on Wednesday, after two hours on the ground there.
Vietnam Airlines will resume its regularly scheduled flights to Frankfurt on Thursday. VN37 departs Hanoi at 07:05 on Thursday morning for a 12-hour and 15-minute trip west, arriving in the afternoon of the same day.
The return flight, VN36, takes off later that afternoon from Frankfurt. The next day, around 9:30 a.m., VN36 arrives in Hanoi. Boeing 787-9 aircraft operate Vietnam Airlines’ Hanoi – Frankfurt – Hanoi services.