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Guide to Traveling Safely to Vietnam Post COVID-19

Vietnam travel and COVID pandemic restrictions, relaxations
A perfect mosaic of beauty, culture, solace, and simplicity–is Vietnam. From discovering its rich heritage in vintage libraries, books, and movies, to contemporary cafes, Vietnam is but a tourist favorite and rightly so. However, the tables have drastically turned upside down with regard to the world we live in today. The coronavirus pandemic has left people in a distressed state and limited all traveling activities.

To curb this pandemic, all countries of the world have put forth plausible restrictions. Recognizing this, the Health Ministry of Vietnam also has mandated health declarations upon arrival. It is a simple form that entails the health details of an individual. It can be filled electronically at border crossings and airports or submitted online or on the day of entry in Vietnam.

The local authorities have asked people to exercise severe caution for their safety. While citizens and foreigners have advised to wash hands regularly with an alcohol-based rub, wear masks when stepping outdoors and maintain 1-meter minimum distance; tourist places, public transportation, and flights have re-opened on April 23 with safety measures in place.

Guide to Traveling Safely to Vietnam Post COVID-19

Guideline to travel safely to Vietnam
From March 22, the country has suspended the entry of all foreign nationals temporarily until further notice. All foreigners who entered Vietnam post 1st march have been provided with automatic stay extensions at no charge until June 30. It can be quickly done by declaring their temporary residence to local police via their hotels or landlords and completing Vietnam's online health declaration.

What about those who came before March 1? They can also apply for an extension if they provide an official document from their embassy stating an objective reason for not returning. Foreigners who have undergone treatment or quarantine in Vietnam are also eligible for the extension.  Along with Vietnam nationals, highly skilled workers, foreign diplomats, and business people can enter the country subject to the new health declaration policies.  People who are visiting Vietnam must undergo medical checkups on arrival and undergo a 14-day quarantine.

Be sure to buy insurance for your trip and carry a personal medical kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, and full supply of prescribed medicines, and you need to avoid unpleasant situations.

Practices to adopt for a safe journey within Vietnam
In times of a pandemic, it is always better to be safe than sorry. The health ministry has thus ordered all nationals and foreigners to wear masks in public places. Tourist sites have also faced closure for disinfecting their premises.

Travelers with symptoms of COVID-19 should call the Vietnamese hotline 1900 3228 and must carry all essentials and adhere to the fundamental rules given by the Vietnamese government. Avoid traveling ifyou have a fever or cough and maintain social distancing. Avoid contact with animals and eat only well-cooked food. Since the virus transmits from person to person via droplets released in coughing or exhalation, traveling makes one only more susceptible to the disease. Thus, your travel history and medical history are the light at the end of the tunnel–saviors for travelers!

Government restrictions, relaxation, and penalties
In light of the ongoing contagiousness, the Vietnamese government has laid down some quarantine regulations. To check the risk of infection, Vietnam carries out strict isolation for individuals who may have exposed to COVID-19 patients directly or indirectly during the transit. Vietnam also observes the following regulations:

1.    Self-quarantine practiced by individuals within homes and hotels.
2.    Quarantine in health care centers for those who tested positive, their families, and others who came in contact with them.
3.    Quarantine in non-medical centers for those returning from high-risk places.
4.    Lockdown areas with a higher number of confirmed infections.
5.    Re-opening of some tourist locations with due safety measures.
6.    Not wearing face masks in public would lead to a fine.
7.    Temporary suspension on the entry of foreign nationals.

The health ministry has established 30 screening centers to test and diagnose COVID-19, as well as 45 response teams, have been set up to accelerate the testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients in national health care facilities.

COVID friendly locations:

Ha Giang
Are you a fan of road trips and soaking in the atmosphere? Ha Giang, in northern Vietnam, is just the right destination. To see the soothing beauty of the hills and watch the king of flagpoles, drive down Dong Van for a captivating experience followed by Ma Pi Leng Pass, a repository of spectacular beauty and history.

Ninh Binh
It is a small city in northern Vietnam famous for its limestone peaks and riverine landscape. Taking a private or small group paddleboat tour is recommended to reduce risk but still fathom into the picturesque view from Hang Mua, Bich Dong Pagoda, and Van Long Nature Reserve.

Quy Nhon
A large beautiful coastal city in Vietnam where beach water kisses the shoreline and a gentle breeze soothes the mind, Quy Nhon is a must-visit, COVID friendly location. One can peacefully promenade along the streets, munch on seafood and sojourn in cool little cosmopolitan cafes of the city. Sanitize yourself while going or coming from outdoors. 

Phong Nha Ke Bang
Dotted with colossal caves, small streams, and forested peaks, Phong Nha is a township in Bo Trach district in north-central Vietnam. It is a hot place for adventurous tour activities. Spread over 885 square kilometers is the UNESCO listed, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park has become famous for Hang Son Doong caves, which is the largest cave in the world.  All over the area is spread with caves and underground streams, which has a history of 400 million years is all set to offer a fascinating experience.
Not all caves are open for tourists due to conservation policy, but some tour operators have permission to carry out conducted tours. Here, you will have the rare opportunity to visit the largest cave in the world-Son Doong.  A complete expedition will take 4 days, including camping. Some of the other cave systems are Tu Lan, Hang Va Nuoc Nut, Pygmy Cave, Hang En, Paradise Cave, and Phong Nha Cave, etc.

Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, offers kayaking on the river, hiking trails and countryside lanes perfect for an adrenalin kick. Go for adventure tours and isolated hotels to diminish the risk of COVID-19.

While these were a few safe places, the world we know it today will forever stand parted in the pre-Corona and post-Corona era. The pandemic has altered economic functioning, human behavior, psychology, and everything else one can think of–travel and tourism is no exception. Hence it is all the more important for people planning to visit or living in Vietnam to stay updated with the latest government guidelines and follow effective protocol so that all of us can return to normalcy sooner. Before making a traveling plan to Vietnam, get in touch with your tour operator, for valuable updates and facilities.

Read more: Tips to travel to Vietnam post Covid -19

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