Latest advice about traveling to Vietnam in the midst of the Coronavirus
Should You Cancel A Trip To Vietnam?
I’m pretty sure that everyone at the moment knows about the Coronavirus that began its outbreak in Wuhan, China. It goes without saying that the global spread of the Coronavirus does not only affect travelers to and from China. Direct neighboring countries and their travel providers could be affected to a greater or less degree. So many travelers who plan their vacations in Vietnam at this time were wondering whether they should cancel this trip or not.
In this post, I’m going to cover the current situation of Coronavirus in Vietnam, what you should do if you have an upcoming trip here, what problem you might be facing when getting a Vietnam visa, and finally share some general tips to stay healthy while traveling. Let’s find out below!
Has anyone been infected with coronavirus in Vietnam?
(Update 25/02/2020) A total of 16 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Vietnam. The first two cases were father and son from Wuhan, China, who were traveling in Vietnam. American, who is also traveling in Vietnam. The others are people who came in touch with China’s father and son or Vietnamese people who had recently returned from Wuhan. Fortunately, all 16 cases were treated and 100% cured.
(Update 27/02/2020) Due to the unpredictable outbreak of the coronavirus, Vietnam has closed all flights and has declined to enter for everyone from countries adversely affected by coronavirus: China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Japan. Those who come from these countries must be quarantined for 14 days.
What measures has Vietnam taken?
Stop receiving and sending tourists to and from China
To avoid the spread of the Wuhan virus, there’s no flight between China and Vietnam provided. After Tet (the Vietnamese New Year), Vietnam has no longer accepted tourists from China, and Vietnamese workers coming back from the areas affected by the epidemic have been kept in quarantine.
Closure of land border crossings between China and Vietnam
The northern border province of Vietnam stops tourists entering and leaving the international border gate at Lao Cai because China’s regions are at risk of danger acute pneumonia due to the nCoV.
These are some more prompt actions taken by the Vietnamese Government such as cancellation of festivals and tourist activities throughout the country, temporary closure of public schools, training in epidemic prevention for flight crews and assistants, etc.
Is there any difficulty in getting a Vietnam visa or carrying out immigration procedures at this time?
Due to Vietnam policy, Vietnam has temporarily stopped granting Vietnam tourist visa for Chinese citizens including mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau. It is also rather difficult for foreigners to enter Vietnam. All foreign nationals are not allowed to enter Vietnam if they have been in China in the last 14 days. For example, if you want to enter Vietnam on March 11th, you must have left China at least on February 25th.
As of February 26, this also applies to the South Korean provinces of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk. Travelers who come from other provinces of South Korea (including transit) must undergo a survey upon entry and must be under 14-day observation if showing symptoms of the virus.
All airports in Vietnam are strictly controlled upon entry (thermal scanner) so you might be tested for coronavirus upon landing in Vietnam’s airports.
Before you travel, you ought to inquire at the Vietnamese diplomatic mission responsible for you and contact your airline.
How to stay healthy during the trip?
Practice good sick hygiene and sanitation
Make sure you wash your hands with soap regularly, cover any coughs and sneezes with your elbow bent or with a handkerchief, and dispose of the used tissue right away. It probably goes without saying too, avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth is advisable to reduce the chance of infection. You probably should wear a face mask, but it is not enough to reduce infection. You should also wipe down a tray table, headrest and armrest with sanitizing wipes when you get to an airplane seat. Avoid contact with people with respiratory symptoms including fever, poison, sneezing, etc. Avoid raw or undercooked foods.
If you experience symptoms of the virus, you should promptly call Vietnam’s health hotline: +84 19003228.
The Coronavirus app is available to travelers seeking updated COVID-19 statistics.
Situation updates from Vietnam Ministry of Health: https:/ncov.moh.gov.vn
In fact, I venture to say that the situation has led to a very good time to travel to Vietnam since the number of Asian tourists has been drastically reduced (mainly from China). This means that many of the destinations in Vietnam can be visited without crowds, so your trip will be even more authentic since you can enjoy the tranquility offered by the landscapes of Vietnam.