On Monday, February 28, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States made an update on its Travel Notices and changed Vietnam from Level 3 to Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19.
The new warning arrives just a few days before March 15, when Vietnam will lift travel restrictions for international travelers. Vietnam will allow foreign tourists to travel freely after one day in quarantine and negative COVID tests results.
However, Health authorities in the United States consider Vietnam as a high-risk destination. The measure is related to recent health reports regarding Vietnam’s COVID-19 cases: the country is recording near 100,000 confirmed daily cases, making highs since the pandemic started.
Authorities in Vietnam, on the other hand, considered lower death and hospitalization rates. This country had very strict travel restrictions, and the economy has been deeply impacted since the number of travelers significantly decreased.
Vietnam Travel Recommendations
Even though the CDC’s main recommendation is “Avoid travel to Vietnam”, there are a few suggestions provided for those who decide to visit the Asian Country.
These are the CDC’s main considerations:
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines before travel.
- Follow requirements and recommendations informed by Vietnam.
- Follow airline requirements, including mask-wearing, testing, quarantine, and proof of vaccination.
- If you tested positive, do not travel until after 10 days after symptoms.
- Everyone over 2 years old should wear masks in indoor public spaces.
- Understand that even if the traveler is vaccinated, there is a high risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
Those who decide to visit this country, must understand all risks and consider the CDC’s recommendation to avoid travel to this destination. The United States urges not to visit Vietnam, along with other 139 countries in Level 4.
Vietnam Prepares for Reopening
Meanwhile, Vietnam has eased entry restrictions. Previously, authorities had prohibited entry to international travel and, starting on March 15, the country will welcome foreign tourists.
Now travelers can apply for the visitor’s visa, have compulsory medical insurance —the minimum coverage was reduced from $20,000 to $10,000—, show a negative COVID test before arrival and after arrival. Tourists must wait for the negative result after arrival to start visiting and exploring the location.
In 2021, Vietnam had 40 million domestic tourists and only 3,800 foreign visitors and the tourism industry expects to see that number significantly increase.
Nguyen Trung Khanh, director of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said: “This year, the industry aims to attract 65 million tourists, including 5 million foreign travelers.”
The Tourism Industry is preparing for new arrivals and has been running the camping “Live fully in Vietnam” to encourage foreign travelers to visit and promote Vietnamese culture.
What To See In Vietnam
American travelers are among the top visitors and have a special interest in the Vietnamese land that harbors a complex and painful history, and incredible landscapes. It has become a very popular destination, special for backpackers.
Two airlines recently launched direct flights between the United States and Vietnam, connecting San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh and it is soon expected to see more routes connecting both countries. Hopefully, the pandemic will cease and travelers will visit more freely this unique territory
Once in Vietnam, foreign tourists can visit fantastic destinations like the Mekong Delta, a river that allows travelers to explore temples, orchards, traditional villages, and floating markets. They can also get immersed in the multicultural island Hoi An and its fascinating history and beauty.
Another must-go place is the Ha Long Bay, one of Unesco’s World Heritage, and the see the clear blue water and thousands of limestones karsts and isles in fascinating and unique shapes.
The capital Hanoi is, of course, another essential destination, that offers tourists ancient temples, beautiful lakes, colonial architecture, relaxing shores, and delicious food in restaurants and street stalls.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories