Jan 12, 2021 / 19:55

Vietnam restricts inbound flights until Lunar New Year due to new Covid-19 variant

The Hanoitimes - The Transport Ministry would consider the resumption of commercial inbound flights after the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 10-16.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested aviation sector to restrict the number of flights that bring stranded Vietnamese home until after the Lunar New Year holiday to prevent new Covid-19 variants from spreading around the world.

 Vietnam restricts inbound flights until Lunar New Year due to new Covid-19 variant. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

The “rescue” flight needs a go-ahead by four ministries of Health, National Defence, Public Security and Transport, and the approval of the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Transport is tasked with resuming regular commercial flights after the Lunar New Year in order to meet the dual goals of containing the pandemic and boosting economic recovery, and in response to the need for the movement of people. 

According to the Prime Minister’s direction, the Ministry of National Defence in coordination with the Ministry of Health will conduct thorough preparations for quarantining Vietnamese returnees.

In addition, provincial-level people’s committees are required to strengthen inspection of concentrated quarantine facilities (excluding facilities managed by the army) to make sure that the regulations on pandemic prevention and control are strictly complied with.

All entrants for short-term visits must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, excepting for special cases authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Health, the people's committees of the provinces and cities will strictly implement the reception, transport and medical control of those whose concentrated isolation time has expired, as well as strictly deal with cases that violate quarantine regulations.

The ministries of National Defence and Public Security are requested to strengthen the management of entry and exit across the border by roads, waterways and sea.

On January 5, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a directive on strengthening the prevention and control against the pandemic that Vietnam suspends all inbound flights from countries and territories infected with a new variant of SARS-CoV-2. Flights between Vietnam and the UK and South Africa are the first to be affected.

As of January 12, Vietnam confirmed 1,515 Covid-19 patients, including 1,361 recoveries and 35 deaths.