Coronavirus Asia-Pacific

Vietnam limiting inbound flights ahead of Chinese New Year

Only necessary flights approved by some government ministries will be allowed to enter Vietnam.
Only necessary flights approved by some government ministries will be allowed to enter Vietnam.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HANOI • Vietnam will limit flights bringing citizens home from now until the end of Chinese New Year celebrations in mid-February, when big gatherings indoors are expected, to reduce coronavirus risks, its Prime Minister said.

With a new Covid-19 variant spreading around the globe and the upcoming Chinese New Year, the country's most important holiday, only necessary flights approved by the health, foreign, defence, public security and transport ministries are allowed to enter the country, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

After the Chinese New Year celebrations, which run from Feb 10 to 16, the Transport Ministry will study the possibility of resuming international flights, Mr Phuc added.

Vietnam has suspended all inbound international commercial flights since late March last year, but the government has been operating repatriation flights to bring home Vietnamese citizens stuck abroad amid the pandemic.

Some special flights carrying foreign experts and investors have been allowed to fly into Vietnam. All people entering the country have to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The country last Tuesday suspended inbound flights from countries with new Covid-19 variants, initially Britain and South Africa.

Thanks to strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam has fared much better than many other nations, registering a total of 1,513 infections and 35 deaths. It has gone 38 days with no locally transmitted cases.

  • 38

    Number of days Vietnam has gone with no locally transmitted cases

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2021, with the headline 'Vietnam limiting inbound flights ahead of Chinese New Year'. Print Edition | Subscribe