Vietnam will lift most restrictions on international tourists arriving in the country beginning March 15, according to a post on the government’s website.
As is becoming the new norm for post-pandemic travel, visitors must have proof of being vaccinated or recovery from Covid-19, with a negative test result ahead of departure; they will also be required purchase Covid-19 medical insurance coverage worth US$10,000.
Those with suspected virus symptoms would undergo rapid tests at Vietnam airports, while other passengers would have to self-isolate for 24 hours at their pre-registered places of accommodation, perform rapid or PCR testing and monitor their health for 14 days, according to the posting.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh earlier this month declared he wanted to see tourists welcome back “ideally at the end of March and no later than the end of April”.
Vietnam has gradually been reopening its borders to tourists, with the first phase seeing flights resume to nearby Asian countries along with the U.S at the start of January.
After this proved successful, later that month saw farther-flung destinations including Europe and Australia given a partial green light, opening for returning Vietnamese citizens and residents.
This prompted the SkyTeam-aligned Vietnam Airlines to put its Australian routes back into action, including twice weekly direct services from Sydney and Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, although the Sydney-Hanoi route remains suspended.
Jetstar currently lists three direct flights per week from Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City from 1 April.
Vietnam Airlines is not the only carrier with its sights set down under, with newcomer Bamboo Airways launching a Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City service from April.
Bamboo will initially fly twice weekly to the Victorian capital but is mulling an increase to four-times weekly from later in the year.
The resumption of travel to Vietnam is bound to be well-received by the nearly 320,000 Australians who ventured to the country in 2019.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg