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Lockdown Restrictions

HCMC Lifts Many Lockdown Restrictions Beginning October 1st

Lockdown Restrictions Lifted!


We are pleased to announce that as per official government notice dated, September 30th, 2021, the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) authorities will remove a significant amount of lockdown restrictions that have been in place over the past few months due to serious COVID-19 outbreaks.  Restrictions will begin to be lifted from October 1st, 2021 onwards.  Note that there remain many details and processes to be clarified by the authorities and we will expect many changes throughout the next several weeks.  COVID-19 positive cases remain relatively high in HCMC and full vaccination rates, (although slowly increasing) remain relatively low in HCMC and country-wide.


Beginning October 1st:


• Free movement for residents within HCMC will be allowed, current checkpoints between districts removed, and paper travel passes no longer required. Taxi service, ride-hailing apps (like Grab), delivery service, and public transport will also resume although details are yet to come. Note that travel to and from other nearby provinces remains restricted.


• Most businesses, food stores, and government offices will be allowed to resume normal operations (with certain social distancing practices still in place). Regarding government offices such as the labor and immigration departments, this is very good news as we can expect a resumption of somewhat normal processing of work permits and visa applications.  However, due to the recent lockdown, there is a large backlog of applications and government officers may not return to work in full force immediately.  We can still expect some delays to continue for the near future until the current situation stabilizes.  For more detailed listing of approved businesses, click here.


• Regarding Resident Vietnam operations in HCMC, we will be able to resume in-office operations from October 1st onwards.  At this stage, we expect that assignees will be able to proceed with our accompanied services (homesearch, settling in) but with some limitations as buildings and certain landlords may still restrict outside access.  Various suppliers and real estate agents have confirmed they will be providing services starting next week.  Note that there are many aspects of the current lifting of restrictions that remain unclear and we will still need to take each assignee interaction on a case by case until things stabilize further.  As of this date, international schools remain closed and it is unclear if they will reopen for in-person learning this year.


• Domestic flights in Vietnam remain limited, especially in and out of HCMC. It is unclear when normal air travel will resume for HCMC, but we expect things to improve/be clarified throughout October.  Note that all quarantine requirements and entry processes for incoming international travelers remain the same and limited international flights continue to arrive.


We will be watching the situation closely and report to clients and assignees accordingly as things develop.  In HCMC, despite the relaxation of many restrictions, the situation remains far from normal and we expect that to continue for at least the next several weeks.  The ongoing vaccination campaign and general COVD-19 outbreak management remain quite inconsistent throughout HCMC and residents must remain patient due to lack of clear information or guidance.




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