Background of New Quarantine Rules
In mid-December 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health announced a reduction in quarantine requirements for approved incoming travelers as per Directive No: 10688/BYT-MT. The two key points from this directive (effective January 1, 2022) are:
- Fully vaccinated travelers (or those providing appropriate proof of recovery from COVID-19) need only remain in quarantine for 3 days (rather than the previously required 7 days).
- Incoming travelers may perform their quarantine at their home residence or hotel (rather than stay only at an approved government quarantine hotel).
Quarantine Requirements in Ho Chi Minh City
As detailed further below, there remain requirements by the local Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health (HCMC DOH) that include the need to register the residence or hotel where the traveler will be performing their 3-day quarantine. As this is a very new announcement (released December 24, 2021, by the HCMC DOH, No: 9713/SYT-NVY, we can expect there to be some inconsistent implementation or unclear requirements as the various procedures are finalized over the coming weeks. It cannot be stressed enough that due to the newness of this announcement, and the developing impact of the Omicron variant, any incoming traveler must stay up to date with the most recent requirements.
Note that all special entry approval processes and requirements (such as PCR-test prior to departure) still remain in place, and only travelers who fall under the allowed categories are eligible for entry.
Key Points Regarding Shortened Quarantine:
We highly recommend all incoming travelers check prior to departure with their local office, their airline, their quarantine place of stay, as well as their immigration provider to ensure they are updated with most recent requirements. In some cases, especially at this early stage, travelers may still be required to perform 7-day quarantine until all involved government entities, airlines, and hotels are aligned.
- Arriving travelers to HCMC must report to local medical staff the information of entry and residence address within 24 hours. The traveler will be monitored and tested during their 3-day quarantine. We are awaiting further details/clarification on this point from the local authorities as to this reporting procedure.
- The place of stay for the 3-day quarantine must be registered/approved by the local authorities. In the announcement, the HCMC DOH notes that it has requested airlines to collect information on the place of stay for the incoming traveler. The airlines are to then inform the HCMC CDC in order for them to notify the district CDC of the traveler’s place of stay.
- For the traveler, they still must complete a health declaration online (which includes place of stay) and bring this along to submit at the Health Quarantine Desk at the immigration point of entry (this is an existing process/requirement). We are awaiting further details/clarification on this point from the local authorities as to this registration/approval procedure. At the time of this writing, many standard hotels (non-quarantine) in HCMC have stated that they cannot receive newly arrived travelers for 3-day quarantine. Therefore, in all cases (at least for the short term), we recommend travelers still book and stay in one of the few government-approved quarantine hotels.
- Official, pre-approved transport from the airport to the place of quarantine: There is no specific new guidance on this point in the announcement. Newly arrived travelers may only take approved transport as per previous requirements/procedures until further notice.
- It seems the vaccination card/ Covid-19 Recovery Certificate and confirmed quarantine/self-isolation/residence address info will be required for the Entry Demand Approval application that is submitted to the Labor Department. We expect new guidance/ Forms from the Labor Department soon for this application.
- For those unvaccinated travelers, 7-day, government-approved quarantine is still in place (along with all other requirements).
- For fully vaccinated travelers arriving in HCMC with children under 18 (non-vaccinated), it remains to be clarified if they must still perform 7-day quarantine as per previous guidance or if the family may perform 3-day quarantine (as is the case in Binh Duong as per current understanding).
To view current COVID-19 statistics, please click HERE.