Travel VTF

Vietnam scraps all COVID-19 testing for international travellers

Vietnam has become the first country in Asia-Pacific to remove both vaccination and testing requirements for travellers arriving from overseas.

If you’re planning a quarantine-free trip to Vietnam there’s good news in store, with the country formally ditching all COVID-19 testing for arriving travellers regardless of vaccination status from Sunday 15th May 2022 onwards.

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The news means those arriving with passports issued in ASEAN countries, and over a dozen others like the United Kingdom and France, will be able to travel to Vietnam in a completely pre-pandemic fashion by the end of this week.

The new ruling replaces the requirement for all arriving international travellers to have a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test, an idea already ditched by neighbours Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Laos (not to mention the whole of Europe and much of the rest of the world).

A beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam

Current requirements

For those entering Vietnam on or before Saturday 14th May 2022, the following process applies, regardless of your vaccination status:

  • A negative COVID-19 PCR test conducted within 72 hours of departure or a negative professionally-conducted ART test within 24 hours of departure at the first embarkation point.
  • If you cannot take a COVID-19 test before departure you can still travel to Vietnam, but you must then take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours after arrival, and you must isolate in your accommodation until obtaining a negative result.

These requirements do not apply to travellers younger than two.

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Travellers must also hold travel insurance with at least US$10,000 of coverage for COVID-19, unless they are residents of Vietnam.

New requirements

For those touching down in Vietnam from 0.00am on Sunday 15th May 2022, there will no longer be a requirement for any pre-departure test to be conducted, whether you are vaccinated or not.

Notably, Vietnam will be the first nation in the region to remove both vaccination and testing as requirements to enter the country from overseas, a stance already taken by countries like the United Kingdom and the Maldives.

Travel to Vietnam will be a pre-COVID experience from 15th May 2022, regardless of your vaccination status. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Vietnam already removed vaccination as a requirement for arriving travellers in mid-March, and abolished its mandatory health declaration form from 27th April 2022, though the travel insurance requirement for non-residents will remain.

Both Singapore Airlines and the IATA Timatic database have been updated to reflect the new requirements from 15th May, so you shouldn’t have any issues at the check-in desk from that date onwards.

How it compares in ASEAN

Here’s how Vietnam’s latest testing requirements (or lack thereof) look against other ASEAN neighbours, with only four out of the ten countries now imposing a PDT from 15th May 2022.

Testing before travelling to ASEAN countries
based on fully vaccinated travellers departing from Singapore by air

Country Test type Test timing Exemptions
Brunei PCR
or
ART
PCR 2 days before departure
or
ART 1 day before departure
Cambodia No PDT
Indonesia No PDT
Laos No PDT
Malaysia No PDT
Myanmar PCR 72h before arrival Age 5 or below
Philippines PCR
or
ART
PCR 48h before departure
or
ART 24h before departure
Age 3 or below
Singapore No PDT
Thailand No PDT
Vietnam No PDT

With the recent removal of testing and quarantine for travel to Laos, only Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines will still have PDT requirements from 15th May 2022.

Hopefully these countries will also relax requirements in the coming weeks, especially Indonesia, which will be keen to retain tourist arrivals as the region opens up.

Singapore – Vietnam flights

There are non-stop flights from Singapore to Vietnam with the following airlines:

  • Da Nang: Jetstar, Singapore Airlines
  • Hanoi: Bamboo Airways, Scoot, SIA, Vietnam Airlines
  • Ho Chi Minh: Bamboo Airways, Jetstar, Scoot, SIA, VietJet, Vietnam Airlines

Just yesterday we were reporting on two brand new non-stop routes between Singapore Changi Airport and Vietnam, with both Phu Quoc and Nha Trang joining the roster of regular services courtesy of Vietnam Airlines from June 2022.

In addition, the carrier will add new Singapore – Da Nang services, supplementing those of incumbents Jetstar and Singapore Airlines, allowing a multitude of two-way, quarantine-free, test-free options for travellers between Singapore and Vietnam.

Visa-free travel

At the time of writing, those holding passports issued in the following countries (including Singapore) can make visa-free trips to Vietnam without any advance application.

(Source: Vietnam Tourism)

If you hold many other nationalities not on the visa-exempt list you can apply in advance for a 30-day tourist E-Visa at a cost of US$25.

Travel to Singapore

Fully vaccinated travellers heading from Vietnam to Singapore by air will follow the latest Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) process, as outlined below, which is already test-free and quarantine-free, but remains subject to full vaccination.

Singapore Vaccinated Travel Framework
Process

  • Be fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine, or be aged 12 or under in the current calendar year (i.e. born in 2010 or later, for 2022 arrivals)
  • Submit your SG Arrival Card (SGAC) within three days of arrival to Singapore
  • Apply for an entry visa (for visa-required nationalities only)
  • Take any flight from or via any country to Singapore and enter quarantine-free

  Complete VTF Guide



 


 

Summary

Travel to Vietnam will become one of the simplest processes in the region from 15th May 2022, with no more testing requirements, regardless of your vaccination status.

This will allow two-way test-free travel for fully vaccinated Singapore residents, who can also return home without any COVID-19 testing, and comes just in time for the launch of brand new flight options to and from Phu Quoc and Nha Trang from early June.

The move will likely increase pressure on other countries in the region, like Indonesia, with the travel industry there calling for a similar relaxation to boost tourism recovery.

(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)

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