September 10, 2020

Vietnam: Covid-19 Update

On August 31, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health lifted the required quarantine period for foreign investors, experts, managers, and technicians entering the country for less than 14 days. This suspension for short-term business travelers is giving hope that the strict restrictions in place will continue to be eased, however there are some practicalities of the regulations that effectively render the “lifting” less straightforward than may initially be expected.

What has changed?

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health issued official letter No. 4674, lifting quarantine measures for business travelers entering the country to work for a period of less than 14 days. The exemption to quarantine applies to investors, experts, technicians and managers. In the event the individual needs to stay beyond the 14-day period and tests negatively for Covid-19, they will be permitted to move freely within the country.

The regulation issued by the Ministry of Health is effective nationwide throughout Vietnam, however it will be managed by the local Health Departments in each province, resulting in possible discrepancies.

All travelers who fall into this category still need to follow entry processes and protocols, including obtaining the standard approvals required for Vietnam. They will also need to continue to follow the Covid-19 prevention and control measures put in place by the Ministry of Health, including:

    • A negative Covid-19 test conducted by an authorized medical entity 3-5 days before entering Vietnam
    • Further testing for Covid-19 immediately after arriving at the location of stay, and
    • Subsequent testing every 2 days during the stay, with one final test completed 14 days following arrival

Individuals must arrive at least 1 day prior to commencing work to ensure they can complete this medical requirement in time.

What to expect /impact?

While in effect this process will allow more freedom of movement for short-term travelers, it does also impose certain complications for any movements the individuals make outside of their hotel, which should be exclusively for work purposes. The following rules must also be followed:

    • Travelers must stay at a government-designated hotel.
    • Any meeting that takes place outside of the quarantine hotel must be registered and approved first by the local health authorities. If the location is at a company office or factory, the location must ensure a special room prepared in advance for the meeting and ensure all social distancing practices are in place. All movement is restricted to the approved business-related meetings only and is not permitted for social or leisure purposes.
    • Travelers must provide a full itinerary of all their expected movements during their stay and include a list of all individuals with whom they will be meeting. They will also need to account for full transportation arrangements in advance (as opposed to arranging a taxi at the time of the meeting).
    • Individuals may be monitored by Ministry of Health department staff to ensure rules are being followed and social distancing practices are observed.

What you need to do

For further information on developments in Vietnam related to Covid-19, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com.

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