Vietnam is reopening three months ahead of schedule and allowing tourists to return on March 15, according to state-run newspaper Tuoi Tre.

Vietnam is welcoming the world back in phases. On Tuesday (February 15), it removed COVID-19 restrictions on international passenger flights, restoring the frequency of both inbound and outbound services to pre-pandemic levels.

Now Vietnam is preparing to roll back tourism curbs too as the government has agreed to lift remaining travel restrictions on March 15.

Vietnam proposed entry rules

While some details still need to be finalized, the new tourism plan will require travelers to present a recovery or vaccination certificate, with the second dose administered at least 14 days and no more than 12 months before the date of entry.

In addition, travelers must take a pre-departure PCR test no more than 72 hours before flying or a rapid antigen test within 24 hours. A second test will be administered on arrival and passengers must quarantine for one night in an approved hotel while awaiting their results.

Medical or travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment is mandatory with a minimum coverage of $50,000 (according to the Vietnam tourism board, this typically costs about US$40 to take out).

Read more: These Southeast Asian tourist spots are open - here's how to get there

Woman diving off of a boat in Halong Bay Vietnam
Travelers must present proof of vaccination or recovery to enter Vietnam with no need for lengthy quarantine © Helena And Laurent Martin / Stocksy United

Vietnam's current entry program

After adopting a zero-COVID approach in the early days of the pandemic with locked borders and test-and-trace quarantine, Vietnam slowly began to lift border restrictions in September as vaccination rates started to climb.

Currently visitors from approved countries can visit Vietnam under a pilot scheme that's similar to Thailand's Sandbox program, where they are mandated to stay at one of five beach destinations for a minimum of seven days before being permitted to travel around the rest of the country. The five destinations include Phu Quoc, Danang, Khanh Hoa, and Quang Ninh, and Quang Nam (home to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Halong Bay and Hoi An).

This program will be scrapped in March as the country opens to tourists again, though some destinations may be restricted, depending on local outbreaks.

Read more: The 10 best beaches in Vietnam

Until recently, Vietnam was one of the world’s top performers at fighting the coronavirus. But the Delta variant and a shortage of vaccine supplies caused a surge in infections at the end of 2021 before Omicron hit. Nearly 77% of its 98 million population has been double jabbed.

More entry protocols are set to be announced at a later date. We will update this article when more information is available.

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This article was first published Oct 8, 2021 and updated Feb 16, 2022.

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