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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Covid testing not required for vaccinated air, rail passengers: Health Ministry

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Passengers traveling by air, train and sea will not have to take a Covid test if they have received the first Covid vaccine shot three weeks prior to their travel, or are fully vaccinated, or have recovered from the disease six months earlier, said the Health Ministry.

As for unvaccinated passengers, the Health Ministry required them to show certificates of a negative test result taken 72 hours before departure, aside from following Covid safety measures and making health declarations.

This is part of the Health Ministry’s feedback on the Transport Ministry’s draft plan on organizing passenger transport activities in localities that are easing mobility restrictions.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, the Health Ministry endorsed the draft plan. However, it suggested that passenger transport operators should draw up Covid prevention and control plans, ensure compliance with anti-Covid regulations and arrange for employees or medical teams to coordinate with local health authorities to cope with any infection detected at the workplace in a timely manner.

Regarding road, rail, inland waterway, and maritime public transport vehicles, the Health Ministry suggested allowing them to operate in localities at low or average risk for Covid transmission; to operate at no more than 50% capacity in high-risk localities; and to suspend operations in extremely high-risk areas, except for tech-based cars that have less than nine seats, install protective partitions between the driver and the passenger areas and accept e-payments.

Public transport vehicles must be equipped with medical face masks and hand sanitizers. They must also be cleaned and disinfected after use.

Public transport vehicle drivers and their assistants must comply with Covid safety protocols and make health declarations while working, undergo PCR or rapid antigen tests once they develop symptoms of coughing, fever and shortness of breath or are linked to confirmed Covid cases. In average- or high-risk localities, they have to take a weekly test.

In extremely high-risk localities, drivers of tech-based cars with less than nine seats must be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months and have a certificate of a negative test result conducted not more than 72 hours earlier.

As for coach, railway stations, ferry terminals, ticket counters and rest stops, the Health Ministry asked them to develop passenger pick-up and drop-off plans in line with the ministry’s anti-virus regulations.

Further, ticketing areas and departure lounges must follow social distancing rules and anti-Covid measures, with zones set up to conduct rapid Covid tests and zones for temporary quarantine purposes.

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