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No vaccine mandate required for air passengers

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Unvaccinated people and their children can now travel by air provided that they show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours before departure or recovered from the disease within the last six months, according to new regulations.

The Ministry of Transport reopened all domestic air routes nationwide starting today, October 21, as part of its air transportation plan implemented from today until November 30.

Under the plan, air passengers who reside in Level 4 areas, which are at extremely high risk of Covid-19 transmission, or are under lockdown, or board flights from Level 4 areas, or depart from the Tan Son Nhat and Can Tho airports, are required to produce a negative test result given within 72 hours before departure.

Passengers from other areas only have to meet one of the following three conditions: a negative test result taken within 72 hours before departure; proof of full vaccination, with the second dose taken at least 14 days ago or not more than 12 months before departure and proof of recovery from Covid no more than six months before departure.

Passengers are required to make health declarations, follow anti-Covid protocols and fill in a form showing their commitment to complying with Covid safety protocols. They would be banned from flying if they develop any of symptoms such as cough, fever and shortness of breath.

When traveling from airports to their places of accommodation, passengers should limit social interactions in crowded places, inform the local authorities of their arrival, self-monitor their health and follow the anti-virus regulations of each locality.

Accordingly, unvaccinated passengers who are children and those aged 18 and younger are now eligible to fly if they have a negative test result before departure. The new regulation is laxer than the previous one during the piloting of the reopening of domestic flights from October 10 to 20. Earlier, air passengers were required to be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months and have proof of a negative test result.

The flight frequency remains limited, though.

On the routes of Hanoi-HCMC, Hanoi-Danang and Danang-HCMC, there will be six return flights daily per route from October 21 to November 14 and a maximum of seven daily flights per route between November 15 and 30. On each of the other routes, no more than four return flights are operated per day.

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