Gov’t limits inbound flights amid fear of new COVID-19 variants
13:16 | 11/01/2021

VGP – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered subordinate levels to minimize inbound flights until the Lunar New Year holiday.

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All inbound flights, if any, must be agreed upon by four ministries, namely the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Transport, before reporting to the Government chief for consideration and decision.

The move was made due to the emergence of new COVID-19 variants that are up to 70% more transmissible in many countries.

After the Lunar New Year, the Ministry of Transport was assigned to resume commercial flights as having been directed by the Prime Minister in favor of realizing the dual goal of COVID-19 containment and economic recovery as well as meeting citizens’ travel demand.

The Ministry of National Defense shall coordinate with the Ministry of Health to conduct thorough preparations for quarantining Vietnamese citizens repatriated from abroad.

The quarantine protocol must be reviewed and adjusted properly to ensure safety against the new COVID-19 variants.

In addition, provincial-level People’s Committees shall have to strengthen inspection of concentrated quarantine sites (excluding camps managed by the Army) to make sure that the regulations on pandemic prevention and control are strictly implemented.

All entrants must be subject to 14-day mandatory quarantine, except for special cases decided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier on January 5, PM Phuc signed Directive 01/CT-TTg on strengthening prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which he ordered suspension of inbound flights from countries and territories, firstly the UK and South Africa, that have reported new COVID-19 variants.

PM Phuc assigned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transport to work out a list of countries and territories that the new regulations will apply to.

As of 6:05 on Sunday, Viet Nam confirmed 1,514 COVID-19 patients, including 1,361 recoveries and 35 fatalities.


By Huong Giang

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