Vietnam will remove the pre-entry COVID-19 test requirements for all foreign arrivals starting Sunday, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed.
The direction, effective at 0:00 on May 15, comes as the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths drop both in Vietnam and around the world.
In a dispatch issued on Friday, the PM cited the World Health Organization as announcing that the COVID-19 pandemic has tended to reduce in both patient numbers and fatalities on a global scale and that basic vaccines are still effective against variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In such context, many countries have been taking steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions, including removal of pre-entry testing, the document said.
PM Chinh requested the Ministry of Health to closely monitor the epidemic situation and provide timely and appropriate instructions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must direct Vietnamese agencies abroad to ask people wishing to enter Vietnam to comply with epidemic prevention and control regulations under the health ministry’s guidance.
Currently, according to a rule issued by the Ministry of Health on March 15, all entrants, except for children under two, are required to have negative results from RT-PCR/RT-LAMP tests done within the previous 72 hours, or a negative result from a rapid test done within the last 24 hours, along with making medical declarations.
Vietnam later ceased applying health declarations for foreign arrivals starting April 27 and for domestic travelers from April 30.
New daily coronavirus infections and numbers of severe COVID-19 infections and deaths in Vietnam have dropped strongly since March 15 amid the widening COVID-19 vaccine coverage.
According to the ministry’s report on May 6, the coverage rates of both first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine for the country’s adult population had reached 100 percent, and that of the third jabs had stood at 57.5 percent.
The first and second vaccine coverage rates among children aged 12 to 17 were 100 percent and 96.4 percent, respectively, while the first-shot coverage for children aged five to under 12 was 13.7 percent.
Currently, Vietnam is among six countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccine coverage in the world, the ministry said.
Vietnam, with a population of 98 million people, confirmed 10,693,141 COVID-19 cases, with 9,344,029 recoveries and 43,063 deaths, since the pandemic erupted in the Southeast Asian country in early 2020, the ministry said.
New daily infections and mortalities in the nation have sharply reduced recently to 2,227 and zero on May 13, compared to the 24,623 and 20 a month ago, respectively, the ministry’s data shows.