The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday clarified Vietnam’s policies on entry for fully vaccinated arrivals and ensuring equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for foreigners in the country.
Deputy spokesperson for the foreign ministry Pham Thu Hang.
Deputy spokesperson for the foreign ministry Phạm Thu Hang during the regular press briefing held via videoconference from Hanoi noted that on August 4, the health ministry has issued guidance on quarantine for entrants who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease.
These people – also still required to produce proof of COVID-19 negative tests, along with proof of vaccination or recovery – will only have to stay in centralised quarantine for seven days after entry, followed by seven days of medical observation.
“Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Communications on developing criteria and mechanisms to recognise and allow the use in Viet Nam of foreign vaccination certificates and vaccine passports, in order to create favourable conditions for people to enter and quarantine in accordance with the domestic situation and the provisions of Vietnamese and international law,” Hang said.
To make it easier to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines, the Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the Health Ministry has issued temporary guidelines on checking and recognising foreigners’ COVID-19 vaccination and recovery certificates which are officially introduced to Vietnam via diplomatic channels of 44 countries and territories.
The list of countries and territories that have introduced vaccine certificates or proof of COVID-19 recovery will be constantly updated on the information portal of consular activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at lanhsuvietnam.gov.vn.
People who arrive from countries and territories that have not officially introduced vaccination certificates or proof of COVID-19 recovery to the Vietnamese foreign ministry can get in contact with Vietnamese representative missions in their country to either legalise or approve the contents of the aforementioned documents, Hang said.
She also stressed that currently, tourists are not among allowed groups of entries into Viet Nam, which has closed off its border since March last year.
Regarding vaccination of foreigners, the spokesperson said the Vietnamese Government always pays due attention to the foreigners residing, studying, and working in Viet Nam and offers them necessary assistance to go on with their daily lives as usual, as well as medical services and treatment should they be infected with COVID-19.
“The inoculation of the foreign citizens in Viet Nam is a component in the path towards herd immunity, amid complicated developments of COVID-19,” she noted.
Recently, Prime Minister of Viet Nam Pham Minh Chinh has instructed the health ministry to uphold the policy of ensuring vaccination to all irrespective of nationality or residency, the spokesperson underlined.
“Foreigners or Vietnamese nationals with permanent residency abroad who are living in Viet Nam are eligible for vaccination just like any Vietnamese citizens if they are among the prioritised groups or live in prioritised areas,” she noted.
If they belong to neither of these categories, they can register for vaccination at their workplaces or residential areas, similar to Vietnamese citizens, Hang added.
The foreign ministry has on several occasions noted that there would not be discrimination in terms of vaccination between Vietnamese nationals and foreigners.
However, it should be noted that there is a shortage of vaccines in Việt Nam at the moment, and vaccines are prioritised for frontline workers, clinically vulnerable groups and people with high risks of exposure to the virus.
US Vice President visit, vaccine support
In response to the media’s queries over the upcoming visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris, slated for the end of August, the foreign ministry’s deputy spokesperson Pham Thu Hang said the arrangements are still underway between Vietnamese and US authorities.
“The visits of high-level leaders and delegation exchanges between the two countries all serve to deepen the Viet Nam-US Comprehensive Partnership, for the interests of the two people, for the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and in the world,” Hằng said.
Information on the press participation and activities during the visit will be announced later, taking into account the developments of COVID-19 outbreaks, she noted.
Regarding the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)’s letter to US President Joe Biden requesting further allocation of the US surplus COVID-19 vaccines for partner countries like Viet Nam, Bangladesh and Indonesia to guarantee undisrupted production and supply, Hằng said Việt Nam welcomed and cherished all support in the fight against COVID-19.
“We hope that countries and international organisations continue to share information, technology, finance, healthcare experience and vaccines, to help soon put the pandemic under control,” Hang said.
She remarked that Viet Nam is also actively cooperating and doing its part in the international community’s common efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.