With the resumption of commercial flights, Vietnam is taking steps towards opening up after a period of Covid-19 lockdown.

Vietnam resumed international commercial flights into the country on 25 September 2020, 5 months after closing its borders as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. The resumption was mandated by Notice 330/TB-VPCP and announced by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh following discussions with industry leaders on opening routes between Vietnam and some partner-countries.

International destinations

The resumption of flights between Vietnam and other international destinations will take place in phases and flights will only be able to land in Vietnam’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Initially, the following commercial routes will be reopened:

From 15 September 2020:

  • Vietnam - China (Guangzhou)
  • Vietnam - Japan (Tokyo)
  • Vietnam - Korea (Seoul)
  • Vietnam - Taiwan, China (Taipei)

From 22 September 2020:

  • Vietnam - Cambodia (Phnom Penh)
  • Vietnam - Laos (Vientiane)

Who can travel?

The commercial flights are only being made available to Vietnamese nationals and foreign diplomats, investors, experts, skilled workers, management personnel, and investors - along with their families. Tourists seeking to enter Vietnam are not yet permitted to take the flights.

Similarly, certain conditions of travel are being imposed on passengers seeking to enter Vietnam. Those conditions require passengers to:

  • Obtain a negative Covid-19 test, issued by a competent health authority within 3 days of boarding their flight
  • Get a follow-up test (RT-PCR) upon entry to Vietnam
  • Remain isolated for 5 days at their destination locations, which may include hotels, places of work, or military facilities

Travellers that are transiting from a third country prior to entering Vietnam, must apply more stringent disease prevention measures and immediately receive Covid-19 tests upon arriving at their destination locations in Vietnam.

Following entry to Vietnam, foreign visitors must remain quarantined at their hotels or accommodation, or at their factories or places or work.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has said that no more than 2 flights per week will be permitted along the re-opened international routes and seat numbers on those flights will be capped.

  • China Southern Airlines will run one flight per week between Guangzhou and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airlines will run one flight per week between Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, operating the route alternately
  • China Airlines and EVA will run one flight per week between Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi
  • South Korea is yet to submit details of its flight routes

In August, Vietnam Airlines reported that it expected to lose around $650 million in 2020. However, coronavirus cases in Vietnam have been falling and the resumption of some commercial flights is being seen as an encouraging sign for businesses.

To keep up to date on the latest news about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting business and payroll then check our news section or sign up for our email newsletter.

Find more information on Vietnam’s business landscape, including tax and payroll insight, on activpayroll’s Global Insight Guide to Vietnam.

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