COVID-19: Vietnam Travel Updates

Locals wearing masks while riding motorbikes in Southeast Asia.

Updated 29th November 2021.


  • 20/11/21 – Phu Quoc has welcomed first tourists since start of pandemic (with no quarantine). Source.
  • 13/11/21 – Vietnam welcomes back first international tourists to Nha Trang, with plans to restart flights to other regions. Source.
  • 05/11/21 – Vietnam has proposed to reopen to vaccinated tourists without quarantine in December 2021. Source.
  • 25/10/21 – Five provinces and cities will be allowed to welcome foreign tourists from November 1st, including Hoi An. Source.
  • 23/10/21 – Ho Chi Minh City begins to run closed tours to other parts of the country in an attempt to kickstart domestic tourism. Source.
  • 07/10/21 – Vietnam has announced plans to fully reopen for international travel by June 2022. Source.
  • 06/10/21 – Plans to reopen Halong Bay, Hoi An, Dalat and Nha Trang (depending on vaccination rates) in December are announced. Source.
  • 06/10/21 – Plans are discussed to push “medical tourism” for post-pandemic travellers, capitalising on the country’s natural hot springs, mud baths and rich medicinal flora. Source.
  • 30/09/21 – Vietnam Tourism Association outlines its “new normal tourism recovery program”, including guidelines on requirements for foreign tourists and a system of “zoning” (allowing visitors to visit only specific areas of the country). Source.
  • 24/09/21 – Phu Quoc Reopening Plans delayed until at least November 20th 2021. Source.
  • 09/09/21 – Government announces Phu Quoc Sandbox scheme set to start in October 2021. Source.
  • 23/07/21 – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Vietnam proposes a plan to open the island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated travellers from September 2021. The plan would depend on having at least 90% of the island’s population vaccinated. The plan is yet to be finalised. Source.

Disclaimer: COVID-19 travel restrictions are changing daily. The following information reflects South East Asia Backpacker’s current understanding of the rules. We work hard to update this information as often and accurately as possible. However, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. We strongly advise you to contact the embassy of the country you are visiting for the latest information.

Vietnam Travel Restrictions

Can you travel to Vietnam right now? SUMMARY:

On 22nd March 2020, Vietnam suspended all eVisas and visas on arrival. However, international travel is beginning to resume in approved areas of Vietnam.

Before you enter Vietnam, you will need to:

Limited numbers of foreign nationals are currently allowed to enter Vietnam, as can diplomats and foreign investors on official business trips and certain high-skilled workers with employment contracts in Vietnam.

Quarantine in Vietnam

At the moment, anyone entering Vietnam on the criteria above will still be required to have negative COVID-19 tests, a minimum 7-day quarantine (unless entering on a sandbox type scheme) and fill out extensive paperwork to enter. There are specific government-approved quarantine hotels for new arrivals which must be booked and paid for in advance of travel. The cost for the quarantine will cost on average $2,000 USD with meals, airport pickup and PCR tests included.

*Vietnam’s Foreign “Expert” Visa

We have heard reports of international travellers entering Vietnam on the ‘Foreign Expert Visa’ which is aimed at foreign nationals who want to live and work in Vietnam. In order to apply for this visa, you will have to have a guaranteed job offer in Vietnam before you travel. You will also have to quarantine on arrival for 21 days. Watch this video on YouTube by the Ninja Teacher to find out more about the (long and complicated) process.

FOREIGNER VISA CRACKDOWN: Recently, there has been a government crackdown on foreigners who are living in Vietnam illegally on a tourist visa. Thousands of ex-pats, foreign English teachers and retirees have been forced to leave Vietnam and head home over the past few months due to a tightening of the visa rules. Source.

Face Masks: 

Mask wearing is compulsory in all indoor public places in Vietnam. Not wearing a mask will get you a hefty fine.

See here for recommendations on the best face masks for travel.

Travel Restrictions in Vietnam: 

International flights are beginning to resume on a slow and calculated basis. Domestic flights are still happening.

Public Places and Local Restrictions

Each province has its own COVID-19 prevention requirements and these can change at short notice.

Vietnam Land Borders: 

Borders with the neighbouring countries of China, Cambodia and Laos have closed apart for the import and export of goods. Transit in Vietnam is not allowed.

On The Ground Traveller Reports:

These reports are taken from our South East Asia Backpacker Facebook Community. (We cannot verify the accuracy of these traveller reports.)

Traveller report 31st May 2021 – I’m a teacher in HCMC. We were all made to start teaching from home today. Restaurants are closed for dine-in but still deliver. Essential places are still open – small marts, grocery stores, etc. We have been encouraged to stay home, but there are a lot of people out and about tonight. There was some panic buying yesterday when they made the announcement of the new rules. – Josiah


Dave Noakes Bio Pic, with Nikki Scott
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker. At age 23, she left the UK on a solo backpacking trip and never returned. After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine about backpacking in Asia. The rest is history.

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