COVID-19: Vietnam Travel Updates

Locals wearing masks while riding motorbikes in Southeast Asia.

Updated 31st May 2021.


  • From 1st June 2021 – Vietnam to suspend all incoming international flights to Hanoi over the newly-discovered COVID strain. The suspension will last until at least 7th June. Source.
  • 31st May 2021 – Restrictions are tightened in the capital, Hanoi, and largest city, Ho Chi Minh, as residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials and gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for at least 2 weeks. (Non-essential businesses were already shut down on 27th May 2021.) The government are planning to test the entire population of the city to curb the new spread. Source and Source.
  • 29th May 2021 – Vietnam records a new COVID-19 strain that is a mix of the UK and Indian variant. Source.
  • 15th May 2021 – Vietnam records its first COVID-19 death this year. Source.
  • 6th May 2021 – Quarantine in Vietnam extended to 21 days for all international arrivals. Source.
  • Vietnamese aviation authorities seek to restart international flights from certain Asian countries (Taiwan, South Korea, Japan) from July 2021 and other vaccinated nations from September 2021. Source.

See here for Southeast Asia Travel COVID-19 overview.

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 contact the embassy of the country you are visiting for the latest information.

Vietnam Travel Restrictions (May 2021)

Can you travel to Vietnam right now? SUMMARY:

Since 22nd March 2020, Vietnam suspended all eVisas and visas on arrival. As a foreign national, it is currently not possible to travel to Vietnam right now unless you are a returning resident, work in Vietnam or have official business in the country.

Before you enter Vietnam, you will need to:

No foreign nationals are currently allowed to enter Vietnam. However, there may be exceptions for diplomats and foreign investors on official business trips and certain high-skilled workers with employment contracts in Vietnam. The government will also allow the repatriation of Vietnamese nationals.

Quarantine in Vietnam

Anyone entering Vietnam on the criteria above will still be required to have negative COVID-19 tests, a minimum 21-day quarantine (recently extended from 14 days) (source) 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 21-day quarantine will cost on average $2,000 – $2,500 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 to find out more about the (long and complicated) process:

Can You Move To Vietnam Right Now? Foreign Expert Visa Explained

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: 

While international flights have been suspended (at least from 1st – 7th June), domestic flights are so far still operating. Source.

Public Places and Local Restrictions

Each province has its own COVID-19 prevention requirements and these can change at short notice. Following the discovery of a new strain of COVID-19 on 29th May 2021, restrictions have been tightened across the country.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – To curb the spread of the newly-discovered strain of COVID-19, the government shut down all non-essential businesses in the capital and largest city on 27th May 2021. From 31st May, residents of Hanoi are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned for at least the next two weeks. There will be mass testing of the population taking place with a testing capacity of up to 100,000 people per day. Source and Source.

Vietnam Land Borders: 

Borders with the neighbouring countries of China, Cambodia and Laos are closed apart for import and exporting 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

Traveller report 15th May 2021 – I’m currently in Hanoi. There is a new COVID-19 wave, but so far it’s not out of control. Only Danang is currently in lockdown. – Jim


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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