As of March 16, 2022, Vietnam has opened their borders to quarantine-free travel.
Countries in Southeast Asia have been opening rapidly since late 2021, with Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Bali, and Malaysia all doing so recently. The addition of Vietnam will certainly make for a more than satisfying trip throughout the region.
Vietnam Travel Restrictions
Vietnam’s travel restrictions are fairly straightforward, in that travellers from eligible countries may enter as long as they fulfil entry requirements, with no limits regarding country of residency.
How Can Canadians Enter Vietnam?
Travellers are allowed to enter Vietnam through by air, rail, land, and sea. As of October 2021, when departing Canada by air, travellers are required to present proof of vaccination.
Travellers coming from Canada must show a negative negative COVID-19 test result. Either a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure will suffice. Children under 2 are exempt.
There is no announcement of an exception for recently recovered travellers. Note that there’s also no requirement of proof of vaccination for entering Vietnam.
All pre-pandemic entry requirements remain in place, such as visa requirements and proof of onward travel. Canadians must apply for a Vietnam e-visa prior to travel.
Testing & Quarantine Upon Return
As of April 1, 2022, a negative test is no longer required prior to travelling back to Canada.
If you need to find a test in Vietnam, the US Embassy provides a fairly comprehensive list of where you can get a COVID-19 test in Vietnam, including all major cities. Their listed prices are fairly expensive (~$50-$100), but it’s not clarified what type of test it’s for, and there are likely cheaper options out there.
Current Health Requirements in Vietnam
Health requirements in Vietnam change not only between provinces or cities, but even for districts within cities.
As an example, there are 13 wards in three districts in Ho Chi Minh City where bars and karaoke parlours have been ordered to close on March 4, 2022, due to elevated COVID-19 levels.
That being said, the vast majority of the country is operating “close to normal”, as restaurants are open for dine-in with no capacity limits, and all shopping centres, supermarkets, and tourist sites are open across the country. Masks are mandatory on all public transport and in all public spaces.
In order to enter many Vietnamese businesses, the PC-COVID Viet Nam app will be required, for contact tracing purposes and to show proof of vaccination. Technically, proof of vaccination is not required anywhere, but businesses can choose to implement their own rules. Anecdotally, this appears to be checked on an irregular basis.
Currently, there are no special rules regarding movement around the country, although the Vietnamese government recommends you carefully monitor your health and follow their 5K rules: “khan trang (face masks), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distancing), khong tu tap (no gatherings), and khai bao y te (health declarations)”.
It’s worth noting that any locality in Vietnam can choose to enact domestic entry requirements with little notice, so be sure to keep an eye out as you plan your travels and even on the ground.
How to Get to Vietnam
For most Canadians, Aeroplan is the first program that comes to mind for international long-haul premium class bookings.
Flying from Canada to Vietnam would cost 75,000 points from the West Coast or 85,000 points from the East. Adding a stopover along the way for 5,000 points can be an enticing way to add another destination to your trip.
It’s also possible to experience ANA First Class via a US gateway airport. This would cost 110,000 points and 130,000 points from Western and Eastern Canada, respectively.
Using Alaska miles, you can book on Japan Airlines for 65,000 Alaska miles in business class and 75,000 Alaska miles in First Class. On Cathay Pacific, a journey to Vietnam would cost 50,000 Alaska miles in business class or 70,000 Alaska miles in First Class.
The only major thing to keep in mind while booking flights is that most Asian airports only allow transit on a through ticket or a single booking reference – while some don’t allow transit at all. Thus, be sure to verify the transit rules before departure.
On March 15, 2022, Vietnam opened their borders to the world quarantine-free, without even so much as a vaccination requirement. In order to enter Vietnam, you must have a COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, or an antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure.
Vietnam offers yet another country in South East Asia that has opened up, and now is perhaps one of the best times to travel in the region, with a lack of tourists and having monuments perhaps all to yourself. In addition, Vietnam is well-connected by air, rail, and bus to its neighbours, making for easy transportation across the region.
As always, you can refer to our Travel During COVID-19 Resource for Canadians for the most up-to-date information on travelling in the pandemic era.