HANOI, 14 January 2022: Flights from Vietnam to Thailand have resumed with three weekly services from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok, but leisure travel between the two countries is still months away.
Reporting on the leisure travel outlook between Vietnam and Thailand PNT Travel Vietnam emailed its partners worldwide this week to confirm the return of air services. Airlines are flying from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok three times weekly on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
PNT Travel cautions that while it plans to resume outbound tours to Thailand as demand increases, very few people are booking travel now, mainly due to the limited flight and the strict Covid-19 entry restrictions in Vietnam and Thailand.
“But the pandemic situation in Vietnam is being controlled, and the tourism industry is being reopened. In the near future, people will travel again in large numbers, especially after April, as we have noticed that there is strong travel demand in the market after two years of closure.”
Looking at the current situation, PNT Travel notes there are little or no leisure travel bookings between Vietnam and Thailand due to the flight restrictions. Flights to and from Thailand and Singapore are open for sale in Vietnam but are limited to expatriate residents, business travellers, government officials and Vietnamese residents overseas returning home.
“We believe tourists will be fully welcomed to Vietnam without quarantine very soon… Our prediction; everything will be smooth after February 2022, meaning we can begin planning for a return of tour groups by April.
Vietnam approved a three-phase plan for foreign travellers
Phase 1, effective November 2021, Vietnam opened to foreign travellers booked on packaged tours (sandbox), on chartered and commercial flights but to selected areas such as Phu Quoc, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Danang and Quang Ninh. It is quarantine free for those who are fully vaccinated. Travellers must travel in a group and cannot separate to go their own way.
PNT Travel says there are currently no regular or weekly flights. So if tourists want to travel to these areas, they must do so on an inclusive full charter arrangement. None are currently planned.
Phase 2, from January 2022 to March 2022. Vietnam opens for scheduled round-trip flights between Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok, Thailand.
Travellers must self-monitor their health and must not leave their hotels or places of residence for three days. After that, if they have a negative PCR test and are fully vaccinated with a certificate, they are free to travel elsewhere.
PNT Travel claims: “As you know, no leisure travel clients accept quarantine, especially from the Thailand market… Thai tourists usually go on short tours to Vietnam, so three days quarantine is too long for them.”
Phase 3, possibly from March or April 2022: Fully reopening the market to foreign travellers. The time for full reopening will be determined after considering the pandemic situation and the results of receiving foreign travellers in the first two phases.
Travellers must present proof of complete vaccination against Covid-19, with the last dose at least 14 days and not more than one year before the date of entry. Or they can submit a certificate of recovery from Covid-19. The time between hospital discharge and entry date must not exceed six months.
Present a negative result from an RT-PCR/RT-LAMP-method test administered within 72 hours before boarding (from the time of test).
Have medical or travel insurance covering Covid-19 treatment, with a minimum of USD50,000. This is typically about USD40.