Covid-19 Update – Short business trips allowed without 14-day quarantine

On 31 August 2020, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long - Acting Minister of Health signed to issue the Official Letter No. 4674 / BYT-MT guiding the medical actions towards COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control for foreigners entering Vietnam to work in short period of less than 14 days.

The Ministry of Health recommends ministries, ministerial-level agencies, governmental agencies and the People's Committees of provinces / cities to organize the implementation of the contents specified in the COVID-19 Medical Guidance on Disease Prevention and Control for Foreigners entering Vietnam to work for a short time (less than 14 days) to ensure safety, prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic; Examining, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control process during the period of expats staying in Vietnam; and at the same time, submitting outcome reports to the Ministry of Health (Department of Environmental Management of Health).

Accordingly, some noteworthy points are noted as below:

1. Subject of Application

Foreigners entering Vietnam to work in short-term period include:

  • Investors, experts, skilled workers, business managers with their relatives and subjects as agreed with each country (hereinafter referred to as “experts”);
  • Visitors enter for diplomatic and official purposes.
  • Those who are in close contact with experts and visitors entered for diplomatic and official purpose during entry procedure and working period in Vietnam.

2. General principles

  • Ministries, Departments and Provincial / City People's Committees consider the need to invite experts and visitors to Vietnam for short-term business trip and/or for diplomatic purposes, while ensuring immediate actions to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.
  • 14-day medical isolation is not compulsory, but experts have to strictly and fully comply with regulations on prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemics. Authorities must ensure to provide safety guidance to experts and visitors entering for diplomatic and public purposes together with their close contacts; to avoid cross-contamination in the working place and not to spread the cases in the community.
  • Those who have contact with experts and visitors entering for diplomatic and official purposes must perform health’s self-monitoring, especially when experiencing one of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty in breathing, and report it to local health and regulatory authorities.
  • Accommodation for experts and visitors entering for diplomatic and official purposes must comply with the provisions of the Health Ministry's Decision No. 878 / QD-BYT dated 12 March, 2020 promulgating the "Guidelines medical isolation in isolated centralized epidemic prevention and control establishments COVID-19” or Decision No. 1246 / QD-BYT of the Ministry of Health dated 20 March 2020 on “Guidance on temporary medical isolation in practice at the hotel in the prevention and control of COVID-19 epidemic voluntarily paid by the isolated person”. Local authorities must absolutely not to allow any cross-contamination at the place and its spread in the community.
  • Experts and visitors entering for diplomatic and official purposes must have international health insurance or the organizations inviting experts and visitors to enter for diplomatic or official purposes are committed to paying any incurred treatment expenses in case of COVID-19 infection. Experts must enter into the country 01 day before the scheduled working time to complete the required medical supervision;
  • All expenses for isolation, vehicles, and COVID-19 testing are covered by the organizations inviting experts. For guests entering with the purpose of diplomacy or public service, they will be free of any charges (except for the cost of isolation at the hotel as desired).
  • After 14 days from the date of entry, if the expert and the visitor enter with the purpose of diplomacy or official duty wishing to continue their business stay in Vietnam (as required) and receive negative SARS-CoV-2 test result, they will be allowed to continue their work as normal without any isolation.

3. Requirements for prevention and control of COVID-19

3.1. For experts

3.1.1. Before entry

  • Develop specific working schedules, accommodation locations, means of pick-up and isolation transportation for experts.
  • Meeting venues and accommodation should be chosen in provinces, cities near the border gates to limit inland entry and cross-localities moving
  • Compulsory test for SARS-CoV-2 by Real time-PCR technique 3-5 days before the date of entry into Vietnam and receiving negative test result of SARS-CoV-2.

3.1.2. At the place of entry

  • Structure separate streams to welcome immigration and exit experts.
  • Experts must present negative test results for SARS-CoV-2 upon entry.
  • Organise pick-up transportation for experts to/from the accommodation place according to the instructions in Section 6, Part IV.
  • Recommend experts to use Bluezone applications while in Vietnam.
  • Provide guidance for electronic medical declaration, measure body temperature, quick check to detect suspected cases. When one of the manifestations of fever, cough, sore throat, or difficulty of breath is detected, medical isolation should be organised immediately and should be treated as if the disease is suspected.

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We do trust the above points are notable and sufficient, but should you have any questions or need a deeper discussion on this issue, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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