Hanoi (VNA) – Concerned authorities are preparing all enabling conditions for the border reopening and international travel resumption starting on March 15.

Vietnam has attained mutual recognition of COVID-19 vaccine passports with 14 countries and territories as of February 16, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

They consist of Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Belarus, Cambodia, the Philippines, Palestine, Maldives, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Egypt, and Turkey. Among them, only Japan has yet to reopen to international travellers.

The vaccine passports have 11 fields of essential information, including name of the passport holder, date of birth and nationality, the targeted disease, doses of vaccines received, date of vaccination, lot number of the vaccine batch, type of vaccine, vaccine manufacturer, and a code for certification, which will be encoded into a QR code.

The QR code-based passport will be valid for 12 months.

The name and date of birth will be integrated with other personal identification documents (passports or citizen identification cards).

Steps taken to set scene for upcoming border reopening hinh anh 1International travel is expected to resume from March 15. (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Information in the targeted disease, vaccines, vaccine products or manufacturers will be compatible with the values provided for in the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s "COVID-19 vaccine tracker and landscape" and "Value sets for EU Digital COVID Certificates" issued by the European Union.

National epidemic prevention and control apps (like PC-COVID or the e-health app ‘Suc khoe dien tu’ and other utility apps (if given permission by the individual users) could receive and store the vaccination certificates in the form of a QR code according to instructions for medical data sharing as regulated by the Ministry of Health.

The issuance of the vaccine passports is applied uniformly across vaccination sites in the country, following three-step procedures, according to the Ministry of Health.

First, vaccination sites are asked to review and verify the information of people to whom they have administered vaccines.

Second, vaccination sites will conduct ‘digital signing’ of vaccination records on the national platform for COVID-19 vaccination management used by health authorities, which will share its data with the management system for certification of vaccinations against COVID-19.

Third, the Department of Preventive Medicine (Ministry of Health) digitally signs the COVID-19 vaccine certificates. The certificates are then issued using QR codes in accordance with EU regulatory standards.

The MoFA has also announced that Vietnam has officially accepted vaccine certificates/passports of 79 countries and territories.

The Vietnamese Government has asked the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism to soon finalise the regulations for welcoming foreign visitors and provide complete solutions for border reopening, MoFA spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters at a routine press conference on June 17.

The tourism ministry is also instructed to work with the MoFA and Ministry of Health and others to make a prompt report to the Government with regards to visa policies applicable for international tourists entering Vietnam, she said.

In essence, the procedures and persons eligible for visas would be in line with existing regulations provided by the 2014 Law on Entry and Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam (amended in 2019), the official noted.

Steps taken to set scene for upcoming border reopening hinh anh 2Travel in the digital era. Illustration. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Presently, those allowed to enter Vietnam include foreigners and overseas Vietnamese along with their families who bear valid travel documents, such as temporary residence cards (TRCs), visas and visa exemption documents, Hang said.

Foreigners wishing to enter Vietnam for tourism, for now, will continue to follow the pilot vaccine passport programme for foreign nationals managed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

Also, in accordance with the guidelines from the Ministry of Health, those entering Vietnam would need to submit negative COVID-19 tests (with the exception of children under two years old), and medical declarations prior to entry.

Fully vaccinated entrants, or those with recent COVID-19 recovery (valid within six months to the date of entry), will only need to quarantine for three days at their places of residence, homes, hotels, guest houses, offices, dormitories, etc.

For others, the medical quarantine period would be seven days./.