Vietnam resumes limited flights to Taiwan

Flights reserved for Vietnamese nationals, foreign passengers meeting certain criteria

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Woman walks past row of T-shirts printed with Vietnamese flags in Hanoi.

Woman walks past row of T-shirts printed with Vietnamese flags in Hanoi. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vietnam has resumed flights to Taiwan and several other Asian destinations following a months-long halt on international flights to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air routes to Taiwan, Seoul (South Korea), Guangzhou (China), and Tokyo (Japan) reopened on Tuesday (Sept. 15). Flights to Cambodia and Laos will resume next Tuesday (Sept. 22), according to a government announcement.

Flights are limited to two per week on each route but may be increased depending on demand. Entry requirements and the number of passengers allowed on each flight will be agreed upon by Vietnam and the other countries based on reciprocity, the release added.

Passengers must present a certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test issued within three days prior to the departure date. They will also be subject to further testing and placed under quarantine upon arrival.

However, the resumption of air travel only applies to Vietnamese nationals, diplomats, investors, experts, skilled workers, businesses managers, and their families. Tourists are still not allowed to travel to the Southeast Asian nation.

Vietnam suspended its international flights on April 1. Flag carrier Vietnam Airlines predicted last month that it would post a loss of US$650 million in 2020, reported AP.

The country kept its outbreak under control until a resurgence of the novel virus in July that sent tourist destination Da Nang into a lockdown that was not lifted until last week. No new cases have been recorded for two weeks, with the tally standing at 1,063, including 35 deaths, as of Wednesday (Sept. 16), per Johns Hopkins University.