Passengers wearing protective face masks check-in at Noi Bai International Airport, as the Vietnamese government has allowed reopening several domestic air routes amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam will remove its COVID-19 restrictions on international passenger flights with all markets starting Feb. 15, with no limitation on the number of flights, the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Sunday.
The Southeast Asian country imposed tight border controls at the start of the pandemic to keep out COVID-19, with some initial success, but that dealt a blow to its burgeoning tourism sector which accounted for about 10% of gross domestic product.
"Vietnam will lift restrictions on international flights starting February 15. The frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level," Tuoi Tre said, citing Dinh Viet Son, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.
Vietnam has already informed its partners about that new policy and only China has not yet agreed to resume commercial flights with Vietnam, Son was quoted as saying.
Vietnam had already begun gradually resuming international flights with 15 markets from the beginning of this year while easing quarantine requirements, with vaccinated passengers now needing only three days of self-isolation.
The Southeast Asian country has recorded nearly 2.5 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, and around 39,000 deaths. Nearly 98% of its 98 million people have received at least two vaccine doses, official data showed.
Editing by Edmund Klamann
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