Vietnam: COVID-19 - New guideline for foreigners entering Vietnam to work for less than 14 days

In brief

On 31 August 2020, the Ministry of Health issued Official Letter No. 4674/BYT-MT ("Official Letter No. 4674") that provides new safety guidelines and quarantine requirements for foreigners who are entering Vietnam to work for a period of less than 14 days ("Guidelines").


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1. Subjects of application

The Guidelines apply to investors, experts, high-skilled workers, business managers and family members, and other applicants according to agreements with their respective countries (collectively, "Experts"), as well as guests entering Vietnam for diplomatic and official purposes (collectively, "Guests").

2. 14-day centralized quarantine exemption and requirements

According to the Guidelines, Experts and Guests entering Vietnam to work for a period of less than 14 days do not need to be under quarantine. However, they must strictly and fully comply with regulations on the prevention and control of COVID-19. Experts and Guests are required to enter Vietnam one day before their tentative working date to comply with all medical supervision regulations. Those who get in contact with Experts and Guests must also perform self-health monitoring.

Accommodations for Experts and Guests must comply with requirements and conditions as provided in Decision No. 878/QD-BYT dated 12 March 2020 regarding medical quarantine at centralized quarantine facilities or Decision No. 1246/QD-BYT dated 20 March 2020 regarding pay-to-stay quarantine hotels.

The Guidance provides detailed requirements for each step of entry, including:

  • Before entry
  • Upon entry
  • At the accommodation
  • At meetings
  • At workplaces
  • Transportation means

In summary, Experts and Guests are allowed to attend meetings, go to their workplaces, or conduct fieldwork. Meeting venues and workplaces must strictly comply with distance, health and safety, and disinfection requirements. Experts and Guests are encouraged to work from their accommodation premises. The Guidelines are silent, however, on whether Experts and Guests can go outside for non-work purposes.

Sponsoring organizations must prepare a detailed plan for entry, transportation, temporary accommodation, meeting places, and workplaces for Experts and Guests, and ensure proper implementation of the plan. Experts and Guests must also implement preventive measures, including but not limited to frequent hand washing, refraining from shaking hands, and not sharing personal items.

Notably, if Experts and Guests want to continue working in Vietnam after the 14-day period, they can without having to be quarantined, provided that their SARS-CoV-2 test results are negative.

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