Is it safe to travel to Vietnam right now

Vietnam is a classic destination on the route through Southeast Asia. The culture is vibrant, the history is fascinating, the cities are mad, nature is stunning, and those beaches…amazing.

We’re going to come out and say it, Vietnam is safe for travelers. Millions of people each year visit this country – and increasingly not only intrepid backpackers! Couples on a long holiday, retirees, families; all sorts of people are coming to Vietnam.

Vietnam does suffer from some problems that are endemic of poorer countries. Petty theft can be an issue, especially in Saigon, but it actually has a very low crime rate. Scams may be common, but the worst that is likely to occur is your bag, phone or tablet being snatched by a scooter-riding thief.

On that note, the roads, in general, aren’t all that safe and motor-related fatalities are more common than anything else.

COVID-19: The state of coronavirus in Vietnam

As far as COVID-19 outbreaks go, Vietnam has been praised for how quickly it has jumped to stamp out potential hotbeds before they occur.

As of 12 March 2020, there are 44 confirmed cases in the country, putting it in the 40th spot in the rankings of countries with the highest number of infections. To put this into perspective, Australia sits at number 21 on the list with 127 confirmed cases.

Earlier this month, Vietnam temporarily suspended the visa-free regime for Italy and South Korea as a preventative measure and further suspensions were announced on 9 March for the citizens of Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Australians are required to apply for a visa.

Have you travelled through mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy or Iran within the past 14 days? Travelers arriving from or have transited through mainland China, Daegu and Gyeogsangbuk will be refused entry while those who’ve entered Vietnam from or having transited through the other areas will be required to carry out medical declarations and medical declarations upon entering the country.

Travelers showing potential symptoms of COVID-19 may be placed in a 14-day quarantine at a designated health facility.

COVID-19 impacts on your travel

Can you still safely enjoy a holiday in Vietnam? The official word from The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is yes. As of 11 March, DFAT has not changed its risk level which is ‘Exercise normal safety precautions’.

That said, it’s worth noting travel around the country won’t be uninterrupted. In response to the outbreak, a number of festivals and events such as Yen Fu Festival in Quang Ninh and Tam Chuc Festival in Ha Nam have been cancelled or postponed. While ancient sites and tourist attractions remain open, some pedestrian zones around Hanoi and Hue will remain closed until the situation improves.

Local authorities have requested any traveller experiencing symptoms of the virus, be it fever, dry cough and/or difficulty breathing should self-isolate and call Vietnam’s health hotline immediately on 19003228.

Precautions when visiting Vietnam right now

If there’s one thing the Vietnamese do well (aside from their superior cuisine), it’s their public service announcements.

Need a giggle? Vietnamese health officials and lyricist Khac Hung have produced an animated music video titled ‘Jealous Coronavirus’, calling on viewers to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly, avoid large crowds and refrain from touching their faces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends keeping your distance from those showing signs of illness, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer where possible and practizing respiratory hygiene such as covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough and disposing of your tissues thoughtfully.

If you’d like to the message to sink in through a less serious format however, the PSA can be seen here.

Is Vietnam Safe to Visit Right Now?

Yes – Vietnam is absolutely safe to visit. Let’s just say the numbers speak for themselves. Everyone seems to be traveling to Vietnam these days.

If you’re curious about the country, looking for a good place to start a Southeast Asia trip, or it’s your first trip travelling alone, Vietnam is a great first-time destination for solo travellers.

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