Fully-vaccinated arrivals to Vietnam with negative Covid-19 tests will only have to undergo seven days of centralised quarantine and another seven days for medical observation, according to a new instruction from the health ministry.

The decision, signed by deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen, is made based on data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Specifically, the reduced quarantine period – compared to previous 14 days of centralised quarantine and seven days of follow-up medical observation – is applicable to those having certified proof of negative RT-PCR tests for SARS-CoV-2 72 hours prior to departure by relevant authorities of the home country.

They must also have been fully vaccinated with the last dose at least 14 days but no more than 12 months before the entry time, with vaccination certificates.

Or in place of vaccination records, those who were infected with the coronavirus may present documents proving the positive status using RT-PCR method no more than six months prior to the entry date, or proof showing they have recovered from the disease or hospital discharge or equivalent documents issued by competent authorities in the country where they have been treated.

All entries will have to be tested for Covid-19 on the first and the seventh day of the quarantine period, counting from the entry date. The first test could use either the rapid-antigen or RT-PCR type, but the second would have to be a single-sample RT-PCR test.

Relevant authorities will handle cases with positive tests, in line with existing instructions and guidelines.

Those completing centralised quarantine and travelling to their residences/hotels/accommodation for further observation must wear masks, practice social distancing, and use the contact tracing app Bluezone, according to the health ministry document.

The Bluezone app is required to be active during the seven days of follow-up observation.

The foreign ministry has been asked to provide guidelines on verifying and approving Covid-19 vaccination certificates or recovery proof or the equivalent documents by foreign authorities.

The local authorities must strictly abide by the instructions from the health ministry in the management of quarantined persons and handover and reception of those completing centralised quarantine period to ensure no cross infections or spread of the virus to the community.

Those eligible for reduced quarantine could be arranged to pay for quarantine at hotels depending on their requests.

Last month, the health ministry selected the northern province of Quang Ninh to carry out pilot implementation of the seven-day quarantine.