HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam will resume international commercial flights connecting the country to several Asian destinations starting Friday, after a monthslong shutdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak.
The flights, however, are reserved for Vietnamese nationals, diplomats, experts, managers, skilled workers, investors and their families. They are not yet available for tourists.
According to a report posted on the government website, flights connecting Vietnam’s two largest cities — Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City — to destinations in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan will operate on a weekly basis. Flights connecting the cities with Cambodia and Laos will resume next week.
To board a flight, passengers must hold a certificate showing they have tested negative for the coronavirus no more than five days before the departure date. Upon arrival, they will be tested and placed under quarantine, the report said.
Vietnam shut down international flights on April 1. National carrier Vietnam Airlines estimated last month that it would lose $650 million in 2020.
Vietnam has reported 1,059 cases of the coronavirus. It managed to avoid any deaths until July, when the virus crept into the city of Da Nang, killing 35 people.
But no new cases have been reported for two weeks. Last week, Da Nang lifted a travel restriction after two months.