Monday , March 20 2023

Ditch quick Covid tests for passengers from Omicron-hit countries: proposal

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam wants to remove quick Covid-19 test requirements for passengers flying in from Omicron-hit countries while their negative PCR test results are still valid.

In a proposal on Tuesday it also said if the quick tests continue to be done, airports should collect the costs from passengers instead of airlines.

The aviation authority’s proposal came as airlines said the requirement to make passengers from Omicron-hit countries be quick-tested as they get on and exit planes is too troublesome.

VietJet Air said quick Covid-19 tests for passengers before getting on flights at foreign airports are difficult as not all airports provide such services. It would also be costly for passengers, especially for those whose PCR test results are still valid, the airline argued.

Bamboo Airways said quick tests after getting off the plane usually take three hours. But the health ministry requires that passengers still have valid PCR test results while performing procedures to fly anyway. As such, passengers question if multiple tests could drive up costs, and if quick tests at home are applicable, the airline said.

Throughout the past four days, there are around 17 flights from foreign countries entering Vietnam, carrying over 1,700 passengers. Three of the flights by VietJet, Bamboo Airways and China Airlines saw quick testing fees being paid by the airlines.

Other flights saw passengers paying their own testing fees.

Vietnam has approved eight international flight routes: Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Cambodia, the U.S., South Korea, Laos and Thailand. Flight routes to mainland China are still under negotiation.

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