A near six-week ban on passenger transportation in and out of the city has just been lifted.
With Da Nang’s Covid-19 outbreak firmly under control, social distancing rules are being gradually loosened in the central Vietnamese city. The tourism hot spot saw an unexplained resurgence of the virus at the end of July, ending Vietnam’s three-month streak of no local transmissions and eventually accounting for 389 new cases. Authorities responded by evacuating domestic tourists and putting Da Nang on lockdown, halting all flights, intercity buses, and trains starting on July 28. Those restrictions were finally lifted this morning. Passenger transportation can now operate at pre-pandemic levels, though masks remain mandatory and social distancing measures must be implemented aboard vehicles leaving the city.
National carrier Vietnam Airlines is now running daily roundtrip flights between Da Nang and Hanoi as well as Ho Chi Minh City, with both services operated on Airbus A321 aircraft. Similarly, long-distance trains connecting Vietnam’s two largest cities will once again pick up passengers at Da Nang Station. According to online media outlet VnExpress, Da Nang has gone seven consecutive days without any new infections, and coronavirus restrictions in the city were eased over the weekend, with public gatherings of up to 20 people allowed and hotels given permission to reopen. At this stage, restaurants and other businesses selling food and drinks can only serve takeout.
In related news, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has put forward a proposal to restart international flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to six Asian destinations, namely the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and Vientiane in Laos, alongside Guangzhou, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. If the plan is approved by the national committee that handles Vietnam’s Covid-19 response, these flights could resume as soon as September 15, with around 5,000 people expected to arrive in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City per week. But all incoming foreigners will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense.