Vietnam reverses virus flight suspension

A man wearing a protective face mask pushes a trolley through the departure hall of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on June 1, 2021, after the airport temporarily suspended inbound flights from abroad to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Nhac NGUYEN / AFP)

HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — International flights to Vietnam’s two biggest cities are to resume, officials said Wednesday, reversing a short-lived ban imposed over fears of a new coronavirus wave.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam on Monday announced a temporary suspension for international passenger arrivals at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport from June 1-7.

A similar decision was in force for the airport in commercial capital Ho Chi Minh City until June 14, as the country struggles to contain a virus outbreak in more than half of its territories.

But on Wednesday the aviation authority told airports and airlines that it had reversed the suspension, without mentioning a timeframe or giving an explanation.

Vietnam has managed to keep infection rates low but cases have more than doubled in the past month and now stand at more than 7,500, with 48 deaths.

The communist state was lauded for its quick response to the pandemic last year, but vaccine rollout has been slow.

State media have reported that authorities are appealing to private companies to procure jabs for their own workers.

There are outbreaks in industrial zones in northern Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces, while movements and service restrictions have been in place to deal with virus transmission in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

© Agence France-Presse