Vietnam to suspend incoming int’l flights to Hanoi over new Covid variant from June 1 to 7

(File photo) Passengers walk with their luggage at the departure terminal at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on September 16, 2020. – Vietnam said September 16 it will resume international commercial flights to and from six Asian destinations, months after a suspension due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Nhac NGUYEN / AFP)


HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — The international airport of Vietnam’s capital will suspend inbound flights from abroad beginning Tuesday, the country’s aviation body announced, as it grapples with a fresh wave of virus outbreaks.

A “temporary suspension of receiving international flights” will begin at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport from June 1 at midnight until June 7, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said in a statement on Monday.

Vietnam’s health minister said over the weekend that authorities had discovered a highly infectious “new hybrid variant” — a combination of the Indian and UK variants.

Outbound international flights will continue from Hanoi, the statement said, but the government did not say if domestic flights would be part of the suspension.

While authorities promptly rolled back the assertion by saying the mutation still needed to be “studied further”, alarm sounded across the country as it struggled to contain fresh outbreaks in more than half its territory.

Last week, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern business hub, issued a halt on foreign arrivals in its Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The suspension was supposed to be lifted by June 4, but the CAAV announced Monday that it would continue until June 14.

Vietnam has already limited entries of foreign arrivals due to its Covid-19 restrictions, and every person coming in is subjected to mandatory quarantine.

© Agence France-Presse