CDC Warns Against Travel to Vietnam Weeks Before Country Opens Its Borders

The warning for Vietnam comes just weeks before the country plans to open its borders to travelers on March 15.

Aerial view of part of the Vinpearl leisure complex in Phu Quoc in Vietnam
Photo: Nhac Nguyen/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised its warning on travel to Vietnam, just weeks before the country is set to reopen to tourism.

The agency classified Vietnam as a "Level 4" destination, indicating a "very high" level of COVID-19 transmission in the country and telling Americans to "avoid" going there. The change is the latest update to the CDC's travel advisory list, which it re-evaluates each week.

The warning for Vietnam comes just weeks before the country plans to open its borders to travelers on March 15. The planned date is three months earlier than initially expected.

The agency classifies destinations as "Level 4" if there are more than 500 COVID-19 cases reported per 100,000 people over the last 28 days.

The CDC recommends that anyone who does travel to a "Level 4" destination is "vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before travel," but warns, "Even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19."

Currently, more than 130 destinations are considered "Level 4," including some of the most popular tourist spots like Mexico, Canada, Aruba, Spain, Italy, and France.

Currently, the country is seeing a spike in new COVID-19 cases, reporting more than 95,000 new infections per day, according to Reuters.

When Vietnam does open, international travelers will be expected to be fully vaccinated within the past six months as well as test negative for COVID-19 before their departure and then again upon arrival in the country. Travelers will also be required to quarantine for the first day of their trip and carry travel medical coverage for up to $10,000.

U.S. travelers will be required to obtain a visa for travel to Vietnam.

Vietnam's decision to open comes as several other neighboring destinations have started welcoming Americans. Last month, the tourist hotspot Bali reopened to travelers, the Philippines reopened to fully vaccinated visitors, and Thailand reintroduced quarantine-free travel to the country.

The CDC's latest warning comes days after the agency eased mask recommendations for a large swath of the U.S.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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