Should Vietnam change its flag

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Current

The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.

From unnecessary tourist trips to Vietnamis currently due to ongoing entry restrictions advised against.

Epidemiological situation

Vietnam has been less affected by COVID-19 so far. Regional focal points so far have been the coastal cities of Da Nang, Quang Nam, Hai Duong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides current and detailed figures.

entry

There is currently an entry ban (including transit) for all foreign travelers. This regulation also applies to German citizens of Vietnamese origin. The issuing of visas for entry to Vietnam is temporarily suspended and only possible in exceptional cases (diplomatic and service passport holders, investors, experts, highly qualified workers, managers and their families as well as international students, foreign family members of Vietnamese nationals).

Upon entry, all travelers must undergo a health check (temperature measurement, COVID-19 test). Travelers who have an entry permit must present a medical certificate from the country of departure upon entry, stating that they are symptom-free and have tested negative for COVID-19. The Vietnamese authorities reserve the right to recognize the certificate in individual cases.

All travelers have to go into quarantine for 21 days in a quarantine facility established by the Vietnamese authorities (certain hotels, central quarantine facilities). After the three-week quarantine in the relevant facility, another week of home quarantine (or in another hotel) with health monitoring is mandatory.

Transit and onward travel

Airlines require up-to-date PCR tests at check-in. There are no other restrictions on onward travel and departure.

Travel connections

There are few flight connections to Europe. Information on this should be obtained from the airlines or local travel agencies.

Entry into Vietnam is subject to the prior approval of the Vietnamese authorities and is only permitted in special exceptional cases see, entry.

Due to the current situation, a change can be expected at any time. Predictions cannot be made.

Restrictions in the country

There are currently no domestic travel restrictions. However, local restrictions must be expected at all times.

Hygiene rules

Nationwide, the usual infection protection and hygiene requirements must be complied with in shops, public buildings and in local public transport (face mask, temperature controls, statements on the state of health).

There is a general mask requirement. A minimum distance must be observed in restaurants.

  • Make sure you comply with the AHA regulations and also follow the instructions from local authorities. High fines can be imposed if the hygiene regulations are violated.
  • Find out about detailed measures and additional information from the Vietnamese government.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or come into contact with infected people, contact the health department.
  • Stays in foreign countries can currently affect the possibility of entering other countries. Therefore, find out about the current regulations on entry, transit and quarantine in the respective travel countries via the travel and safety information before starting any trip.
  • When you return to Germany, note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, test and quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the responsible company or your tour operator, if necessary, and contact the health department at your place of residence or residence if you are entering from a risk area . Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

security

terrorism

Domestic situation

Demonstrations in public are prohibited and have been broken up by security forces in the past. Participation can result in harsh sentences such as long prison terms.

There are military restricted areas that are not always marked as such or only have signs in Vietnamese, as well as the immediate border area, which is also not always adequately marked. Its extent or the distance from the actual border is often interpreted arbitrarily by the local security forces. If you intend to visit near the border, you have to bring along separately requested permits from the Ministry of Public Security. Areas can also be declared to be “restricted areas” at short notice.

  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds.
  • Respect restricted areas or apply for appropriate permits. If necessary, inquire with the local people's committees or police authorities before commencing travel away from the main routes.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

The crime rate is low and there is little violent crime against foreigners. However, an increase in petty crime such as theft has been observed, particularly in tourist areas. At the Hanoi train station, tourists were often robbed, especially by night trains arriving from Hue or Sapa. In addition, there is an increased theft of cash from hotel rooms, including from “better” hotels.

In Hanoi, especially on Hoan Kiem Lake, there are repeated attempts at fraud. Occasionally, street vendors often charge “fees” for taking photos, in other cases tourists' shoes are stained or smeared with glue, removed and a “return fee” is charged. Cases of credit card fraud have been reported in which cards have been copied and debits made.

In Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Hanoi, handbags and luggage theft is increasing, both from passing mopeds and after diversionary maneuvers by gangs of children, especially on arrival and departure in front of the hotel. Women traveling alone are at risk of sexual harassment and assault.

In Ho Chi Minh City, foreign tourists are increasingly being approached and invited to private homes under various pretexts - for example, with information about an encounter at the airport or about close relatives who will soon be studying or working in Europe. After a hospitable and sociable atmosphere has been created, the victim is then involved in fictitious card or gambling games, at the end of which the victim loses and is threatened with the payment of alleged gambling debts. It cannot be ruled out that drugs may be added to food or drinks.

If a theft occurs, neither the immigration police in Hanoi nor other police stations subsequently log reports of loss. In the past, the police repeatedly refused to take minutes, especially when there were doubts about the course of the crime or the values ​​stated.

  • Be particularly vigilant in large crowds such as at airports and train stations and watch out for your valuables.
  • Keep valuables in the hotel safe and only bring essential valuables with you.
  • Do not use bicycle taxis (Cyclos) or motorcycle taxis (Xe Om) after dark.
  • Ask permission from street vendors before taking photos.
  • If necessary, reject offers in a loud voice as a deterrent and stay away from shoe shineers as much as possible.
  • Do not lose sight of food and drinks in unfamiliar places.
  • Should travel documents, cash or other valuables be lost, report the loss to the police at the scene immediately.
  • Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, notifications of prizes, private invitations and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.

Nature and climate

Tropical storms, floods

There is a tropical to subtropical climate.
In the provinces of Central Vietnam and the Mekong Delta, but also in some provinces in the south of Vietnam, typhoons can occur, especially between June and November, which can cause widespread flooding, landslides and damage to the infrastructure.

Heavy rains also lead to floods and landslides in the rainy or monsoon season from June to September in the north and south and from October to December in central Vietnam. Hanoi, particularly along the Red River, and the Mekong River Delta regions in the south are regularly affected.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Vietnam lies in an only slightly seismically active zone, so the risk of earthquakes is not particularly high. Tsunamis triggered by earthquakes in Southeast Asia can also reach Vietnam.

Travel info

Infrastructure / traffic

Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.

There is a relatively well-developed domestic flight network, railways between large cities, coaches for cross-country trips and taxis.

Road traffic poses a major hazard. The number of road fatalities is one of the highest in an international comparison, the risk of falling victim to an accident is many times higher than in Germany. Most accidents happen after dark. The helmet requirement for moped drivers, which has now been introduced, has not changed anything, because the reasons are often inconsiderate driving style and the increasing number of road users.

For all participants in road traffic (including cyclists), the strict alcohol limit of 0 per mille has applied since the beginning of 2020.

The tariffs in the taxi are not per person, but per trip. Taxi drivers who did not belong to a company known to be reliable have often manipulated the taximeter and, at the end of the journey, demanded the unjustifiably high fare under threat of violence.

So-called intermediaries have on various occasions offered transport services at completely inflated prices on buses, trains and taxis. When selling tickets for buses, trains, boats, etc., tickets have often turned out to be forgeries and transport has been refused or a second ticket purchase is necessary.

The theft rate of two-wheelers is very high. It is not common and not offered to take out theft insurance. If the passport was deposited as a deposit, high activation fees were occasionally requested as a replacement.
Almost everywhere in the city, especially in front of restaurants and shops, you will find guards who guard the parking lots for a small fee.

In recent years there have been repeated ship accidents in Ha Long Bay, some of which have been fatal. Ships are often no longer really seaworthy and do not always have sufficient life-saving equipment.

  • Exercise the greatest possible caution in traffic and refrain from renting cars or mopeds individually during your holiday.
  • Only use official taxis at the airport and otherwise only from providers who are as reliable as possible.
  • Always find out about prices before you start your journey with buses, trains and taxis.
  • Buy tickets for buses, trains and boats only at official sales points.
  • Be careful when renting mopeds / scooters and do not leave your passport as a deposit.
  • Never park your moped / scooter unattended, only supervise it.
  • Book excursions only with reputable companies and make sure that the ship is seaworthy and that there are sufficient life-saving appliances and escape routes.

Driver's license

The international driving license is required and is valid for a temporary stay in connection with the national German driving license. In this case, it is no longer necessary to convert the foreign driver's license into a Vietnamese driver's license. Please note that driving motorcycles or scooters over 50 cm³ displacement with a class B driving license is not permitted. Driving without a valid driver's license can be punished with a fine or - in the case of a serious accident - with a prison sentence of several years.

LGBTIQ

The ban on same-sex marriage has been lifted. Homosexuality is not prosecuted. However, neither civil partnership nor marriage was introduced for same-sex couples. Vietnamese party and government take a cautiously positive stance on equality for the LGBTIQ community; Vietnam's society continues to be shaped by a conservative image of women and families. There are no known cases of homophobic violence. Basically, it should be noted in Vietnam that public caresses, regardless of whether heterosexual or homoerotic, are traditionally not approved and, in particular, physical contact in public is handled very sparingly.

Legal specifics

Drug offenses such as the acquisition, distribution, import and export of all kinds of drugs are strictly prosecuted and face draconian penalties. Possession of even a small amount of drugs often leads to long prison sentences; from possession of 20 kg of opium or 600 g of heroin there is even a death penalty.
Avoid any contact with drugs. Taking along or transporting objects for third parties without knowledge of their contents can also have disastrous consequences, such as long prison sentences, which are usually served in Vietnam.

Prostitution is prohibited by law. Suitors face warnings or (more common with foreigners) fines amounting to the equivalent of up to 400 euros (€).

Child sexual abuse is severely punished. There is a risk of imprisonment, in particularly severe cases even the death penalty. It should be noted that the abuse of children is also punishable under German law if this act is committed by Germans abroad.

The death penalty has recently been carried out on foreigners in Vietnam. Legal proceedings do not comply with German constitutional standards. To complain are, among other things, years of pre-trial detention, expensive but inadequate legal defense and harsh conditions of detention with the most serious dangers and damage to health.

Money / credit cards

The local currency is the Vietnam Dong (VND). Cash may only be changed at official exchange offices with clear instructions. Credit cards are accepted in many places and there are also ATMs, but outside of larger cities, cash is often the only accepted means of payment.

Entry and customs

Entry and transit regulations may currently differ due to measures to contain COVID-19, see Current.

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app, or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: Yes
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: Yes

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
The travel document must be valid for six months beyond the validity of the visa.
Entry into Vietnam is not possible with the German travel document for foreigners, refugees and stateless persons.

visa

The visa exemption for German citizens has been temporarily suspended since March 12, 2020.

Online visa

German citizens must apply for a visa to enter Vietnam. The visa application must be filled out online under Vietnam Visa Application, printed out and submitted together with the required documents to the responsible Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Germany.

e-Visa

The electronic visa (e-Visa) has been legally regulated since July 1, 2020 after a pilot phase of several years. The online application is available on the website of the Vietnamese Immigration Service. The procedure applies to 80 countries, including German citizens.The e-Visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days and for a single entry. The processing time is only three days.

A tourist visa is usually issued for a single entry for four weeks. According to the Vietnamese embassy, ​​issuing for a longer period of time and with two or more entries is possible for a higher fee if the application is made and additional documents are presented.

Visas for business travelers and investors can be issued for a period of up to five years. A residence permit for up to ten years can be issued for this group of people even after entry. Details should be obtained directly from the Vietnamese embassy.

When entering the country with a visa, it must be ensured that the notice of residence to be affixed at passport control corresponds to the entire period of validity of the visa and not just 15 days that are granted for entry without a visa.

Visa on entry ("on arrival")

So-called "Visa on arrival" are often offered on the Internet. This means that entry is only possible via the international airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. However, it is generally recommended to obtain a visa in advance from a Vietnamese diplomatic mission abroad, as this allows entry to Vietnam at any official border crossing (including overland routes from neighboring countries) and the "Visa on arrival" is actually for cases of urgency, or if there is no Vietnamese diplomatic mission in the country of residence, this is provided. No statements can be made about the reliability of individual Internet providers.

Extension of stay

After the visa-free stay of 15 days has expired, a one-time extension of a further 15 days is possible if you book a package tour with a Vietnamese travel agency. The travel agency will then usually take care of the extension for you. Renewal fees are $ 10 payable to immigration authorities. No information can be given about the booking costs of the trip with a Vietnamese travel agency.

It is possible to extend or change the validity of a visa in Vietnam, almost all travel agencies offer this service for often excessive fees.

transit

German citizens do not need a transit visa if they do not leave the transit area of ​​the airport. If there is an entry, d. H. the transit area is left to e.g. B. to take a domestic onward flight, please note the above-mentioned regulations for visa-free entry.

Family members of Vietnamese and people of Vietnamese descent

Family members of Vietnamese and people of Vietnamese descent who no longer have Vietnamese citizenship can be exempted from the visa requirement upon application. In addition, a certificate is issued that is valid for five years, with which multiple entries and exits and a stay of up to 6 months per visit are possible. The Vietnamese diplomatic missions abroad can provide further information.

Minors

Minors traveling alone must have an official declaration of consent from their legal guardian.

Registration

There is a registration requirement. However, this is usually taken over by the hotel.

Import regulations

Cash in foreign currencies worth more than 5,000 US dollars and cash in Vietnamese currency dong worth more than 15 million dong must be declared.
Gold in bars weighing up to 1 kg must be declared upon entry, and approval from the bank must be available.
Gold over 1 kg must be deposited in the airport warehouse, gold jewelry over 300 grams must be declared.

Upon entry, the following items can be imported duty-free by people over the age of 18:

200 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 g tobacco and 1.5 l alcohol over 22% or 2 l alcohol under 22%.

Personal items can be imported duty-free. Personal items are items that you need or carry with you in an appropriate number and quantity, taking into account the purpose and duration of the trip. Objects going beyond this are to be declared if they exceed the value of 5 million dong.

Tea can be imported up to 5 kg, coffee up to 3 kg. Personal items can be introduced.

Pets

The import of your pets is possible with a veterinary vaccination certificate (valid rabies vaccination). A rabies titre determination for the return import into the EU is not possible in Vietnam, however blood samples are taken by veterinarians and sent to France for examination. The process is therefore correspondingly costly. We recommend that you determine the titre of your pets before entering the country and, if in doubt, ask a Vietnamese representation or your airline.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

measles

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

Vaccination protection

No compulsory vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the Robert Koch Institute's vaccination calendar up to date.
  • Vaccinations against hepatitis A are recommended as travel vaccinations, and for long-term stays or special exposure also against hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies and Japanese encephalitis (JE).
  • Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

Zika virus infection

The predominantly diurnal AedesMosquito-borne infection with Zika viruses can lead to malformations in children during pregnancy and neurological complications in adults.

Dengue fever

Dengue viruses become diurnal in many parts of the country Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted. The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs. In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see also information sheet on dengue fever.

  • To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

Chikungunya fever

Chikungunya viruses are transmitted by diurnal Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is characterized by a high fever and possibly prolonged joint and muscle pain. The symptoms can often not be clearly distinguished from other mosquito-borne diseases. Chikungunya fever does not always heal without consequences; long-term rheumatoid-like symptoms rarely occur. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy, see leaflet Chikungunya fever

  • To avoid chikungunya fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

malaria

Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anopheles- Mosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous one is particularly dangerous Malaria tropica often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see also the Malaria leaflet.

  • If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see your doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.

Malaria occurs year-round in Vietnam, depending on the region. Most of the cases in the country are due to the more dangerous form Plasmodium falciparum evoked. There is a high risk of malaria in the regions bordering Cambodia. There is minimal risk in the rest of the country. This does not apply to the large city centers, which are considered malaria-free, see the Standing Committee on Travel Medicine of the DTG.

To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:

  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts).
  • Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body, during the day (dengue) as well as in the evening and at night (malaria).
  • If necessary, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.

Depending on the travel profile, in addition to the necessary exposure prophylaxis, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is also useful. Various prescription drugs (e.g. atovaquone proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine) are available on the German market for this purpose.