Regarding traveling during the pandemic, taking public transportation is listed among the high-risk activities as you’d be traveling distances in a closed space with other people. On the bright side, as the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam falls under good control, and Vietnam tourism is recovering, public transportation has returned to a safe enough state to travel. It can be tricky though, to protect yourself on public transportation in Vietnam, as with anywhere else. See below for our best tips and advice to keep yourself safe while using public transportation.
Public Transportation in Vietnam during COVID-19
Public transportation in Vietnam have returned to their operation, so how safe are they exactly? Let’s take a look into the two most popular options:
Distancing at Noi Bai Airport
Both international and domestic flights in Vietnam have been resumed. While international flights are still limited to a few countries and not entirely open to tourists, domestic flights are prevalent and the rates are cheaper than ever. At the airport, strict safety measures are still in place. Travelers have to maintain a 2-meter distance from others in line, have their temperatures monitored, and wear masks.
Buses and Trains
Public bus in Ho Chi Minh City
During the peak of the pandemic, some bus routes are halted to limit community infections within the country, but now that the situation is not dire, all routes are resumed and the regulations are more relaxed. Travelers still need to wear masks while traveling but distancing isn’t a must. However, we still advise you to skip at least one seat from other passengers.
In terms of taxis and ride-sharing services, most drivers take the precautions seriously and put up plastic covers, and provide masks and hand sanitizers to customers
How to Protect Yourself on Public Transportation in Vietnam
While using public transportation is possible and there are regulations performed by the staff, you can follow these tips below to protect yourself on public transportation in Vietnam more effectively:
Travelers using available means of transport to commute to other provinces should fill out the government’s health declaration form to aid health workers in contact tracing.
You should also install Bluezone – an app developed by the Vietnamese government that can alert you when you’ve come into contact with a positive case of COVID-19.
When possible, opt for private transportations, for example, ride-hailing services for traveling within the city, private driver, sleeper buses, or chauffeur service for an interstate commute. These vehicles are less accessible to the mass, so using them can decrease contracting the virus. See our detailed guides on finding a private driver and taking motorbike taxis in Vietnam or find the fares of sleeper buses below:
Do your packing carefully is critical. You should bring extra face masks in Vietnam, whatever type of face masks it is. You can get a pack of 5 or 6 if it’s the disposable type, and bring 2 if it’s a cloth face mask. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a must as well; even though it cannot guarantee total safety, CDC has advised that it can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
Face masks and hand sanitizers are sold abundantly in Vietnam
Wear your mask properly all the time. If you’re unsure on how to do that, refer to CDC’s guidelines for wearing a mask:
CDC’s guidelines on wearing a mask
Travelers should try to keep a 2-meter distance from other passengers. You can do this by leaving empty seats between yourself and others and avoiding commuting during rush hours (7 AM – 9 AM and 4 PM – 6 PM).
Limit touching different surfaces with your hands. If you have to touch something, do that with a tissue or handkerchief.
Prepare small changes (VND 1,000; VND 2,000; VND 5,000; VND 10,000) to pay for the fare when using the bus. Most people aren’t aware of this fact, but money carries a lot of germs because it passes through various hands.
Prepare changes of VND 2,000 and VND 5,000 will come in handy while using the bus
Other Safety Measure:
While protecting yourself from COVID-19 is urgent nowadays, it’s best to keep in mind that keeping your belongings safe is still a top priority. Even though Vietnam is safe to travel, pickpockets can happen anywhere, especially on public transports due to the crowd. It is advisable to keep your valuables where you can see them, avoid wearing expensive accessories, and letting your purse be visible while using public transport, and to go as a group.
You may also be interested in Health and Hygiene Tips for Traveling in Vietnam
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Conclusion on How to Protect Yourself on Public Transportation in Vietnam
Public transportation is a great way to travel in Vietnam as it’s convenient, accessible, and economical. Nevertheless, it’s also a place of high risk for spreading the virus if everyone isn’t mindful. By keeping the aforementioned tips in mind when traveling, you can be proactive in saving yourself and your loved ones from this risk.