Vietnam vs China: Covid-19 policies and lockdowns.

Zero-Covid Policy and Lockdowns in Vietnam vs China [Dec 2022]

Vietnam is very different from China in terms of Covid-19 policy and infection-rates (as of Dec 2022). Vietnam does not have Chinese-style lockdowns, nor does it have a “zero covid” policy, nor do Vietnamese citizens require QR-code permissions to do mundane activities, such as enter stores, go to work, ride buses, etc.

We have boots-on-the-ground visibility into the daily lives of Vietnamese people in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (through our family members). Therefore, we can definitely say that life in Vietnam is back to pre-Covid norms.

There were draconian, military-enforced lockdowns in Vietnam, especially in the summer of 2021 (which we lived through). But, these were the last round of lockdowns in Vietnam. Vietnam’s policy shifted as soon as vaccination rates rose to near-ubiquitous levels in urban areas (>95%). Thereafter, life and work returned to normal within a few months. The economy and tourism rebounded and Covid is no longer a large preoccupation of Vietnamese society.

People are still getting Covid-19, but because vaccination rates are so high in Vietnam, getting Covid-19 is perceived as similar to having a bad cold, rather than a life-threatening disease. Importantly, and unlike China, the Vietnamese have primarily used Western vaccines (especially AstraZeneca), whose efficacy is much higher than the Chinese vaccine.

How Does Vietnam Compare to China in Terms of Covid-19 Policy?

Ongoing “soft” lockdownsNoYes
Factory shutdownsNoYes
Mobility requires daily testingNoYes
Spike in Covid-19 infection rates (as of Dec 2022)NoYes
Government app automatically determines individuals’ quarantine-statusNoYes
Daily-life requires app-based permissions to travel and enter buildingsNoYes
Masks required in public spacesSomeYes
Covid-testing a high percentage of GDP-activityNoYes

Covid-19: Can I Travel to Vietnam?

Travel has more or less returned to normal in Vietnam, without extensive testing or quarantine requirements. Read more here.

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