Vietnam Airlines flights landed at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City with students under 18, seniors, people in difficult financial conditions, tourists whose visas have ended, and workers who have lost their jobs.
They are taken to a centralized quarantine facility and conducted Covid-19 tests.
The flight landed at Sydney Airport in Australia and Auckland Airport in New Zealand and carried as many people as possible in it, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
It was the first Vietnamese return from Australia and New Zealand since Vietnam suspended all international flights on March 22 because the two countries were tightly locked to withstand the spread of the disease.
Some 1,800 people have registered to fly home because the border remained closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Vietnamese embassy in Australia said.
Priority is given to people over the age of 60, students under 18, those with basic health conditions such as heart disease or cancer, and displaced tourists, he said.
Australia has reported more than 7,000 cases of infection and 103 deaths, and New Zealand, 1,500 and 22.
Since mid-May the two have eased restrictions and reopened their economies. They were discussing the possibility of a ‘Covid-19 safe travel zone’ between the two countries.
In recent months several special flights have brought back thousands of Vietnamese from several countries including Canada, France, Japan, Russia, the UAE, the US and several Southeast Asian hotspots.
Passengers pay their rates.
Vietnam has been running 47 days without coronavirus transmission by the community. So far 328 Covid-19 cases have been reported and there have been no deaths.
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