Vietnam Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Apr 25, 2003
This Travel Warning is being updated to inform U.S. citizens to the
Department of State's continued concerns about the presence of Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome or SARS like symptoms in Vietnam. The Department of
State has now authorized the departure, on a voluntary basis, of
non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate
General in Ho Chi Minh City. Family members of Embassy and Consulate
General staff had earlier been given this option, and the suspension of
non-essential official travel to Vietnam remains in effect. These decisions
are based on the lack of adequate medical care and facilities, as well as
the difficulty of securing commercial medical evacuation for SARS patients.
The Department of State continues to recommend U.S. citizens defer
non-essential travel to Vietnam and that U.S. citizens in Vietnam consider
departing. This supersedes the March 22, 2003, Travel Warning.
Although the Department of State has recommended that arrangements be made
for prompt medical evacuation of individuals diagnosed with SARS, medical
evacuation of SARS patients remains problematic. Securing transport and
locating a destination willing to accept such patients is difficult, if not
impossible. Even if a willing air carrier and host destination are found,
the cost would be prohibitive. Since medical evacuation possibilities may
change, family members of SARS patients may wish to consult with the nearest
U.S. Embassy/Consulate General for the latest information. SARS has
dramatically diminished the level of medical services in Hanoi. Hanoi's
only adequate hospital facility has closed and Hanoi's two main outpatient
facilities have reduced their operations. Even non-lethal medical
conditions are difficult to address because clinics are making initial
assessments by phone or screening patients outside the clinic facilities.
Until medical services return to normal, it is recommended that all U.S.
citizens traveling defer non-essential travel to Vietnam.
Because of these continuing concerns about the presence of SARS in Vietnam,
the Department of State now authorizes non-emergency employees of the U.S.
Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City to
depart voluntarily from Vietnam; previously only family members had been
given the option to depart. For the most up-to-date information regarding
SARS, U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention's website, www.cdc.gov, and the World Health Organization's
Both the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City
remain open to provide the full range of services to U.S. citizens and the
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi is located at 6 Ngoc
Khanh, Ba Dinh District, telephone number (84-4) 831-4590; after hours
emergency telephone number (84-4) 772-1500;
fax (84-4) 831-4578. Additional information may be found on the Embassy
website at http://usembassy.state.gov.vietnam/.
The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City is located at 4 Le Duan,
District 1, telephone
(84-8) 822-9433; fax (84-8) 822-9434; website www.uscongenhcmc.org.
For further information on travel to Vietnam, U.S. citizens should also
consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Vietnam and
the Public Announcement on SARS, both of which are located at