The effective control of COVID-19 is Vietnam’s advantage to open the country for foreign tourists

, The effective control of COVID-19 is Vietnam’s advantage to open the country for foreign tourists

Vietnam is eager to strengthen its security measures and prepare new reassurances necessary to open its doors to international travelers with valid vaccination certificates – a step that could enable the resurrection of the tourism and aviation industries, Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) reported.

According to VIR, the SouthEast Asian country currently still applies a 14-day quarantine rule for guests and immigrants, including those who have been vaccinated. Overseas Vietnamese doctor Calvin Trinh was the first Vietnamese person to receive two doses of the vaccine in the United States, and arrived at Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City on March 10. Despite having a vaccine passport, Trinh still had to be isolated for 14 days, according to the regulations.

Related: Things the Fully Vaccinated Must Know

At the meeting of the government with localities on COVID-19 prevention and control last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned relevant authorities to consider appropriate control measures for when Vietnam accepts vaccine passports and reopens international routes.

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This may help enhance the position of Vietnam’s economy and contribute to the recovery of industries that are severely affected by the pandemic, such as aviation and tourism.

The Prime Minister said that a part of people and businesses, especially transport, services, and tourism businesses, are facing many difficulties. Therefore, Vietnam will actively implement additional support measures, formulate appropriate policies, and restore affected industries.

The request was made by the Prime Minister after receiving a petition from the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board in early March regarding vaccine passports. Immediately afterwards, the Prime Minister requested the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to study the issue and related experiences from other countries to make further proposals to the government.

The vaccine passport is planned to be a digital document proving that an individual has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. This document could be stored on a phone or a digital wallet, and the data displayed in the form of a QR code which could also provide information on whether a person has tested negative for the virus.

Responding to the Prime Minister at the regular meeting of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control last Thursday, ministries and mobile networks reaffirmed that the necessary technical infrastructure to keep track of and hand out vaccination certificates for foreigners would be ready to implement from April.

According to the World Tourism Organization, applying vaccination certificates will be an important tool to respond to the pandemic and promote a safe restart of international tourism. The European Commission last week issued proposals for a digital green certificate as well as a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result, or has recovered from the virus. The certificate will be valid in all EU member states and open to EU citizens and their family members, regardless of their nationality.

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Thailand also announced plans to issue vaccine passports and reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated people to seven days.

However, with legal and technological obstacles, the World Health Organization has called on countries to be cautious about the different types of vaccine passports and require the authorities and tourism regulators to not consider proof of vaccination as a condition for international travel.

Besides continuing to apply strict prevention measures, it may be necessary to continue vaccinations and speed up research and production, authorities have said.

The effective control of COVID-19 is deemed an advantage for the domestic tourism industry to be able to welcome foreign tourists, hopefully from the beginning of the third quarter of this year, according to the VIR.

By Thai An

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