Vietnam is scheduled to receive foreign visitors with a vaccine passport on a trial basis in November, before fully reopening to the international tourism market by June 2022.
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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is set to implement a pilot scheme aimed at welcoming back foreign visitors to Phu Quoc island, a popular paradise resort in southern Vietnam, starting from November and running to March, 2022.
The scheme will also be replicated in other major tourist destinations such as Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong, and Thanh Hoa provinces, from December 2021 to June 2022.
Moving forward, the country is poised to fully reopen to the international tourism market by June, 2022.
For the time being priority will be given to receiving visitors from regions and countries that have high vaccination coverage, including Northeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, as well as the United States, Australia, Japan, and the Republic of Korea among others.
The roadmap was unveiled by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism during a recent meeting held virtually alongside tourism authorities of various localities nationwide.
Visitors wishing to enter the nation are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before their departure. They are also required to make health declarations or have body temperature checked upon arrival in line with COVID-19 guidelines, along with undergoing a quarantine time of just seven days as opposed to 14 days as previously regulated.
During the meeting many localities announced that they have made plans to receive domestic visitors after a hiatus caused by the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak.
They proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism work alongside relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to lay down criteria for safe tourism nationwide.
To get the tourism sector back on track moving into the post-pandemic period, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed that localities provide travel agencies with incentives aimed at helping them to restore services, design new products, and train human resources.
The most important thing will be to develop a safe tourism model that offers self-contained services without any epidemic risks to the wider community, said Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet, adding that vaccination should be accelerated in relevant localities.
Vietnam has had its borders closed to international travelers since the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread rapidly in the country in late April, 2020. It has so far experienced four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a heavy blow to the tourism sector.
The current fourth COVID-19 wave that started in late April is fortunately showing signs of abating nationwide, thereby paving the way for the country to reopen its economy to the wider world.
Tourism, as one of the hardest hit sectors, is keen to seize upon opportunities when the Government reopens the economy in order not to lose out to rivals in the region.
By Dan Tri.