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There's no reason to wait until May for reopening tourism

January 23, 2022 | 07:22 pm PT
There's no reason to wait until May for reopening tourism
Tourists in Hoi An in central Vietnam, March 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Vietnam is considering fully reopening the country to foreign tourists by May 1, but many think it should happen sooner.

"Why wait until May? Let Omicron rip little brothers and sisters. Have a wee look at the data on severe illness from countries that openly publish this kind of thing. You'll see that since the Omicron wave started in U.K. in November, the number of patients on mechanical ventilators has been steadily falling. Uptick in 'deaths within 28 days of a positive test' is down to mathematics. Roughly 20 percent of people in the U.K. are estimated to have caught Omicron in the last 28 days taking into account that testing will never catch everyone.

If one selected 20 percent of the U.K. population truly at random, based on an all-cause mortality rate of ~2,000 per day from things such as dementia, cancer, heart-disease etc, then 400 of them will die. So if 20 percent of the population have Covid you will see that there will be many recorded deaths who happened to be positive. It doesn't mean Covid killed them. Further evidence in the U.K. government data can be found where Covid is listed as a cause of death on the death certificate. These figures also never showed any uptick at all during the Omicron wave.

So, as an eccentric PM once said - "IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN?" What are you waiting for? You have the vaccination advantage now. If as you claim 100 percent are vaccinated with at least one dose, why wait any longer for immunity to wane?"

"There really is no reason why this shouldn't happen after Tet and start March 1. If they want to limit the number of people to begin with just limit the number of flights coming in and require 100 percent vaccination and not some complex visa/entry approval process."

"One can still understand that there should not be any additional tourist arrivals from abroad during the Tet period. But after that there should definitely be all visas for fully vaccinated people who have received a negative PCR test shortly before the trip. One should finally take an example of how Thailand is reviving international tourism. There it is easy to book the necessary quarantine package with transport and hotel stay on the Internet. Waiting until May 1st is completely pointless and will destroy the entire tourist infrastructure."

"Thailand will reintroduce the Test & Go Scheme soon. Laos and Cambodia now are fully open. What is causing us to be hesitant to open for tourists?"

"How about fully opening up right now?"

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