Ministry proposes mid-March for full reopening of international tourism

By Hoang Phong   February 14, 2022 | 04:39 pm PT
Ministry proposes mid-March for full reopening of international tourism
Foreign tourists take cyclo rides in downtown HCMC, 2019. Photo by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is seeking opinions from relevant agencies on a draft proposal to fully reopen inbound and outbound tourism from March 15 with eased restrictions.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has several times directed a full reopening of the borders to foreign tourists no later than the end of April and ideally at the end of March.

The ministry is collecting feedback from relevant ministries to complete its draft proposal before submitting it to the government.

Under the proposal, as it fully reopens its air, land and sea borders, Vietnam would only require foreign tourists to furnish a certificate that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid.

Instead of having to submit a negative PCR test result done 72 hours before departure, tourists will be allowed to show a negative rapid antigen test result done in 24 hours at their accommodation facilities after arrival.

They also only need to furnish medical or travel insurance including coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least $20,000, instead of $50,000 as previously required.

Fully vaccinated tourists can book three-day tour packages with designated travel agencies, while unvaccinated tourists have to book a seven-day tour package at the minimum. They can freely move around after that.

Vietnam is set to remove restrictions on international flights starting February 15, allowing frequency to return to pre-pandemic levels.

The government started allowing foreign tourists under a vaccine passport program last November. So far, nearly 9,000 foreign arrivals have been welcomed under the program with several pre-set conditions and constraints, half of them Vietnamese overseas coming to see their relatives.

Under the program, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, and Binh Dinh provinces, along with Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City are the only localities foreign tourists can visit.

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