Tightened entry restrictions for foreign tourists no longer necessary

By Chi Nguyen, Lan Huong   March 14, 2022 | 11:15 pm PT
Tightened entry restrictions for foreign tourists no longer necessary
Foreign tourists at a beer shop at the intersection of Hanoi's Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
With the number of daily Covid cases in Vietnam increasing rapidly, tightening entry rules for foreign arrivals "is no longer essential," Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Truong Son said.

"At a time when the health ministry proposed tightening entry restrictions for foreign tourists, the number of daily infections in Vietnam was not too high," Son told VnExpress, mentioning his ministry's response to a draft plan prepared by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on reopening international tourism from March 15.

On March 2, the health ministry proposed foreign tourists self-isolate for three days after arriving in Vietnam and be tested two to three times during this period. It also suggested that unvaccinated children be self-isolated for seven days and tested daily.

Immediately, the health ministry's response triggered worries and disappointment among travel firms.

"The health ministry would work with the tourism ministry to reduce procedures for foreign tourists entering the country," Son added.

He also said the health ministry is drafting a new regulation on entry requirements for foreign arrivals.

Vietnam has announced to lift most travel restrictions from March 15, when foreign tourists would be allowed to visit the country without booking tour packages.

However, official entry regulations have not yet been finalized.

Vietnam has received over 10,000 foreign arrivals since November last year as the country partially reopened international tourism under a vaccine passport program.

With borders closed, the number of foreign arrivals last year plunged by 96 percent against 2020.

On Tuesday, the government agreed to resume its unilateral visa exemption policy for citizens from 13 countries, including European economies, Japan and South Korea.

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