Vietnam should not worry about infection from foreign entrants: experts

By Lan Huong   March 11, 2022 | 02:49 am PT
Vietnam should not worry about infection from foreign entrants: experts
Foreign tourists take a cyclo ride in Hanoi in February 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Duong
Experts said Vietnam should be confident in reopening international tourism from March 15 and don't need to worry about infections from foreign tourists.

Tran Dac Phu, a senior advisor at Public Health Emergency Operations Center under the Health Ministry, said Vietnam has recorded over 5 million Covid cases, of which 99.7 percent were domestic infections and the rest from foreign arrivals.

"As domestic infections account for the majority and Vietnam has recorded all new virus strains, we don't need to worry about infections from foreigners entering Vietnam," he told a tourism reopening conference held by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.

"The country should be confident in reopening international tourism."

Though the number of new daily cases has been increasing in most localities, the rate of severe patients remains low thanks to high vaccination coverage, he explained.

"With experience and current medical capability, the health system would not be overloaded, and the mortality rate will not be high, which is why we should reopen economic and tourism activities and accept Covid cases in the community," he said.

Nguyen Quy Phuong, an official from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said the health ministry is drafting instructions for receiving foreign tourists.

Phuong expected travel restrictions would be relaxed so that Vietnam could soon reopen its doors to foreign tourists in a safe and effective way.

"Foreign and domestic tourists should be treated alike," Phuong said.

Phan Thi Minh Giang, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department, said the ministry has proposed the government resumes its former visa exemption policy.

"This was an important factor in reopening inbound tourism," Giang added.

Vietnam has received 9,000 foreign arrivals since November last year as the country partially reopened international tourism.

From March 15, Vietnam is set to lift most of travel restrictions and foreign tourists would be allowed to visit the country without booking tour packages.

However, there have not been final instructions on visa issuance and entry restrictions.

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