After a two-year closure, plans are being finalized for Vietnam to fully reopen to international tourism by this April.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism sent a proposal to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh this week that the country should reopen by March 31 rather than waiting until May. The pitch is that an earlier reopening will boost international arrivals by Vietnam’s high tourist season, and help those in the travel industry which have been struggling over the past two years.
The ministry stated that, ”If the country is slow in reopening, it would lose its opportunity to attract foreign tourists as many regional countries have already restarted their international tourism.”
According to reports in this local paper, the Prime Minister released a statement on Thursday saying that Vietnam can reopen when certain groups of the population have received their booster shots and suitable immigration control policies are in place.
Plans Include Extending Eligibility Of ‘Green Zones’ And More Freedom Of Movement
The plans submitted by the Ministry include extending the eligibility of the regions currently allowed to welcome foreign tourists, also known as “green zones”, given that the locals have received their third Covid shot and any potential outbreaks in the regions are contained.
The regions of Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh were the first regions in the country to welcome foreign visitors since locking down in early 2020 but tourism is yet to come back full swing.
Vietnam is currently in the second phase of reopening, which is scheduled to end on March 30.
There have been updates throughout 2021 on the news of Vietnam’s reopening, and it’s been a gradual process.
In November, the popular tourist destination of Hoi An in central Vietnam had a soft reopening, welcoming 29 tourists in total. According to reports, just over 8,500 international tourists have since visited Vietnam, including travelers from the UK, US, Russia, Singapore and South Korea. Local reports state that almost half of the international arrivals were overseas Vietnamese visiting family.
Vietnam’s Airline Industry Prepared To Ramp Up Flights In 2022
In addition, local airlines and travel firms, including Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet, recently sent a petition to the Vietnamese government to put forth a full reopening plan by early February.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has already restarted certain international flight routes to Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Vientiane, Phnom Penh, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways are also set to begin flight services to the UK, Germany and Australia in the coming weeks.
Vietnam’s Entry Restrictions For Travelers: What We Know So Far
Here are the entry requirements for Vietnam’s reopening:
- Show proof of full vaccination (at least 14 days before entry)
- Proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the previous 6 months
- Negative PCR test result from 72 hours of travel
- Travel medical insurance with coverage of at least $50,000 USD
- Separate requirements will apply for partially vaccinated individuals and children (news to follow)
The plan is also to allow more freedom of movement around the tourist areas, allow local businesses to engage with international tourists (restaurants, travel agencies, hotels, etc) and testing stations available on-site at hotels for both domestic and international travelers.
Vietnam’s Vaccination Rate – Latest Data
According to Reuters data, Vietnam has administered over 180,000,000 doses of the Covid vaccine. This means that approximately 95% of the country’s entire population has been fully vaccinated (two doses).
Cases are currently at 72% of its peak, with over 14,000 new infections reported each day. The highest daily reported average was on January 11, 2022.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com