Saturday, February 19, 2022

Vietnam relaxes entry restrictions for tourists before full reopening

 The tourism ministry has eased restrictions for tourists arriving in Vietnam under an ongoing vaccine passport trial program before full tourism reopening in mid-March.

Tourists take cyclo rides around Hoi An under a vaccine passport program, November 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Duy Hau


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued new guidelines Thursday in welcoming back foreign arrivals, effective from now until March 15, which allowed foreign tourists and overseas Vietnamese to arrive in Vietnam on regular commercial flights, instead of only charter flights.

After three days of joining a tour package that they have to register beforehand, if the tourists show a negative PCR test result, they are free to visit other localities that have also been approved to welcome back foreign tourists under the vaccine passport program.

Currently, 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.

In addition, they 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.

The government started allowing foreign tourists entry under the program last November. So far, nearly 9,000 foreign arrivals have been welcomed, half of them overseas Vietnamese coming to see their relatives.

Foreign arrivals are required to be fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid as well as produce a negative PCR test result done in 72 hours before departure. They are only allowed to come on tour packages.

From March 15, Vietnam would reopen inbound and outbound tourism under new normal conditions, with foreign tourists allowed to travel freely to Vietnam without booking tour packages.

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