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  • Vietnam reopen for International Tourism !

    Vietnam reopen for international Tourism

    The Ides of March came and went without so much as a word on Vietnam’s much anticipated border reopening on March 15. But the news comes today, with the Ministry of Health officially announcing that foreign nationals entering Vietnam now only need to provide a negative Covid-19 test certificate to enter the country and will no longer be required to quarantine.

    It’s better late than never for international travelers wishing to enter the Southeast Asian nation for the first time since two years of pandemic, during which Vietnam has imposed strict Covid-19 restrictions on tourism and re-entry.

    As of today, the only Covid-19 related requirement for visitors will be a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure or an ATK test taken within 24 hours, according to a statement from the health ministry. Those who cannot take a test before departure now also have the option of testing within 24 hours upon arrival. Once they test negative, they are free to leave their accommodation.

    All tourists to Vietnam must also use the official PC-Covid app to monitor their health for the first 10 days of their trip. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from testing.

    Vietnam stopped all inbound tourism and issuing tourist visas to foreigners in March 2020. At the time, the tourism industry accounted for some US$32 billion a year of the country’s pre-pandemic economy, the AFP reported. But travel restrictions have since seen tourism grind to halt.

    Beginning in November last year, a vaccine passport program saw tourists begin to trickle back in, amounting to little more than 10,000 arrivals to date. A bubble arrangement allowed for fully-vaccinated (and wealthy) tourists to play golf at resorts. Last month, the government announced its intention to resume tourism, saying it would lift most travel restrictions beginning March 15. 2022

    In addition to ending quarantine measures for arriving travellers, Vietnam has also announced the resumption of its 15-day, visa-free travel for citizens from 13 countries, including the neighbouring Asian nations of South Korea and Japan, as well as the European countries of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

    Unsurprisingly, the communist country also reopened its doors to travelers from Russia and its ally Belarus (formerly Belorussia or “White Russia”) — despite President Vladimir Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine, which has seen the West and their allies rebuke Russia with a slew of sanctions more severe than those imposed on North Korea.

    As the Omicron variant sweeps through the country of some 97 million people, health authorities have reported nearly 200,000 new Covid-19 cases a day. But the health ministry insists the situation remains “under control,” with the majority of cases being mild, and steadily low rates of hospitalisation and death.

    The ministry cites the near perfect fully-vaccinated rate of 98% among adults as mitigating severe reactions to the current Omicron wave. But it still sees room for improvement, as it plans a new round of booster jabs for adults, as well as vaccinations for teenagers and children.
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  • #2
    Vietnam starts reopening for international visitors from December 2021
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    From December 2021, Vietnam will open a number of tourist hotspots to vaccinated travellers from “low-risk” countries. According to a Reuters report, the Vietnamese government hopes to follow this with a full re-opening, currently planned for June 2022. The authorities recently confirmed they would re-open the popular island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated tourists from November.

    The country has been living with strict border controls since it shut down at the start of the pandemic. The fallout has been a decimated tourism sector, which normally makes up around 10% of the country’s gross domestic product. After welcoming 18 million foreign visitors in 2019, Vietnam received just 3.8 last year. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism generated around US$31 billion in revenue, around 12% of GDP. The country is also struggling with a slow vaccine rollout, having only vaccinated 13% out of a population of 98 million.

    From December, the government says vaccinated tourists from select countries will be able to visit the popular beach destination of Nha Trang, the highlands town of Dalat, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hoi An and Halong Bay.

    “We are only open when it’s truly safe. We are moving step by step, cautiously but flexibly, to adapt to real situations of the pandemic.”


    • #3
      Vietnam reopening with limited destinations

      As the Southeast Asian country steadily reopens its tourism sector amid the pandemic, Vietnam is receiving foreign tourists starting from November for the first time since Spring 2020.

      The daily newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong says two flights carrying foreign visitors from Japan and South Korea arrived in Khanh Hoa Province on the south-central coast on November 11.2021. About 430 travellers from the US are slated to arrive in Hoi An, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Quang Nam Province in the same week by charter aircraft.

      The renowned Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand is also expecting about 250 international tourists by the weekend, according to a second story in the newspaper.

      However, a notice on the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s website reads that foreign tourists must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before a trip or have recovered from Covid-19 no more than 6 months before departure. Visitors must have tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours after departure, and are only allowed to visit authorised destinations and service facilities as part of organised tours.

      The transport ministry has recommended a three-phase strategy to restore regular foreign flights next year and the first phase will start in the first quarter of 2022, with flights arriving from France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia.


      • #4
        First International Tourist Group Arrival in Vietnam

        After a two-year hiatus due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the first group of 29 international tourists has arrived at Da Nang Airport in Quang Nam province, under the vaccine passport programme. The Vietnam Airlines charter flight which departed Incheon Airport in South Korea boarded nationals from Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, the US, and the UK.

        After nearly two years since the government locked its borders and cancelled all international flights in March of last year, this was the first group of foreign visitors to visit Vietnam under the pilot programme.

        Visitors were asked for a proof of health certificate upon arrival and were then taken to New World Hoiana Resort in Duy Xuyen at the border of Da Nang, for a seven-night stay where they can enjoy the beach, two restaurants, and a casino. They are also allowed to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An and My Son Sanctuary at the central coast of the country, as well as other attractions.

        Some travellers will fly home after finishing the vacation package, while others will stay in Vietnam to see relatives. From today until next Thursday, Quang Nam is expecting another 300 international travellers on separate flights. To visit Vietnam, which is only available from South Korea for now, visitors are required to show proof of vaccination, a negative test shown within 72 hours before boarding the flight, and it is mandatory to install IGOVN and PC-Covid health applications on their smartphones.


        • #5
          Vietnam Airlines resumes five international flight destinations including the USA

          Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Administration has approved the resumption of five international flights among nine to Cambodia, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and the US starting from January 1, following the agreements with authorities to implement the government’s plan earlier this month.

          Vietnam Airlines, with four flights per week to Cambodia, will be the first international flight on January 5, with Vietjet Air and All Nippon Airways already having confirmed their flights on January 6.

          Flights from Japan will not be able to operate as early as January 1 since Japanese agencies will be closed for the New Year’s vacation, and travellers will not be able to be tested for Covid-19 in accordance with requirements.

          Taiwan, on the other hand, has agreed to the flight restoration plan but has requested that the number of flights on each route in each direction is increased to at least five per week, rather than the four that Vietnam had planned with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Bamboo Airways.

          Singapore will receive two Vietnam Airlines flights per week, whilst Vietnamjet Air will fly once a week.

          For the US route, Vietnam Airlines will fly on a regular schedule as it is the only airline that has been granted a license to do so.

          On the other hand, South Korea, Laos, and China, on the other hand, have yet to reveal their plans, while Thailand has proposed additional dialogues and exchanges.

          There will be four flights per week on each route in each direction during the first phase after it halts international flights in March 2020, and that number will be increased to seven after two weeks.


          • #6
            Vietnam welcomes over 1,700 travellers on the first three days of international flights resumption

            Following the resumption of 11 flights by the Civil Aviation Administration last weekend, Vietnam welcomed a total of 1,753 travellers on the first three days from January 1 to 3. According to CAAV, the travellers have landed at Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Can Tho international airports.

            In the first phase of restoration, the flights were operated by four Vietnamese airlines including Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, and Pacific Airlines, as well as seven international carriers, including Thai Vietjet of Thailand, Singapore Airlines of Singapore, Turkish Airlines of Turkey, Starlux Airlines, and China Airlines of Taiwan, Emirates of the UAE, and Asiana Airlines of the South Korea.

            Vietnam is expected to have six more destinations in its second phase of international travel: Kuala Lumpur , Hong Kong, Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney, and Moscow.

            The country reported 14,861 new Covid-19 cases today, including 14,829 locally transmitted and 32 imported, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.


            • #7
              Vietnam eases entry procedures for foreign employees and returnees with valid visas

              Foreigners with valid visas can now enter Vietnam without having to get approval from the immigration offices or local authorities, starting from Tuesday as the government eased entry processes for easy comforts. This means people with valid temporary residence cards (TRCs), permanent residence cards (PRCs), valid visas, and valid visa exemption certificates will be able to enter Vietnam without any permission from the relevant offices.

              Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has also agreed with the new guidelines, adding that local authorities should continue to make it easier for foreigners without visas to enter the country, including obtaining approval and providing instructions on how to do so. Those who want to visit Vietnam for sightseeing must adhere to all restrictions that apply to international visitors.

              Before entering Vietnam, travellers must prepare a list of documents, including approvals from the People’s Committee and the Department of Immigration, proof of vaccination, PCR test results, and a health insurance certificate for quarantine, before the government grants entry although it might take weeks.

              For foreigners who still need a visa, city and provincial offices should be providing them with favourable conditions in case they need to enter Vietnam to work, study, or join charity works.

              From January 1, Vietnam partially restored regular commercial flights to China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, and the US.

              Travellers with a history of Covid-19 infection must self-isolate for three days, either at home, in hotels, or in other facilities, and then test on the third day. If the result is negative, they will be free to go around, although they will be monitored for their health for the next 11 days and advised to avoid large crowds.

              Those who have not had all of their vaccinations will be self-isolated for seven days before being tested on the third and seventh days. All PRC tests must be paid for by travellers.


              • #8
                Vietnam plans for full reopening in March or April 2022, PM pushes for preparations

                Following moves in other Southeast Asian countries to gradually reopen borders to foreign tourists, Vietnam is set to reopen to fully vaccinated tourists around March or April of this year. The country’s PM Pham Minh Chinh says the country needs to prepare to reopen safety, which will be either at the end of March or by the end of April, once target groups have received their booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and certain immigration control regulations are in place.

                After nearly two years of border closures, Vietnam’s reopening started in November with a pilot tourism project on Phu Quoc, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Now the county is planning to fully resume tourism.

                The PM’s statements follow a call from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to fully resume tourism by March 31. Eleven airlines and tourism companies had also petitioned the government to outline the agenda by early February.

                Those who are travelling to Vietnam must be fully vaccinated and present a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours along with medical insurance that covers a minimum of US$50,000, according to the ministry.

                The number of international arrivals dropped by 96% last year when borders were closed, a huge loss for the hotel and tourism industry. Vietnam reopened its borders to a vaccine passport scheme in November and 8,500 foreigners have travelled into the country, with half of them being Vietnamese relatives visiting from outside.


                • #9
                  It’s official: Vietnam will reopen to tourists on March 15.2022

                  In a move made three months earlier than planned, Vietnam will completely reopen to tourists starting March 15. Visitors to the country will still have to quarantine for 24 hours, and test negative for Covid-19 before departure and upon arrival. The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the reopening is part of its new response to controlling Covid-19, which is “…adapting safely and flexibly and controlling the virus effectively.”

                  On Tuesday, Vietnamlifted international travel curbs on flights from all markets, with no limits on flight numbers. In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam had tight travel restrictions, which at first proved successful at preventing the virus from spreading further. But like Thailand, these restrictions hit the tourism economy hard. In pre-Covid times, tourism made up about 10% of Vietnam’s GDP in 2019. That year, there were 18 million tourists. In 2021, that number plummeted to 157,000.

                  Vietnam had a record 31,814 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday. This made the total of cases in the country 2.54 million. Vietnam has recorded about 39,000 Covid-19 deaths. About 98% of the country now has two vaccine doses. Vietnam is making moves to reopen along with several other Southeast Asian countries. The Philippines reopened last week, and Malaysia is looking to reopen next month. Cambodia is also already opened. Neither the Philippines nor Cambodia require tourists to quarantine.


                  • #10
                    Vietnam’s vaccine passport pilot programme for international travellers enters phase 2

                    Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has released guidelines for implementing the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccine passport pilot programme to welcome international tourists.

                    Phase 2 will continue from now until the country’s full reopening of arrival and departure tourism activities via air, land, and sea routes, which is set for March 15.2022

                    During this period, overseas Vietnamese and Vietnamese citizens, as well as foreign nationals, are eligible to participate in the pilot programme through regular international flights, both commercial and charter.
                    Tourists must have a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 or a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 recognised by Vietnam.

                    The second dose of vaccine must be between 12 months and 14 days from the date of departure, while those who have recently recovered must have been discharged from the hospital not more than 6 moths prior to departure.

                    Tourists are also required to have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours before departure, and have medical insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment with a minimum liability of US$20,000.


                    • #11
                      Vietnam resumes flights to 20 countries, prepares to welcome international tourists in March

                      Vietnam has reopened air routes to 20 countries and regions in an effort to resume socio-economic activities – compared to 28 in the 2019 winter flight schedule pre-pandemic – a transport official says. The Vietnam Ministry of Transport says the resumed routes included those to Australia, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, the Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.

                      Air routes have not yet resumed to these 8 destinations: Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei, India, Switzerland, Italy and Finland.

                      Currently, there are 370 international flights to or from Vietnam per week each way, the transport ministry says, compared to a high of 4,185 in the 2019 winter flight schedule.Meanwhile, 6 local airlines are operating 56 domestic air routes with 2,570 flights per week each way. That’s still down 2 routes and 217 flights from the pre-pandemic schedule in 2019.

                      The airlines include Vietjet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, Vietravel Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vasco.

                      Although road and railway transportation has essentially returned to normal, passengers remain hesitant with concerns about the pandemic.

                      On February 15, Vietnamese aviation authorities officially lifted all restrictions on the frequency of international flights.

                      It’s the first time the civil aviation network has resumed normal operations since the pandemic began 2 years ago.

                      Meanwhile, local government authorities are working on a plan to fully reopen the Vietnamese border for international tourists and travelers on March 15.


                      • #12
                        Vietnam considers treating Covid-19 as an endemic

                        With Covid-19 cases on the rise, Vietnam’s PM Pham Minh Chinh has urged the Health Ministry to begin the process of preparing the country to live with Covid-19 and approach it as an endemic.

                        During a cabinet meeting, he directed authorities to explore how other countries had handled the shift. As they confront the virus and the impact of the Ukraine-Russian war, the prime minister predicted that March and the following months will be challenging and uncertain. Vietnam recorded 118,790 Covid-19 cases yesterday, including ten imported cases, an 8,500 jump from the previous day.

                        With more than 90% of its adult population receiving two vaccination doses, Vietnam is handing out booster shots, which has resulted in a significant reduction in Covid-19 fatalities.