Covid-19 vaccination sought for all Phu Quoc residents to reopen to foreign tourists
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Tourists sunbathe on Khem Beach, Phu Quoc Island, 2019. Photo by Shutterstock/Jimmy Tran.
Authorities in Kien Giang Province, home to Phu Quoc, are planning to vaccinate the island’s population against Covid-19 so that it can reopen its doors to foreigners.
Lam Minh Thanh, chairman of the province, said the island has got the green light from the Politburo to trial vaccine passports and so the government would be asked to prioritize vaccination for the 100,000 residents of Phu Quoc.
If everything goes well, the island could allow foreigners back in by September or October this year, he added.
Visitors to the island must be fully vaccinated, failing which they will be quarantined and only allowed to visit isolated resorts.
Vietnam's largest island has become a top tourist destination after the government rolled out a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners in 2014.
In 2019, the last year before the onset of the pandemic, it received over five million visitors, including 541,600 foreigners.
Kien Giang Province has been Covid-free during the ongoing fourth wave that began on April 27.
The Politburo, the main decision-making body of the Communist Party, last week called for trialing vaccine passports so that foreigners could visit some tourist destinations that have contained the pandemic like Phu Quoc Island.
Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, and highly-skilled workers have been allowed since with stringent quarantine requirements.