HCMC tourism department halts Covid vaccine tours to US

 HCMC tourism department halts Covid vaccine tours to US

A boy receives the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on May 13, 2021. Photo by AFP.

The HCMC Department of Tourism has instructed travel companies to suspend "vaccine tours" to the U.S. until the end of the year.

At a meeting with the department on Monday, tour operators agreed to stop advertising the tour on social media and wait until early 2022 to see how the pandemic situation develops.

The department has stepped in after some travel companies launched coronavirus vaccine tours to the U.S. but with one-way tickets and without clear information about the return.

Since March last year the country has closed its borders to all except Vietnamese repatriates and foreign investors and experts.

Nguyen Quy Phuong, director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s tourism department, cautioned people about booking vaccine tours because of the one-way tickets on offer and vague information about the vaccination.

Travel agencies have been hit badly for more than a year now by the pandemic, and some were looking at vaccine tours to the U.S. as a means of revival.

Travel agencies in Thailand are selling vaccine tours to the U.S. while travelers from Mexico and Latin America are flying in to take advantage of one of the world's most successful vaccination campaigns.

While poor and low-income countries are struggling to secure vaccines due to a lack of supply, the U.S. has immunized 47 percent of its adult population after reportedly securing enough doses to vaccinate its entire population twice over.

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