Five Vietnam localities to welcome foreign tourists in November
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Tourists in Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam Province in early April 2021, before the fourth wave of Covid hit. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Nam, Da Nang and Quang Ninh will welcome foreign tourists starting November in the first phase of Vietnam's roadmap to resume international tourism.
At a Thursday meeting with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and authorities of the five localities, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the resumption of international tourism needs to happen quickly as safely.
During the first phase starting November, foreign tourists coming to the five localities must confirm in advance their destinations and places of residence. Those who have completed their itinerary in the first seven days must be tested for Covid-19 before going elsewhere, Dam said.
All five localities are major beach destinations. Kien Giang is home to the country's largest island Phu Quoc while Quang Nam is particularly known for the ancient town Hoi An and Quang Ninh Ha Long Bay.
Details of which parts of the localities to be open to tourists were not revealed. But the deputy PM said in Kien Giang, foreign tourists will be taken to parts of Phu Quoc.
In the second phase starting January 2022, other localities can sign up to receive foreign tourists, depending on their vaccination and Covid-19 control status. The tourism ministry will decide before January 2022 if the localities are eligible to receive foreign tourists.
Dam said the complete reopening of the tourism sector, expected to begin in the second quarter of 2022, will also depend on the pandemic situation at that time.
The tourism ministry would issue documents to instruct localities on receiving foreign tourists during the initial phases.
Under current vaccine passport policy, even fully vaccinated visitors to Vietnam have to undergo centralized quarantine for seven days.
Vietnam currently accepts Covid-19 vaccine passports from 72 countries and territories, and is discussing the issue with 80 others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday.
Vietnam closed its doors to foreign tourists and canceled all international flights in March last year to contain Covid, allowing only Vietnamese repatriates and foreign experts and highly-skilled workers to enter.