HCMC seeks government approval to allow in foreign tourists without quarantine
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A group of foreign tourists drink beer on Bui Vien pedestrian street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Ho Chi Minh City has sought permission from the government to allow in foreign tourists without mandatory quarantine from December.
The people's committee on Thursday sent a proposal for a three-phase trial vaccine passport program to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
In the first phase designated travel companies will be allowed to bring foreign tourists with a Covid vaccine passport to the city by charter and commercial flights.
In the second phase, starting January, tourists can visit places in HCMC and five localities that have got the greenlight to allow foreign tourists: Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, and Khanh Hoa provinces and Da Nang City.
In April the city will fully reopen to international tourism.
All tourists need to furnish certificates showing they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid, and tested negative for it within 72 hours before departure.
They can only enter the country on a package tour with a designated travel agency and with medical or travel insurance including coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least $50,000.
Visitors have to install the IGOVN and PC-Covid health declaration applications on their smartphones while in the country.
Its high vaccination rate and shift from a zero-virus strategy to living with the pandemic have enabled the city to lift most restrictions since early last month and resume socio-economic and tourism activities.
HCMC received over 8.6 million foreign visitors in 2019, or nearly half the total foreign arrivals in Vietnam.
On Wednesday Vietnam received 29 foreign tourists, the first after nearly two years since it closed its borders and canceled all international flights due to the pandemic.
They arrived in Quang Nam, home to Hoi An town, for a week-long visit and are staying at the New World Hoiana Resort.