Tourism ministry rejects health ministry's entry restriction proposals for foreigners
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Foreign tourists at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat Airport, March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The tourism ministry on Thursday rejected a proposal by the health ministry to increase isolation time and Covid-19 tests for foreign tourists entering Vietnam.
Nguyen Trung Khanh, head of the National Administration of Tourism, said the plan to reopen tourism starting Mar. 15 has been submitted to the government by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The plan has retained its initial requirement that foreign tourists head immediately to their accommodations within 24 hours after entry to be tested for Covid-19. Entrants entering Vietnam either on land or at sea would be tested at the border within the same time period.
Those tested negative once can travel freely.
Tourists however would still need either Covid-19 vaccination certificates or proof they've recovered from Covid-19 to enter.
The Health Ministry's proposal on Wednesday said tourists should be self-isolated for three days and tested two to three times during this period. It suggested that unvaccinated children should be self-isolated for seven days and tested each day.
Also, the tourism ministry asked that foreign tourists must have a negative coronavirus test result within 72 hours before their flights, instead of before their entry into Vietnam.
Khanh said the negative test requirement before flights is appropriate due to long flight periods for tourists in faraway markets, and the fact that some tourists could experience delays before entering Vietnam due to different circumstances.
The ministry also suggested that visa policies be resumed to pre-pandemic levels, and that Covid-19 vaccine certificates for Vietnamese be completed and issued so people could travel abroad.
From March 15, Vietnam will fully reopen inbound tourism, with foreign tourists allowed to visit the country without booking tour packages. All visitors must use PC-Covid health declaration application during their stay in Vietnam.