Government approves pilot plan to reopen Phu Quoc for international tourists

September 13, 2021 | 13:07
The Vietnamese government has agreed to the pilot plan on reopening Phu Quoc, a tropical island off Vietnam's southern coast, for international tourists in October.
Government approves pilot plan to reopen Phu Quoc for international tourists
The government will prioritise the vaccination of Phu Quoc residents before tourists arrive

Vietnam has closed its borders to all travellers in order to keep COVID-19 out of the country. The country was able to keep the virus at bay for most of 2020. However, the highly transmissible Delta variant have wreaked havoc on the country this summer, forcing social distancing measures across many localities and dampened the economy.

The reopening of Phu Quoc next month will be comparable to Thailand's sandbox programmes, which allow fully vaccinated travellers to visit certain islands.

Accordingly, the government has requested Kien Giang People's Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST) to collect opinions from the local people through relevant organisations, social organisations, and businesses to issue a specific pilot plan.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health shall prioritise vaccine allocation to Phu Quoc to fully inoculate all local residents before reopening. The ministry shall assume the prime responsibility for and coordinate with other ministries and branches to provide specific guidance on the grant of vaccination certificates.

The MoCST and stakeholders will decide on the selection of eligible businesses to participate in the pilot plan. Travel agencies need to ensure safety against COVID-19 for both tourists and employees with professional and quality services for international guests.

Phu Quoc Island will reopen to international visitors with vaccine passports for six months beginning in October. Under the pilot plan, Phu Quoc is expected to welcome 2,000-3,000 visitors per month via charter flights in a limited number of locations during the first phase, which will last three months. In the second phase, also lasting for three months, the island will host 5,000-10,000 visitors per month.

Travellers are allowed to enter the country provided that they have a certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19 recognised by a competent authority in Vietnam. Two injection jabs need to be administered at least 14 days and no more than 12 months before the time of entry. Travellers must also have a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test acquired no more than 72 hours prior to departure.

Vietnam will welcome tourists from countries that have well contained the pandemic and implement vaccination to achieve herd immunity such as Northeast Asia, Europe, America, Middle East, and Australia…

By Olivia Bui

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