Update: 08:13 | 03/11/2021
International travelers who are either fully vaccinated or recovered Covid-19 patients can visit five destinations in Vietnam starting this month, without quarantine mandate.
The Government Office announced Tuesday that Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has approved a pilot plan to welcome international visitors as proposed earlier by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
A sunset view on Phu Quoc Island, January 2021.
The plan will be carried out in three phases. In the first phase that will kick off this month, foreign travelers can visit designated places in Vietnam's biggest island Phu Quoc, Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province which is home to the ancient town of Hoi An, Khanh Hoa Province which is home to Nha Trang beach town, and Quang Ninh Province home to Ha Long Bay.
For entry requirements, travelers must show proof of full vaccination or Covid-19 recovery, as well as a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours before departure.
The authorities will accept test results done either via the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) or the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT – PCR) methods.
Visitors will also have to furnish medical or travel insurance including coverage for Covid-19 treatment worth at least $50,000 and book a package tour. Children under 12 years old traveling with a parent or guardian do not require a certificate of vaccination against Covid-19.
They must install the IGOVN application on their smartphones and use it during their tours in Vietnam. Masking is required, and there will be no quarantine mandate.
However, on the first day of entry, visitors must perform a rapid antigen test on themselves and if the result is positive, they will be taken to a medical facility and the cost is paid by the insurance or the tour operators.
Visitors who want to see their families in Vietnam can register with the tour operators.
The second phase of the plan is expected to take effect in January next year to have tourists travel between the five destinations allowed in the first phase.
The third phase will see Vietnam fully open to foreign visitors. A specific timeline will depend on the pandemic situation.
Vietnam closed its doors to foreign tourists and canceled all international flights in March last year under Covid-19 impact. Since then, only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts and highly-skilled workers are allowed in with stringent conditions.
The nation recorded a 79 percent decline year-on-year in the number of foreign visitors in 2020 due to travel restrictions amid the pandemic. It welcomed just 3.83 million foreign visitors against a record 18 million in 2019, according to official data.