Vietnam considers opening borders to visitors from COVID-19-free countries

Viet Nam News Tuesday | 06/02/2020 13:44

Tourists visit Tam Coc - Bich Dong in Ninh Binh Province in early March before Vietnam closed its borders to foreign visitors. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Duc

Vietnam would consider opening its borders to foreign visitors if the country they are coming from has gone 30 days without any new cases of COVID-19.

The matter was discussed at a meeting held in Hanoi on Thursday by the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

Committee's members said that even when international tourism resumes, the destinations would be limited to a certain number of islands in the country, including Phu Quoc in Kien Giang Province, while public health measures are enforced to ensure the safety of both tourists and local residents.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Trinh Thi Thuy said that in the short term, travel firms in Vietnam should focus on stimulating domestic tourism while the border remains tightly managed.

Thuy said that recently tourism enterprises have reacted positively and are readjusting their travel packages to cater more towards local tourists.

Some hotels have reached 80-90 per cent capacity and others are completely full, which is a positive sign for domestic tourism, she said.

Members of the steering committee said leaders of municipal and provincial people’s committees must bear the responsibility when permitting foreign investors, technicians and managers entering Vietnam.

Enterprises needing to bring in foreign experts must draw up a list and send it to local people’s committee for approval. That list must then be sent to the Ministry of Public Security for visa approval.

All foreign experts entering Vietnam must be quarantined based on the Ministry of Health’s regulations.

Task forces of the health ministry must get ready to supervise quarantine centres for aircrew and foreign experts coming to the country.

Vietnam suspended entry for all foreign nationals on March 21 following Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s directive.

For those entering the country for diplomatic purposes, business managers, experts and high-skilled workers, public security, national defence, foreign affairs and health ministries will decide whether it’s necessary to issue visas for them.

When they enter the country, they still must fulfil health declarations and follow 14-day mandatory quarantine rules.

Source: Viet Nam News

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