VACCINE PASSPORT PROGRAM READIED FOR FOREIGNERS TO VISIT PHU QUOC ISLAND
The tourism ministry is urgently working on a plan for welcoming international tourists with the so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports to Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province.
Nguyen Van Hung, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said Thursday that any plan to receive tourists must abide by coronavirus prevention measures.
Previously, on Tuesday, the tourism ministry and Kien Giang authorities had been requested to prepare a plan to receive foreigners to Phu Quoc and submit it to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh next month.
The health ministry would cooperate with other relevant entities to trial the use of vaccine passports allowing foreigners to travel to certain tourism destinations that have managed the novel coronavirus pandemic well, it was announced.
The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control had already decided in April that three groups of entrants: vaccinated Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas; foreigners wishing to enter Vietnam for investment and business purposes, and international tourists would be eligible to use vaccine passports.
The vaccine passport is currently envisaged as a digital document issued by the country where the vaccine has been administered.
Vietnam plans to receive people coming from countries that have managed Covid-19 outbreaks well, including those that have achieved herd immunity thanks to their vaccination programs. Such people will be able to visit tourist sites and resorts designated for their ability to control the flow of tourist traffic well and be able to manage guests’ itineraries efficiently and safely.
Last week, Kien Giang authorities had announced plans to vaccinate the island’s population against Covid-19 so that it can reopen its doors to foreigners.
Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, has become a top tourist destination after the government rolled out a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners in 2014.
In 2019, the last year before the onset of the pandemic, it received over five million visitors, including 541,600 foreigners.
Vietnam closed its borders and cancelled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, and highly-skilled workers have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements.