Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng proposed a total reopening to international tourists in late March or beginning of April.
Visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery from Covid-19 within six months prior to entry. They will also need to present a PCR-RT test prior to departure, and have travel insurance with a minimum of $50,000 coverage that includes Covid-19 care.
Vietnam has slowly started its reopening process to international tourists by first allowing only visitors on package tours to enter Phu Quoc and other selected parts of the country. Last month, Vietnam started allowing arrivals with a three-day mandatory quarantine. However, this first pilot phase of receiving international tourists has not resulted in an influx of visitors.
According to the new plan proposed by the minister, the second phase will last from now until March 30, 2022. In phase two, the number of eligible localities in the program will be extended to all those areas who have completed coverage of Covid-19 vaccine booster shots (“green zones”).
Currently, the program includes only five localities: Phú Quốc Island (Kiên Giang Province in the southern region), Quảng Nam, Đà Nẵng, and Khánh Hoà in the central region, and Quảng Ninh in the northern region. Ho Chi Minh City and Bình Định will soon join the list.
The upcoming two months would provide enough time for authorities to adjust the regulations, and for tourism businesses to carry out advertisements campaigns and get ready to welcome international tourists back during the peak season.
The early announcement of reopening will also contribute to attracting tourists to Vietnam in May, when the Asian country will host the 2021 Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games 31).
With borders closed, the number of foreign arrivals dropped by 96% last year, causing serious damages to the hospitality and tourism sector. Less than 9,000 tourists have visited Vietnam since November, when the limited arrivals were allowed, and about half of these tourists are overseas Vietnamese that came to visit their families.