Vietnam won’t fully reopen its borders until the summer of next year but plans to welcome some vaccinated tourists to major cities by December. By Alison Fox
In November, Vietnam — known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world — said it would reopen the island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign travellers, CNN reported. And in December, Vietnam expects to extend that opening to major tourist destinations like Hoi An, Halong Bay, Nha Trang, and Dalat.
“We are only open when it’s truly safe,” the government told Reuters in a statement. “We are moving step by step, cautiously but flexibly to adapt to real situations of the pandemic.”
Vietnam currently has adopted some of the strictest border rules in the world and tourists from the USA are not allowed to enter, according to the US Embassy & Consulate in Vietnam. Travellers granted an exception must get tested before arrival and must quarantine.
So far, 37.3% of people in Vietnam have received at least the first dose of a vaccine but only 12.7% are fully vaccinated, according to Reuters, which is tracking the vaccine rollout around the world.
Vietnam’s decision to open some areas of the country to tourism follows a similar model adopted by nearby Thailand, which opened its Phuket Sandbox programme in July, followed by the Samui Plus programme on Ko Samui. Last week, Thailand shortened the quarantine period for the programmes to only seven days, and on November 1 the country plans to reopen several areas to vaccinated tourists, including Bangkok.
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Vietnam isn’t the only country to push off a full reopening until next year. Australia has also said it won’t welcome foreign tourists until at least some time in 2022.