Vietnam to resume international tourism from March 15

Hanoi: The Vietnamese government has agreed to reopen the country’s borders for international tourism starting from March 15.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam gave the nod to a proposal by ministries on the time of reopening tourism in the context of safe and flexible adaptation to the Covid-19 pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dam requested competent authorities to urgently announce a detailed reopening plan for localities nationwide, as well as to propose visa issuance policy for international arrivals.

At a meeting held Tuesday, the tourism, health, foreign affairs and transport ministries proposed that the government resume the unilateral visa exemption policy for 13 countries and bilateral visa exemption regime for 88 countries and regions as prior to the pandemic.

Earlier, Vietnam decided to halt the visa exemption regime due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.

According to the proposal, foreign tourists arriving in Vietnam will no longer need to book tour packages with designated travel agencies as per the ongoing vaccine passport trial program launched in November last year.

Nearly 9,000 foreign arrivals had been welcomed under the program as of February 10 this year.

Under the proposal, international tourists are also required to pay $30 per person on average to enjoy the insurance benefits worth $10,000 for Covid-19 treatment in Vietnam.

The Southeast Asian country has removed all restrictions on the frequency of international flights starting Tuesday.

In 2021, it welcomed just about 157,300 international arrivals, plunging 95.9 per cent year-on-year, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the country’s General Statistics Office.

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