Vietnam to resume int'l tourism from March 15

Xinhua, February 17, 2022

Photo taken on April 1, 2020 shows a tourist attraction in Hoi An ancient city in Vietnam's central Quang Nam province. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)

The Vietnamese government agreed on Wednesday to reopen borders for international tourism starting from March 15.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has given 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, Vietnam News Agency cited a notice by the local government as reporting on Wednesday.

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.

Photo taken on Aug. 23, 2019 shows Doan Mon (South Gate) of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Vietnam's capital Hanoi. The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was built in the 11th century. Situated at the heart of Hanoi, the central sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was inscribed on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO in 2010. (Xinhua/Wang Di)

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 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 Feb. 10 this year.

A staff disinfects the Ngoc Son Temple, a major tourist attraction in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 10, 2020. (VNA/Handout via Xinhua)

Under the proposal, international tourists are also required to pay 30 U.S. dollars per person on average to enjoy the insurance benefits worth 10,000 dollars 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 percent year-on-year, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the country's General Statistics Office.