The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Hùng has just submitted a government plan to reopen international tourism as of the 1st of April - almost 2 years after the first border closures.
After the initial pilot period for attracting international travelers ended , the second phase will continue until March 30, 2022, according to the schedule.
This phase will see more regions added to the 'green zone' travel list meaning that international travellers will be able to visit a wide range of destinations.
Currently, only 5 localities are accesible to foriegn tourists. They are Ha Long Bay, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc.
The next eligible locations in the programme will be expanded to include Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Dinh.
It's possible that both international and domestic travellers will have to have completed COVID-19 vaccination booster doses and undergo COVID-19 testing at accommodation sites.
The Final Phase Is Around The Corner
From March 31, 2022, Việt Nam will be open to international tourism from every international border crossing.
Tourists entering Việt Nam must have been fully immunized against COVID-19 (with certificates) at least 14 days before entry, or have proof of recovery from COVID-19 within six months prior to arrival.
Seperate requirements for children traveling to Vietnam are being discussed.
A negative PCR-RT COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to entry is also required, as well as health insurance with COVID-19 treatment coverage with a minimum value of $50,000.
Any hospitality businesses that meet regulations are allowed to participate in receiving international tourists.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism explained that several nations in the region are also attempting to reopen as quickly as possible to resume international tourism.
This has led to the decision to reopen at the end of the first quarter of the year as any later date would reduce the attractiveness of Việt Nam as a tourist destination.
As Vietnam wraps up its booster shot campaign, the end of March deadline will also give relevant ministries and authorities time to adjust the regulations and issue appropriate guidance to make the transition back to normality as smooth as possible.
Tourism companies can now conduct advertising and public relations efforts, as well as travel marketing campaigns and programs as the day for receiving international visitors en masse looms closer.
The early opening of Vietnamm's borders also coincides with the hosting of the 2022 Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games 31) in May.
The athletic event will have a significant impact on tourism in Vietnam, especially with a forcasted keen interest from ASEAN countries with good vaccination rates.
What Does This Mean For You?
This means that if you are travelling to Vietnam after the end of March, it's likely you do not have to take any special measures, such as self-isolating, if arriving in a 'green zone' - an area that is free from COVID.
Currently, arriving travelers must self-isolate for 3 days from the date of entry, and avoid contact with others. When this is scrapped, it wil mean most barriers to entry have been eliminated and without a doubt, all that pent up demand for travel will revitalise key parts of the economy. Now's the time to start planning a comeback!!
These rapidly developing conditions means that for many expats who have been able to leave Vietnam, but not easily able to come back, there is a chance to visit family and friends, travel outside Vietnam, and return as usual - very exciting!
For those who have had to leave, but now want to return, this is a chance to assess your eligibility!