Vietnam has decided to open its tourism island of Phu Quoc for vaccinated visitors from October for a six-month-long pilot.
The tourists must arrive from select countries, be fully vaccinated, get a pre-departure PCR-RT test, and buy a package from a tour operator. International visitors are not allowed to roam freely.
Here’s an excerpt from the Vietnam Plus:
Under the tourism sector’s plan, Phu Quoc will receive tourists for six months in two phases on a trial basis, starting from October. In the first phase, lasting three months, the island is expected to welcome 3,000-5,000 international visitors per month via charter flights, with visitors’ activities limited to certain sites.
Depending on the outcome of the first phase, the pilot programme expect to welcome 5,000-10,000 passengers per month on commercial flights, and the sites opened to foreign visitors might be extended
Requirements for visitor:
Under the plan, visitors from countries with high safety in COVID-19 prevention and control in regions such as Northeast Asia, Europe, the US, the Middle East, and Australia will need to book package tours of travel agencies if they want to go to Phu Quoc.
To enter the country, visitors must meet certain requirements including a certificate of full vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 not more than 12 months from the date of their release from the hospital to the date of entry. They also have to present a negative COVID-19 testing certificate issued by authorised agencies within 72 hours before departure.
Visitors are also required to install the Vietnam Safe Travel or the Healthy Vietnam apps and make a medical declaration through those apps. In case visitors do not meet all the necessary requirements, they may be denied entry and bear the cost of returning to their home country or transit.
Visitors have to travel on their designated cars in line with the approved schedule. Service staff, drivers, guides and tourists are required to wear masks throughout the journey.
Requirements for Travel suppliers:
Under the pilot plan, tour operators have to work out specific plans to receive and manage tourist groups to ensure Covid safety, offer quality services, and strictly comply with financial and tax obligations, among others.
All the people involved in the receiving of tourists must be fully vaccinated, with the second dose taken at least 14 days before welcoming the tourists. They also have to join Covid-safe training courses organized by the provincial centers for disease control.
Aside from having an international travel business license, tour operators need to meet requirements such as having been operational for three years or more and having received at least 30,000 foreign visitors to Vietnam annually.
Their tourism markets also have to be aligned with those selected by the local tourism authority for the pilot program.
As for lodging facilities, they have to be three- to five-star ones and have separate accommodation zones for international tourists to ensure the medical supervision of foreign tourists will not affect other guests. They have to set up quarantine zones and separate rooms to collect samples for Covid testing.
Units transporting foreign travelers have to meet Covid-safe requirements and offer good services.
According to the tourism ministry, many ministries and agencies will join the implementation of this pilot program.
The Ministry of Health will provide Covid vaccines and launch a mass vaccination drive for residents and employees in Phu Quoc. They plan at least 70% of the population and workers in the area opened for tourists must be vaccinated The national health authority is responsible for regulating vaccination certificates and procedures to collect samples from foreign visitors for testing, issuing guidelines to receive the tourists, and helping address the problems that may arise during the pilot program.