Vietnam begins limited reopening to foreign tourists - media

FILE PHOTO: A Vietnam Airlines Aribus A321-200 plane prepares to land at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi, Vietnam April 18, 2019. (Reuters)

Vietnam is welcoming foreign tourists this month for the first time since the spring of 2020 as the Southeast Asian country gradually reopens its tourism sector amid the pandemic.

Khanh Hoa Province on the south-central coast received two flights carrying foreign tourists from Japan and South Korea as of Thursday, newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong reported. 

About 430 US tourists are expected to arrive in the Unesco World Heritage Site of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province on charter flights Nov 17-18, while Phu Quoc Island plans for about 250 foreign tourists Nov 20, the newspaper said in a separate report.

Foreign tourists face strict requirements, including being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travelling or have recovered from Covid-19 no more than 6 months before departure, according to a posting on the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s website. Visitors must also have tested negative for the coronavirus within 72 hours before departure. They must be part of organised tours and are restricted to visiting authorised areas and service facilities.

Vietnam’s transport ministry has proposed a three-phase plan to resume regular international flights next year, according to a posting on the government’s website. The first phase would begin in the first quarter next year with flights arriving from France, Germany, Russia, the UK, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia, it said.

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