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COVID Restrictions: Vietnam Welcomes First Foreign Tourists In Nearly 20 Months

Channels Television  
Updated November 13, 2021
In this file photo taken on October 19, 2021, a woman walks past a billboard with information on preventing the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Hanoi. The first international tourists touched down in Vietnam on November 11, 2021 almost 20 months after the Southeast Asian nation closed its borders to contain the coronavirus. PHOTO: Nhac NGUYEN / AFP

 

The first international tourists touched down in Vietnam almost 20 months after the Southeast Asian nation closed its borders to contain the coronavirus.

Two charter flights brought more than 400 South Korean and Japanese fully vaccinated passengers from Seoul and Tokyo on Thursday to the southern resort city of Nha Trang, state media reported.

The area is popular with golfers, beach lovers, and scuba divers, and boasts of luxury hotels.

The flights came ahead of Vietnam’s plans to reopen the resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign visitors on November 20 — with hopes to welcome at least 5,000 travellers in coming months.

READ ALSO: Netherlands Return To Partial Lockdown As Covid Surges

Foreign tourists seeking to enter Vietnam must show Covid-19 vaccination certificates and negative pre-departure coronavirus test results.

The communist country is desperate to revive its badly hit economy after months of lockdowns.

Its borders have been shut to international visitors since March last year and there are almost no commercial flights entering the country.

Vietnam was widely praised for its handling of the pandemic last year, with only dozens of known coronavirus cases.

But from April, the highly transmissible Delta variant took hold.

Vietnam has since clocked more than a million infections and almost 23,000 deaths, as it scrambles to secure enough vaccines for its 100 million population.

AFP