Two years later, Vietnam welcomes its first tourist to Phu Quoc Island

Hanoi, Vietnam (Associated Press)-On Saturday, more than 200 foreign tourists arrived on Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam’s largest island. This was the first visitor to a Southeast Asian country after nearly two years of border closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fully vaccinated travelers from South Korea will spend their holidays in hotels and resorts without compulsory isolation for 14 days. They were tested on arrival, and once the result was negative, they could participate in activities on the island, including sightseeing, shopping, and entertainment that require a vaccination certificate.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, director of the Vietnam Tourism Administration, welcomed the charter flights on the airport apron. He said: “The plan is one of the efforts to revitalize the tourism industry while the country is gradually reopening and developing the economy under the new normal.”

According to the Ministry of Health, all staff working in service facilities and 99% of adult residents on Phu Quoc Island have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The island plans to vaccinate children between 12 and 17 years old next month.

Vietnam closed its borders in March 2020 shortly after confirming its first COVID-19 case.

Since then, it has only allowed a few international flights a week with foreign experts, diplomats and returning Vietnamese nationals. These international immigrants must be quarantined for 14 days in designated hotels or government-run facilities.

Vietnam is the latest Asian country to open to fully vaccinated tourists. Since November 1, Thailand has begun to restrict tourists to the southern part of Phuket, and then expanded to other areas including Bangkok. Bali, Indonesia was opened to tourists last month, but there are some restrictions, including testing and a five-day hotel quarantine, and Malaysia’s opening of Langkawi Island under the pilot bubble plan.

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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