It’s official: Vietnam will reopen to tourists on March 15

In a move made three months earlier than planned, Vietnam will completely reopen to tourists starting March 15. Visitors to the country will still have to quarantine for 24 hours, and test negative for Covid-19 before departure and upon arrival. The Vietnamese government said in a statement that the reopening is part of its new response to controlling Covid-19, which is “…adapting safely and flexibly and controlling the virus effectively.”

On Tuesday, Vietnam lifted international travel curbs on flights from all markets, with no limits on flight numbers. In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam had tight travel restrictions, which at first proved successful at preventing the virus from spreading further. But like Thailand, these restrictions hit the tourism economy hard. In pre-Covid times, tourism made up about 10% of Vietnam’s GDP in 2019. That year, there were 18 million tourists. In 2021, that number plummeted to 157,000.

Vietnam had a record 31,814 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday. This made the total of cases in the country 2.54 million. Vietnam has recorded about 39,000 Covid-19 deaths. About 98% of the country now has two vaccine doses. Vietnam is making moves to reopen along with several other Southeast Asian countries. The Philippines reopened last week, and Malaysia is looking to reopen next month. Cambodia is also already opened. Neither the Philippines nor Cambodia require tourists to quarantine.

SOURCE: Reuters | Reuters

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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