Vietnam is hoping to emulate the “Phuket Sandbox” plan in Thailand, to help restart international tourism in the country in the near future.
Main picture Phu Quoc beach credit dronepicr on flickr
Phuket was chosen as the first area in Thailand to offer quarantine-free travel to international travellers because of its low Covid-19 rates, the established tourism infrastructure and island location where incomings and outgoings could be closely monitored and controlled.
Indeed Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan and Koh Tao will be the second area in Thailand to reopen, again helped by being islands.
The Vietnamese tourism ministry is reported as working “urgently” working on a plan to welcome fully vaccinated tourists to Phu Quoc. The plans are thought to be being readied to be presented to the Prime Minister in July.
Almost 550,000 international travellers visited Phu Quoc in 2019 as well as around 4.5 million Vietnamese visitors.
It is thought that the plans would be similar to those in Phuket and Koh Samui.
Visitors would need to have received both doses of a recognised Covid-19 vaccination, have negative test results and come from a country deemed to be low-risk. Tourists may be limited in where they can stay or visit during their trip to ensure safety of travellers and the local population.
The Phuket and Koh Samui plans both depend on at least 70% of the local population and 100% of people in the service industry being inoculated prior to the plans coming into effect. Plans to vaccinate people on Phu Quoc were announced last week.
The use of Vaccine Passports continues to be controversial among some who insist that they will reduce freedoms of people who choose or are unable to receive a Covid inoculation. Others believe that their civil liberties are being infringed.
However it is increasingly likely that the use of vaccine passports will be required by many countries as they start to reopen their borders to international travellers.
In April Quang Nam province submitted plans to reopen to vaccinated tourists but these have not been approved following the latest outbreak of Covid-19 that has spread to many parts of Vietnam.
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