Vietnam on Tuesday fully reopened its borders for international tourists, reports Xinhua.
At a press briefing held Tuesday, Nguyen Trung Khanh, Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said foreign nationals can now enter Vietnam by air, land and sea through all border gates as long as they meet the COVID-19 prevention and control requirements, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Prior to this policy, foreign tourists could only travel to Vietnam by air after booking a tour package with a designated travel agency under a vaccine passport programme. Despite being offered a quarantine waiver, foreign tourists were restricted to visit just a few localities with the process heavily monitored.
On Monday, the Vietnamese government ordered the Health Ministry to ease entry requirements for foreign tourists, with an aim of removing most of the related travel restrictions as per a proposal submitted earlier in February.
Under the proposal, international travellers will only have to prove that they have been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 with a negative test result while having insurance coverage of at least 10,000 U.S. dollars for possible COVID-19 treatment in Vietnam.
As part of the efforts to restore tourism activities, Vietnam also resumed the visa exemption policy for citizens from 13 countries including Japan, South Korea, and Russia from Tuesday.
In addition, from Tuesday immigration procedures for foreigners are ordered to be restored, according to a notice by the government office.
Vietnam received a record number of over 18 million international visitors in 2019, showed official data. In 2020 and 2021, the number of international arrivals in Vietnam plunged 78.7 percent and 95.9 percent, respectively, due largely to the impact of COVID-19.
The Southeast Asian country has set a target of receiving over 5 million foreign tourists in 2022, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.