Pm Nguyen Xuan Phuc: Vietnam Not Ready To Open Doors To Foreign Tourists Yet.
FILE PHOTO: Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc waits for the start of a special video conference with leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hanoi April 14, 2020. Manan Vatsyayana/Pool via REUTERS
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Wednesday (Jun 24) at a government meeting in Hanoi, with Covid-19 still affecting many countries, Vietnam is not yet ready to open up to international tourists and the top priority for the government is protecting people’s health.
HANOI: There are fears that opening up to international tourists could lead to a second wave of infections, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc added in a statement, despite successfully containing its COVID-19 outbreak. He ordered relevant agencies to not let a second wave of coronavirus break out in Vietnam and safeguard the outstanding performance of the country in the fight against the pandemic.
Thanks to an aggressive, targeted testing programme and a centralised quarantine system, Vietnam has contained infection numbers to a relatively low 352 cases, most of whom have recovered. There have been no reported deaths.
Foreigners at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, March 13, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
“There is no story of rushing to open the doors,” Prime Minister Nguyen said in the statement that was posted to the government website.
“Vietnam is not yet ready to welcome back international tourists. Foreign experts, high level workers and investors into Vietnam are welcomed but will be closely monitored.” He ordered relevant agencies to make clear and facilitate procedures for foreign experts, investors and high-skilled workers to enter Vietnam with “suitable forms of quarantine”.
Highly skilled foreign experts such as engineers have been allowed to enter Vietnam on special flights and quarantine at hotels in a bid to keep the economy afloat throughout the global pandemic. Mr. Nguyen said the frequency of such flights should be increased.
For over two months, Vietnam has reported no community transmission of the coronavirus. In early June, Vietnam said it was planning to resume flights to some virus-free countries that had registered no cases of coronavirus for 30 days or more.
Other Southeast Asian countries with slowing infections are considering travel bubble arrangements in the months ahead, such as Malaysia and Thailand, to include countries such as China, South Korea and Japan.