HANOI, 13 July 2021: Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism says it will complete details of a pilot vaccine passport programme focusing on Phu Quoc island by the end of the month.
Commenting on the choice of Phu Quoc island for the pilot project, the ministry is closely working with authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang that should allow vaccinated international travellers from Europe and the USA to travel to Phu Quoc.
According to the VnExpress report, the island came out top in a survey of several destinations. One of the key factors was the remote location off the southern coast and close to the border with Cambodia.
Vietnam’s largest island has an adequate infrastructure with an airport served by international flights. Since 2014, travellers enjoyed 30-day visa-free stays on the island, before the pandemic closed tourism.
The first step involves vaccinating around 80% of the island’s local population before launching the scheme. The earliest possible timeframe to open up the island to travellers would be around October.
The Ministry of Health rolled out a Covid-19 vaccination plan for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022 with the goal of reaching herd immunity by the end of 2021 or early 2022. The vaccination rate among people aged 18 and above is expected to increase to at least 50% this year and over 70% by the end of the first quarter of 2022
Meanwhile, there are also proposals that would make Hoi An, the UNESCO heritage site and popular beach resort in central Vietnam, the second priority area to open tourism with Danang airport acting as the gateway. There are proposals to trial the reopening with a series of golf tour packages using charter flights for only vaccinated visitors.