HANOI, 10 September 2021: Vietnam plans to launch a pilot project to open Phu Quoc island to foreign tourists by the year-end, according to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, who was addressing a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Named the Phu Quoc Sandbox, the government is targeting 2 to 3 million foreign visitors without stating the countries supplying the tourists. It is understood they would need to be double-jabbed with a vaccine recognised by health authorities and undergo a series of PCR tests starting on arrival at the island’s airport.
According to a report by the Vietnam Government Portal, Pham reaffirmed that containing the Covid-19 outbreak remained the highest priority. Still, at the same time, the policy is to reopen economic activities in safe areas gradually.
He called for doubling efforts to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control by the end of September. However, preventive measures would still need to remain in place due to the shortfall in vaccine supplies.
According to Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, head of the government’s working group on Covid-19 vaccine diplomacy, Vietnam received 33 million vaccines as of 4 September. The figure is expected to increase to around 50 million doses by the end of September.
The Southeast Asian country has administered 22,012,123 doses, with 3,338,783 people fully vaccinated.
Last week, Vietnam started a pilot seven-day quarantine policy for fully vaccinated
Vietnam citizens returning home. The first arrivals under the new quarantine scheme arrived on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Japan carrying 297 Vietnamese people who disembarked at Van Don International Airport in the northern province of Quang Ninh.
They were quarantined for seven instead of 14 days. All passengers had received two Covid-19 vaccine jabs with the second dose 14 days or more before the flight and the entire vaccine course administered 12 months before the entry date.
The passengers are also required to show proof of a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours before departure.
Van Don International Airport said passengers strictly followed Covid-19 control measures at the airport and completed immigration and customs procedures in a separate zone.
It is expected that the airport will receive a second repatriation flight from the US on 12 September.
The Van Don airport had accommodated 228 repatriation flights since 22 March 2020, when Vietnam suspended international travel. However, diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts, and skilled workers can still travel to Vietnam.