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Vietnam Reopens to International Tourists With No Quarantine Requirement

Bring on the elephant pants.

After shutting down almost two years ago, regular international tourism is returning to Vietnam thanks to a set of policies announced yesterday, March 15. VnExpress reports that last night, the Ministry of Health issued new guidelines on foreign arrivals stating that visitors only need to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure or a rapid test taken with 24 hours of leaving their home country.

No quarantine will be mandated upon arrival, a significant departure from the previous 24 months of restrictions on people arriving in Vietnam. If someone is unable to take a test before departing for Vietnam, they will be tested within 24 hours of entering the country, and can leave their accommodation upon testing negative. Children under age two do not have to be tested before departure.

At the moment it is not entirely clear what will happen if a tourist tests positive while on their trip. Visitors must also install the PC-Covid app to use during their stay, and are expected to notify local medical workers if they notice any Covid-related symptoms. 

In the announcement, the ministry did not mention vaccination requirements for visitors. 

These guidelines followed an announcement from earlier yesterday that the Vietnamese government was restarting unilateral visa exemptions for people from 13 countries: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

Individuals holding a passport from one of those countries can enter Vietnam without a visa for up to 15 days. Citizens from ASEAN countries are already exempted. Tourist visas for other nationalities are also being offered again, though it may take some time for these procedures to make their way to various embassies and airlines around the world.

Around 10,000 foreign tourists have visited Vietnam since a heavily restricted vaccine passport program began last November, with most visiting regulated parts of Phú Quốc Island and Khánh Hòa Province. Prior to the start of the pandemic, Vietnam's international tourism market had been growing rapidly, with a record 18 million foreign arrivals logged in 2019.

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