HCM City proposes welcoming international visitors next month hinh anh 1A corner of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: laodong.vn)
HCM City (VNA) – The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has proposed the city welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists from December in a document submitted to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In Vietnam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is temporarily recognising "vaccine passports" of more than 70 countries and territories, and in discussions with nearly 80 other partners for mutual recognition of the special passports. Five localities – Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, and Da Nang – have been approved by the Government to pilot the policy of welcoming international guests using "vaccine passports". These are the preconditions for the reopening of international tourism activities in the southern city.

Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Thi Thang said the city also has other necessary conditions to welcome foreign visitors such as high vaccination rate and a capable health system, which is ready in terms of human, material resources, medical equipment and supplies and experienced in handling situations arising in COVID-19 prevention and control.

According to Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the municipal Tourism Department, the local sector is making efforts to overhaul its products, with a focus on the local green, cultural, and historical features and on building high-end services shopping malls in the long run.  

If approved by the Prime Minister, from this December, the southern economic hub will pilot allowing qualified international travel agencies to host visitors under a closed package tour programme. The tourists, coming to the city via charter and regular international flights, are only able to visit, eat, and rest according to a predetermined route to ensure COVID-19 safety measures.

Eligible foreign holiday-makers need to meet several conditions including receiving authorised certificates of their full vaccination at least 14 days and less than 12 months prior to their arrival, or recovery from the coronavirus; as well as having negative test results in 72 hours before departure and owning health or tourism insurance cards.

Meanwhile, the local tourism service suppliers have to strictly follow pandemic prevention regulations, with all workers involved fully vaccinated and lodging facilities arranging temporary quarantine areas for any suspected cases. The tourism sector has so far prepared options for tackling the detection of COVID-19 infections during the process.

Then, in January 2022, the city will welcome international guests and possibly combine many destinations between it and localities, which are also allowed to welcome guests. From April 2022, it is expected to fully reopen to the international tourist market.

In addition, the authorities also proposed to reopen some international routes from HCM City to San Francisco, Los Angeles (the US), London (the UK), and Frankfurt (Germany)./.