The Vietnamese tourism authority is pushing for the trial reopening of Phu Quoc Island off southern Kien Giang Province to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in October.
A draft reopening plan devised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, which expects to welcome foreign tourists back to Phu Quoc Island by October, has recently been sent to relevant agencies for their revisions.
According to the plan, the trial reopening will last six months and be divided into two phases. The first, which lasts three months from October, will welcome some 2,000-3,000 visitors per month.
During this phase, tourists can only reach the island on charter flights and stay in sequestered areas of selected resorts or destinations of a large size, who have proven their capacity of ensuring safety for tourists.
Starting from the fourth month of the plan, the island may be able to take in 5,000-10,000 visits per month, as regular international flights to and from the local Phu Quoc Airport will have been reconnected, while more travel locations will be made available to foreign travelers.
The culture ministry anticipates to welcome 25,000-40,000 visitors to Phu Quoc during the six month trial.
Eligible visitors must present proof that they have received sufficient doses of one among the Vietnamese government-approved COVID-19 vaccines.
The two doses must be spaced at least 14 days apart, and both must be taken within 12 months from their visits.
They are required to present certificates proving their negative test results within three days before their flights and comply with Vietnam’s coronavirus quarantine rules upon arrival.
Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 within 12 months’ time from their arrival to Phu Quoc must prepare proof of their hospital discharge, as issued by an institution that Vietnam recognizes.
Visitors also have to purchase one of the tour packages approved by the authorities in order to reach the island.
Central-level and Kien Giang Province leaders are looking at areas that found success in containing the epidemic, including Northeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia, as the target markets for the proposed Phu Quoc reopening.
The plan recommends mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, and France as potential customer bases that can come to Phu Quoc during the trial.
A vaccination campaign is slated for July to September to reach at least 70 percent of Phu Quoc Island’s population and helps the community reach herd immunity.
The national government is hastening the rollout of a new visa policy on Phu Quoc, which would make it easier for international tourists and Vietnamese repatriates with COVID-19 vaccination certificates to come to the island.
Vietnam began denying entrance to foreign nationals in March 2020 and currently only allows arrivals who are diplomats, investors, experts, skilled workers, and business managers. All have to follow strict quarantine rules upon entry.
In the past months, tourism heavyweights have been petitioning for the reopening of secluded locations in Vietnam to foreign, vaccinated tourists.
Phu Quoc Island off southern Kien Giang Province, with low population concentration, adequate isolation from the mainland, sufficient infrastructure, hotel and service quality, and an established reputation in tourism, ticked all the boxes as the ideal location to launch the plan.