Khanh Hoa prepares plans to trial vaccine passport
Long Beach on Cam Ranh Peninsula near Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province
Authorities in the central province have assigned the Department of Tourism to prepare a detailed roadmap for the program and submit it to the government for approval. They have said that the pilot vaccine passport program will be only carried out on a small scale, with little impact on local socio-economic activities and people's lives around.
The provincial tourism department has proposed that in the first phase of the program, starting at the end of this year, foreign tourists would arrive in chartered flights, stay in sequestered beach resorts on Long Beach in Cam Ranh Peninsula, around 45 kilometers from Nha Trang.
They will be securely escorted and only allowed to play golf and visit tourist destinations around the peninsula.
The department is eyeing Russia and South Korea, the biggest feeder markets for Khanh Hoa tourism, and some other countries that have successfully contained the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foreign tourists would need to furnish a certificate showing they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by Vietnam. For a double shot vaccine, the second one must have been taken between 12 months and 14 days before the date of entry.
Those who’ve been infected and have recovered must furnish a certificate from the country of treatment. The discharge date must fall within the previous 12 months.
Visitors must also present a negative result in a PCR test done within 72 hours before departure.
Khanh Hoa is home to Nha Trang and Cam Ranh, which have long been tourist hotspots in Vietnam. In 2019, the year before the onset of the Covid crisis, Khanh Hoa welcomed over 7 million tourists, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent, including 3.56 million foreigners.
Several localities have been considering a pilot vaccine passport program after the Politburo, the main decision-making body of the Communist Party, called for such schemes last month, allowing foreigners to visit some tourist destinations that have contained the pandemic.
Phu Quoc, the famous tourist island off the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, is planning to trial a six-month vaccine passport program starting this October, welcoming 40,000 foreign tourists to the island.
Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, and highly-skilled workers have been allowed since with stringent quarantine requirements.