Quang Nam seeks approval stamp for ‘vaccine passport’ arrivals

Quang Nam wants to welcome vaccinated international visitors with negative Covid-19 test results who can stay in two cordoned off resorts and be securely escorted around.

Quang Nam Province, vaccine passport, Hoi An, international tourists

Le Tri Thanh, Quang Nam chairman, said Sunday that the central province has sent a draft plan to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on welcoming international tourists.

If approved, Quang Nam will become the first province in the country to accept visitors with the so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports.

The plan will have visitors entering Vietnam on tours organized by international travel agencies. Each visitor should have a vaccine passport (documented proof of vaccination) and a certificate from medical agencies showing negative Covid-19 test results.

"We plan to welcome South Korean visitors in the first phase. We will learn from the experience, and in the second phase, we can open to more markets," Thanh said.

The group of tourists will go on a charter flight to the Chu Lai Airport and be taken straight to resorts in Duy Xuyen District or Nui Thanh District for 5-10 days, not to quarantine facilities.

Chu Lai is slated to become an international airport and be eligible to add necessary equipment to receive charter flights.

Nguyen Thanh Hong, Director of the Quang Nam Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the two resorts were isolated and quite far from residential areas. The staff at these two resorts will be Covid-19 vaccinated and would follow and apply all pandemic prevention measures, he/she said.

Nguyen Van, deputy director of the provincial health department, said the plan to welcome international visitors has been carefully prepared.

"Throughout the transportation process, the visitors will be required to stay in the car with no stops on the way. The pandemic prevention measures at the accommodations will be applied just like a quarantine center."

On April 15, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung had said that the ministry plans to reopen international tourism under a roadmap in which the pilot phase from July 2021 to September 2021 will focus on beach tourism and golf tourism in Quang Nam for visitors from the South Korean market.

The ministry’s studies have found that the south of Hoi An area and Chu Lai Airport in Quang Nam Province meet the requirements of safety, transport infrastructure and tourism services as an area for the pilot phase.

The ministry has said that in order to forward the proposal to the prime minister, the Quang Nam administration must review facilities, equipment, human resources and safety requirements; and prepare an official document confirming the province’s readiness to coordinate with the ministry in implementing the plan.

Due to the closure of the borders as a pandemic safety measure, the number of international visitors to Vietnam was just 3.7 million in 2020, down 80 over 2019.

Vietnam stopped all international commercial flights in March 2020. International visitors coming into the country since are mainly experts, high-tech workers, investors and foreigners working on projects in Vietnam.

"We are researching and preparing step by step the pilot selection of a number of markets to apply vaccine passports, welcoming visitors while ensuring safety amid the pandemic," Hung said.

He also said that his ministry wants the government to apply the vaccine passport policy soon, because it would be key to opening the door for international visitors.

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