HANOI • Despite successfully containing its Covid-19 outbreak, Vietnam has no plans to open up to international tourists yet, fearing that doing so could lead to a second wave of infections, the Prime Minister has said.
Thanks to an aggressive, targeted testing programme and a centralised quarantine system, the South-east Asian country has contained its infection numbers to a relatively low 352 cases, most of whom have recovered. There have been no reported deaths.
“There is no story of rushing to open the doors,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement posted to the government website on Wednesday.
He added: “Vietnam is not yet ready to welcome back international tourists. Foreign experts, high-level workers and investors in Vietnam are welcomed but will be closely monitored.”
Moves allowing Vietnamese people to work abroad will also be watched closely.
Highly-skilled foreign experts such as engineers have been allowed to enter Vietnam on special flights and quarantine at hotels in a bid to keep the economy afloat throughout the global pandemic.
Mr Phuc said the frequency of such flights should be increased.
For more than two months, Vietnam has reported no community transmission of the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, Vietnam said it was planning to resume flights to some virus-free countries that had registered no cases of coronavirus for 30 days or more.
Other South-east Asian countries with slowing rates of infection, such as Malaysia and Thailand, are also considering travel bubble arrangements in the months ahead. Countries included in these arrangements are China, South Korea and Japan.
Thailand, which has gone 31 days without a domestic transmission, will allow entry of some short-term business travellers and medical tourists from next month.
However, Vietnam’s aviation authority has cautioned against the gradual resumption of international flights until the fourth quarter.
There is no story of rushing to open the doors. Vietnam is not yet ready to welcome back international tourists. Foreign experts, high-level workers and investors in Vietnam are welcomed but will be closely monitored.
VIETNAM’S PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN XUAN PHUC
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