Favourite Destination Vietnam Still Off Limit To Foreign Tourists

By Ho Binh Minh

HANOI, Nov 5 (DHA) - Vietnam, one of the world's most searched destinations and which has recorded no community infections with the coronavirus in more than two months, has yet to open its border to foreign tourists.

The Southeast Asian nation has so far detected 1,206 people as contracted the virus, 35 of whom had died, but it has found no locally infected cases since Sept 2, the government said.

“As of today, the Vietnamese government continues to suspend entry into Vietnam to all foreigners, including people with a Vietnamese visa exemption certificate,” the Vietnam Embassy to the United States said.

“This policy has very limited exemptions for diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers, foreign investors, and high-tech workers of businesses involved in important projects as determined by the Government of Vietnam,” it said in a statement updated on Nov 2.

The country has decided to resume air routes connecting several destinations, namely China's Guangzhou and Taiwan, Seoul, Tokyo, Phnom Penh and Vientiane, but passengers on the flights can only be Vietnamese nationals and foreigners in the exempted categories listed above, the statement said, adding that all the inbound passengers are required to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

(For further details of the statement and on Vietnam's policy on quarantine, please visit here.)

Socio-economic, cultural and sports activities have been returning to a “new normal” state as described by the government, in which safety rules remain in place with people required to wear masks in public places.

Last month nearly 6,000 people attended the VPBank Hanoi Marathon ASEAN 2020 in Hanoi, an official event of Vietnam’s ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship and also the first large-scale community event that marks the new normal life in the capital and nationwide.

Favourite Destination Vietnam Still Off Limit To Foreign Tourists

Runners leave the Start line of the VPBank Hanoi Marathon ASEAN 2020 held early on October 18, 2020. (Photo courtesy from the marathon's organizers.)


But stringent entry requirements make it impossible for foreign marathoners to be able to arrive on time and compete in the upcoming Halong Bay Heritage Marathon, which is scheduled to be held on Nov 22 in Ha Long city in Vietnam's northern province of Quang Ninh.

Vietnam has been picked as one of the world's 20 most favourite destinations for 2020, even though travels have been much restricted this year, according to readers' choice published early last month by the U.S. Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

Vietnam scored 92.12 and thus ranked 9th after Italy, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Japan, Greece, Indonesia, Thailand and South Africa, according to a tally published on Oct 6 by the New York-based luxury and lifestyle travel magazine.

"Our 33rd Readers’ Choice Awards represent the first time that you, the voters, made your picks when almost no one was traveling," the magazine said in a report publishing the findings, adding that the 20 destinations were those that brought readers comfort and made them feel connected, following an extended period without travel.

“So while it is always an honor to be on this list, in this strangest of years it is a special honor, indeed,” the report said.

In late September, U.S. visa service company ESTA placed Vietnam at the 31st position among the world's most searched holiday destinations once governments and airlines resume travels, the Vietnam News Agency reported.


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