Vietnam reopens borders to foreign visitors

16 Mar 2022

Vietnam reopened its borders to international tourists on Tuesday, the country’s tourism authorities affirmed.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s general director, Nguyen Trung Khanh announced foreign visitors can now enter Vietnam by air, land and sea, proving they meet the Covid control requirements.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam: "We are not just reopening tourism but also international trade and international exchange from March 15, as it used to be before Covid-19.

"The spirit is that we will not treat foreign tourists and local people differently, in terms of pandemic precaution measures," Dam said during a meeting with the ministries of tourism and foreign affairs.

Beforehand, overseas visitors were only allowed to travel to Vietnam by air, booking with a travel agency within a vaccine passport program.

At the beginning of the week, the government instructed the health ministry to relax entry requirements for foreign travellers, with the aim of removing the majority of the travel curbs according to a proposal put forward last month.

This proposal stated that international visitors will just have to prove they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid with a negative test result. They will also need to have insurance of a minimum of $10,000 for potential Covid treatment in the country.

In addition, Vietnam has restarted the visa exemption policy for people from 13 countries including Japan and South Korea. Immigration procedures for overseas visitors have also been restored, as per a notice published by the government office.

A record number of 18 million international tourists visited Vietnam in 2019, according to official data. However, in 2020 and 2021, the number of foreign visitors plummeted 78.7% and 95.9% respectively, due to the impact of the Covid crisis.

Around 5 million foreign tourists are forecast to visit the country this year, according to statistics by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.