HANOI (Reuters) – Vietnam plans to reopen the beach-lined island of Phu Quoc for foreign tourists out next month, authorities said, as the country looks for ways to start a new life in to blow economy suffer from extended blockages due to the corona pandemic.
The island, 10 km (6 miles) off the coast of Cambodia https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-vietnam-tourism-idUSL4N2D019E, expected to open for a trial period of six months, the government said in a statement issued late on Thursday.
Vietnam, that is currently shut to all visitors, apart from returning burgers and investors, the virus had known in to checkers for a lot of of the pandemic but in the past has three months faced a strong increase in infections caused by the Delta variant.
“The prolonged pandemic has seriously harmed the tourism industry,” said Vietnam’s tourism and culture minister said Nguyen Van Hung.
Fully vaccinated tourists with a negative coronavirus test come in eligible to visit Phu Quoc, the statement said, adding that they can fly to the island on chartered of commercial flights.
Foreign arrivals in Vietnam fell from 18 million in 2019, when tourism revenues were $31 billion, of almost 12% of gross domestic product, up to 3.8 million last year.
At the same time, lockdowns in the past few months have prompted companies to suspend their operations. Industrial production in August dropped met 7.4% relative to a year earlier, while the export down 5.4% and retail sales fell met 33.7%.
Vietnam will fully vaccinate all residents on Phu Quoc before the opening, the tourism ministry said, adding that the island had not reported anything community infections and had over adequate COVID-19 quarantine and treatment facilities.
Neighboring Thailand has already partially reopened to foreign tourists, including on the holiday island of Phuket https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-reports-daily-record-covid-19-deaths-some-tourists-return-2021-07-01, where about 70% of the population goods required to be vaccinated.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh admitted this month that Vietnam facing a long battle against the coronavirus, which has been infected over 570,000 people and killed 14,400, so couldn’t just build on on lockdown and quarantine.
Meanwhile, the State Department said: on Thursday Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of the latest outbreak, allowing restaurants to offer takeout and shippers to operate more on a large scale in a light relaxation of a severe lockdown.
(Edited by Ed Davies)
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