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Vietnam’s holiday island of Phu Quoc welcomed more than 200 fully vaccinated tourists from South Korea today.
South Korean visitors are the first foreign tourists to Vietnam since the country shut its borders closed almost two years ago to stop the spread of the coronavirus infections.
Vietnam closed its borders in March of 2020, shortly after confirming its first reported COVID-19 infection case.
Since then, Vietnam allowed only several international flights a week with foreign experts, diplomats and returning Vietnamese nationals.
Those international arrivals must undergo a 14-day quarantine in designated hotels or government-run facilities.
Today, the fully vaccinated South Korean tourists were tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, and once the negative results are returned, they can enjoy all tourist activities on the island without a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
South Korean visitors will be able to freely enjoy sightseeing, shopping and entertainment events that require vaccine certificates.
According to Vietnam’s Health Ministry, all staff members working in the island’s service facilities and 99% of Phu Quoc’s adult residents have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
The island is also planning to vaccinate children aged 12 to 17 next month.
Vietnam is the latest country in Asia to join Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia in reopening their borders to fully vaccinated foreign visitors.
Thailand was the first has started to allow the limited number of fully vaccinated foreign visitors to Phuket island before expanding to other areas, including Bangkok, starting from November 1.
The Indonesian tourist island of Bali opened to arrivals last month with some restrictions including testing and a five-day hotel quarantine.
Malaysia opened up Langkawi island under a pilot ‘COVID-19 bubble’ program.