The government on Wednesday agreed to reopen inbound and outbound tourism from March 15 under new normal conditions.
A directive by Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to announce a detailed reopening plan to be applied nationwide.
The ministry was also asked to work with the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs to make a proposal on visa issuance policy.
Vietnam closed inbound tourism and halted granting visas for foreigners in early March 2020.
On Tuesday, the defense, public security, tourism, health, foreign affairs and transport ministries agreed at a government meeting that as Vietnam fully reopens its air, land and sea borders from March 15, all travel restrictions imposed since the pandemic broke out in Vietnam in 2020 would be removed.
The ministries proposed the government resumes the unilateral visa exemption policy for 13 countries and bilateral for 88 countries and territories as prior to the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, Vietnam unilaterally exempted visa for 13 countries Russia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Belarus for a maxium of 15 days.
The first group of tourists in the plan for welcoming foreign tourists to Da Nang international airport (Da Nang city), November 17, 2021.
Foreign tourists arriving in Vietnam do not need book tour packages with designated travel agencies as per the ongoing vaccine passport trial program launched in November last year, according to the proposal.
All tourists aged from 12 and above are required to furnish a certificate stating they have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid and show a negative rapid antigen test result obtained within 24 hours at their accommodation facilities after arrival.
International visitors arriving in the country by air would self isolate in their hotel or accommodation facility for one day until they furnish a negative Covid test result and would continue monitoring their health for 14 days as per health ministry protocol.
Those showing Covid symptoms would have to undergo rapid Covid testing when they land at the airport.
International visitors to Vietnam need to have medical insurance cover for Covid treatment worth at least $10,000, which costs around $30.
Vietnam started allowing foreign tourists under a vaccine passport program with strict restrictions last November. So far, nearly 9,000 foreign arrivals have been welcomed under the program, half of them Vietnamese overseas coming to see their relatives.
Under the program, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Quang Nam, Quang Ninh, and Binh Dinh provinces, along with Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City are the only localities foreign tourists can visit.