Vietnam ends COVID-19 quarantine for international travelers in bid to boost tourism

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Vietnam announced an end to quarantine for international travelers on Wednesday, as it seeks to restart its tourism industry after two years of strict COVID-19 restrictions.

The only virus requirement for visitors will be a negative COVID-19 test, the country’s ministry of health said in a statement.

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The communist state’s tourism sector was worth up to $32 billion a year before the pandemic, but it ground to a standstill during the pandemic as the government restricted travel.

Virus curbs have slowly been eased in recent months, with visitors trickling back in since November to play golf at resorts, under a bubble arrangement.

Vietnam also announced the resumption of 15 days’ visa-free travel for citizens from 13 countries: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Britain, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus.

The country, which has a population of 97 million, is still reporting nearly 200,000 new COVID-19 cases a day as the omicron variant sweeps through.

But the health ministry says the situation “remains under control” with hospitalization and death rates staying low.

Officials attribute that to the high vaccination rate, with 98 percent of adults fully inoculated according to the health ministry.

The country is making efforts to roll out booster jabs to the population while preparing to vaccinate children and young teenagers.

Read more: New Zealand to reopen borders sooner than planned after years of COVID-19 isolation

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