HÀ NỘI — Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội welcomed the first international commercial flight on Tuesday morning, the day the country reopens international tourism after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flight SQ192 from Singapore to Hà Nội, operated by Singapore Airlines, marked a milestone as Việt Nam fully opens its doors to international visitors, said Nguyễn Thị Kim Nga, Deputy Director of Nội Bài International Airport, adding that this was a positive signal for the airlines and tourism industries in the country.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV) said the country had resumed services to foreign tourists from March 15, noting that domestic airlines had geared up for the restoration.
To prepare for the increased frequency of international flights, the carriers had stepped up recruitment to fill up the layoffs triggered by the pandemic, the authority added.
According to the airlines, they allow international passengers to refund and change tickets free of charge since there have been no entry regulations, especially COVID-19 guidelines, in the new situation issued yet.
Bùi Doãn Nề, Secretary General of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA), said his association had proposed ministries and agencies restore the visa exemption policy for foreign arrivals, which was in force before the pandemic, and include more countries on the list.
Regulations on medical quarantine and testing should be scrapped to help foreign tourists feel secure in Việt Nam, he suggested, adding more specific policies for children and elderly people who visit Việt Nam along with their families should also be clarified.
Many enterprises also shared the view that stringent regulations make it hard for them to approach international holidaymakers who would choose other countries with relaxed procedures.
Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has asked the Ministry of Health to quickly adjust entry regulations, making them match the latest situation.
Such adjustments should be sent to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) before March 15 for finetuning and announcement, the Deputy PM requested in a document.
He also urged ministries, agencies and localities to coordinate with the MCST to safely and effectively launch tourism activities which, he stressed, should be convenient for tourists. — VnExpress News
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