This is how you can travel to Vietnam and Chile from October

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September 17, 2021

By | September 17, 2021

Vietnam and Chile are preparing to receive international tourists. If you are planning a trip, here is what you need to know

Through a pilot plan similar to Thailand’s sandbox program, Vietnam plans to reopen its borders to international travelers for the first time in one and a half years. While Thailand is already allowing foreign tourists to enter the Southeast Asian region, Vietnam will begin with the island of Phu Quoc off the southwest coast of the country. 

Vietnam’s phased reopening plan

Phu Quoc Island, South VietnamIn the first phase of Vietnam’s reopening program only parts of Phu Quoc will be open to international visitors — Shutterstock

From October, tourism is planned to resume on Phu Quoc for an initial six-month pilot program divided into two test phases. The first phase will run for three months and see about 3000 visitors. Travelers can only arrive on chartered flights and are limited to certain parts of the island. The second phase will also run for three months and allow up to 10,000 visitors as well as travel on commercial flights. In addition, most of the island will be open to foreigners by then.

All residents need to be vaccinated

The opening plan is currently subject to the condition that all residents of the island must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before tourism resumes. An ambitious goal, considering that the current vaccination rate of the island is at around 35 percent. According to Huynh Quang Hung, chairman of Phu Quoc, the town needs another 250,000-300,000 doses to achieve herd immunity.

Entry requirements for international tourists

International travelers who wish to enter Phu Quoc during the pilot phase will need to be fully vaccinated with the second dose taken at least 14 days and not more than 12 months before the date of entry. In addition to a full immunization, all international arrivals will need to be tested negative COVID-19 via the PCR method within 72 hours before their departure.

Chile resumes tourism ahead of the summer season

Moon Valley in Atacama, ChileChile is famous for its incredible nature such as Moon Valley in Atacama — Shutterstock

With international tourism making up almost 40 percent, Chile plans to revive the ailing industry by opening its borders to international visitors.

Discussions of opening up the borders, which had been closed in March 2020 and then again in April 2021, started when life slowly returned to normal in the country. Chile boasts one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, with 73% of the population now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Strict entry requirements for international tourists

From October, international travelers will be allowed to enter the country, provided they show both complete vaccination protection and a negative PCR test result, which was issued a maximum of 72 hours before entry.

In addition, travelers will need to show proof of international health insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 30,000, and apply for a so-called mobility pass. Their vaccination certificate will then be approved by the Chilean health ministry — a process that can take up to one month.

Post-arrival, international visitors are also obliged to get tested, quarantine for 5 days in a previously declared accommodation, and report their state of health and whereabouts daily for up to 14 days or until departure. 

Unvaccinated travelers, including children too young to be vaccinated, cannot enter the country.

Harsh criticism towards strict entry rules

The Chilean Association of Airlines (ACHILA), disagrees with the strict regulations. In a statement to Reuters, the group said “the measures announced by the government…continue to be [among] most restrictive…in the world”. They are proposing to eliminate the quarantine requirement and also allow children to enter since the vaccination rate in the country is very high.

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