Vietnam reopens resort island to foreign tourists

Vietnam has reopened the southern resort island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 200 South Korean tourists arrived on the island on Saturday.

Foreign visitors are required to be fully vaccinated and will be exempted from quarantine if they test negative for the coronavirus upon arrival.

They are also required to use chartered flights, stay in designated accommodation, and only visit areas included in tour itineraries.

Vietnam resumed accepting foreign tourists in some parts of the country in mid-November.
The government plans to gradually expand those areas and relax restrictions on people's activities. It aims to begin accepting foreign tourists without any conditions in the second quarter of next year.

Vietnam initially imposed tight restrictions, but it dealt a serious blow to the country's economy.

In October, the government allowed restaurants and factories to reopen even in areas where the virus was spreading.

Vietnam's daily count of new coronavirus cases decreased to about 3,000 last month. But the tally has been increasing again, topping 10,000 on Thursday.