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Cambodia, China and Tokyo among safe destinations for flights to resume, says Vietnamese PM

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) at the Tuesday cabinet meeting in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo

Cambodia, China’s Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, together with Laos were among potential international air routes Viet Nam is considering reopening, after months of border closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Transport to consider “reopening international flights soon” to a select few destinations, based on safety criteria as well as political and diplomatic importance, but warned that the reopening must be completed with caution.

The destinations cited above are all important partners of Viet Nam and have recorded positive progress in reining in the pandemic situation.

This is part of the official announcement released yesterday from the Government Office after a meeting of the cabinet with the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control on Tuesday, chaired by PM Phuc.

In the document, the Vietnamese Government leader asked for best preparations for integration efforts and building Viet Nam as a “safe destination”, not only for economic development purposes but also for the country’s political and foreign affairs goals.

The countries or locations to which flights would reopen must have recorded 30 days or more of no new community transmission cases, the document reads, adding that quarantine rules for arrivals from these destinations must be issued along with standard prevention measures to avoid risks of the virus being spread among the Vietnamese population.

The Government also agrees to allow entries of experts, businesspeople and managers, or highly skilled workers, into the country either to work or to look for business and investment opportunities in Viet Nam. The Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport are supposed to work together to expedite entry processes, flight arrangements or other procedures regarding these groups of entries.

Meanwhile, PM Phuc assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and local authorities to implement the programme to stimulate domestic tourism, given that international arrivals will be restricted for the foreseeable future.

However, given the latest regulations imposed by Cambodia on incoming travelers, passengers arriving in Cambodia will be in for an  expensive shock when they are asked to fork out about $3,000 for various Covid-19 related expenses before they can resume their activities.

This is not only a huge expense but also a huge loss of precious time, even if they tested negative but one of their fellow passengers were to test positive.

The shock of this announcement is still reverberating among hoteliers, airline companies and businesses and expatriates who have family members stranded abroad for months. VNS/Khmer Times

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