Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phu Quoc island set to open to jabbed tourists in late November



Phu Quoc island set to open to jabbed tourists in late November

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Phu Quoc, which lies around 10km off Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand and is also known by its Khmer name Koh Tral, boasts white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, as well as mountains and thick jungle. AFP

Phu Quoc island set to open to jabbed tourists in late November

Vietnam plans to reopen the resort island of Phu Quoc to vaccinated foreign visitors in late next month, authorities said, as the country looks to reboot its tourism industry after almost two years of closure.

Phu Quoc, which lies around 10km off Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand and is also known by its Khmer name Koh Tral, boasts white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters, as well as mountains and thick jungle.

It attracted around 670,000 visitors and earned more than $18 billion dollars from international arrivals in 2019, with authorities hoping to turn it into a tourist mecca in the style of Thailand’s Phuket or Indonesia’s Bali.

From November 20, “charter flights” for international travellers with vaccine passports will be welcomed to the island, the government said late on October 22.

After that, between late December and the end of March, the island aims to receive up to 5,000 foreign arrivals on similar charter flights.

Tourists will need to show vaccine certificates together with a negative Covid-19 test result before being allowed in.

According to authorities, they should come from places with “a high safety record on Covid-19 prevention, like some parts of Europe, the Middle East, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and Australia”.

A previous plan to open Phu Quoc to international visitors this month was abandoned due to low vaccination rates among residents.

But the Southeast Asian country is desperate to revive its economy after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Its borders have been shut to international visitors since early last year and there are almost no commercial flights entering the country.

According to state media, authorities also want to open popular destinations such as UNESCO world heritage site Halong Bay and the ancient town of Hoi An to foreign travellers in November, but no clear plan has been outlined.

Vietnam has reported more than 880,000 Covid cases and around 21,500 deaths. Fewer than 20 per cent of its 100 million people have been fully vaccinated.

The announcement comes after Thailand said vaccinated travellers from more than 40 countries will be allowed to enter the kingdom without undergoing quarantine come November 1.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group

  • No more Africa travel ban but new rules for arrivals

    The Ministry of Health has decided to lift the ban on travellers from or who have travelled through 10 African countries and instead issued a set of standard operating procedures to manage passenger arrivals at Cambodia’s international airports. The 10 African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho,