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Vietnam hastens plan for ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance

Vietnam hastens plan for ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 16:22 GMT+7
Vietnam hastens plan for ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance
A health worker collects a nasal swab for COVID-19 tests from a man in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s central-level authorities have announced new progress in the roll-out of protocols that would make it easier for international visitors and stranded Vietnamese with COVID-19 vaccination certificates, informally known as 'vaccine passports,' to enter the country.

The updates were announced in a Friday meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, which discussed plans to optimize economic development while maintaining public safety against the epidemic.

Durign the meeting, Dang Quang Tan, head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health, declared that Vietnamese stranded in foreign countries, international investors, and foreign tourists will be prioritized in the first phase of ‘vaccine passport’ acceptance in Vietnam, provided they have had two jabs against COVID-19 as recommended by international health authorities.

The protocol will only be applicable to certain vaccine types and certificates-issuing countries, the Ministry of Health stated.

Health authorities will release the list of accepted countries, vaccine types, alongside guidance on quarantine and health monitoring for ‘vaccine passport’ holders in the near future.

For the first phase, tourists from countries who have successfully contained the epidemic and reached herd immunity after vaccination roll-out may be allowed to come to Vietnam, as long as they agree to stay in secluded resorts with limited exposure to the local community.

Meanwhile, representatives of IT solution firms stated in the meeting that they have delivered the task of building tech infrastructure for ‘vaccine passport’ systems.

“We’re in a race against time to prevent epidemic spread, while also rolling out vaccines and utilizing time for economic development,” a leader of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said.

Earlier in April, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) urged the Ministry of Transport to build a regime that would grant shortened quarantine to inbound travelers carrying coronavirus immunization certificates.

The Southeast Asian country has recorded 2,692 cases of COVID-19, with 2,429 recoveries and 35 virus-related deaths as of Sunday morning, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.

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