Vietnam has resumed its unilateral visa exemption for 13 countries as it had been applied before the COVID-19 epidemic hit the country in early 2020, according to a resolution of the government.
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on Tuesday issued a resolution to apply the visa waiver to citizens from 13 countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belarus, Japan, and South Korea, which are Vietnam’s major tourism markets.
The decision coincides with the day when Vietnam fully reopens tourism to international travelers, after nearly two years of closure due to COVID-19.
Accordingly, citizens of these countries will be allowed to visit Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa, regardless of their passport type and entry purpose.
This policy had been applied to the said countries before being suspended following COVID-19 outbreaks that began to hit Vietnam in early 2020.
The waiver will last for three years, from March 15, 2022 to March 14, 2025, and an extension could be considered in line with Vietnamese laws.
Earlier, the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism had repeatedly called for the government to restore the visa policy like before the pandemic.
Vietnam closed international tourism and halted granting visas to foreign tourists since March 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Tourism Advisory Board, under the ministry’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, emphasized that the restored visa policy is one of the important and strategic issues of the resumption of international tourism.
Recently, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promptly submit a report to the government on such policy resumption, which tourism businesses said would help Vietnam’s tourism sector improve its competitiveness.
Vietnam has reopened the national economy following a strategy of safe and flexible adaptation to COVID-19 since October 1 last year.
As of Monday, the country had documented 6,377,438 COVID-19 infections, with 3,271,978 recoveries and 41,477 fatalities, the Ministry of Health reported.