As the world begins to re-open following months of lockdown, talks of re-opening borders for tourists grow, and Vietnam might be one of the first to do so.
Despite sharing a border with China, Vietnam has gone 40 days without any coronavirus cases. Incredibly, the country has had one of the lowest case and death rates in the world despite sharing a border with China.
Social distancing measures were lifted April 23, and most non-essential businesses have opened aside from Karaoke parlors and disco techs.
The national Covid-19 count is 327. Of these, only 44 are active cases, as 272 have recovered after treatment.
Decision Expected Soon
As it stands, there are ongoing talks within the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to re-open borders. The first countries that will be allowed entry will most likely be from South East Asia and North-East Asia.
In response to the rapid fall of international arrivals, the Vietnamese government launched a domestic tourism stimulus package. The results were impressive, with a reported 80-90% Hotel occupancy rates in many areas in Vietnam.
Praised for Early Response
The American based political organization Politico stated that Vietnam had dealt best with the Covid-19 pandemic. The key driver of success was the government’s swift early response to the pandemic while other countries stalled in taking restrictive measures to combat the virus.
In early January, when only two reported deaths had been confirmed in China, the Vietnamese government had already begun initiating drastic measures.
Schools were closed for the Lunar New Year holiday at the end of January and remained closed until mid-May. A vast and labor-intensive contact tracing operation got underway.
The government did a fantastic job of communicating to the nation the importance of acting early. Regular SMS messages sent to all phones from the very early stages told people what they could do to protect themselves.
There is hope that the international recognition Vietnam is getting for its response, will lead to travelers returning sooner rather than later.