Cambodia and Vietnam have respectively announced some easing of rules for inbound travel by foreigners, as both countries look to reopen fully their borders and revive money-earning tourism.
Both Southeast Asia nations have significant casino industries. In Vietnam, only one resort is permitted to cater to local players, as part of a government pilot scheme.
On Thursday – with effect from that day – Cambodia’s Ministry of Health said inbound travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 no longer needed a ‘negative’ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result prior to starting their inward journey to the kingdom. The rule about a Covid-19 rapid antigen test on entry, has also been dropped, according to local media reports, citing a new guideline issued by the ministry.
The same document said the country’s visa-on-arrival scheme had been restarted for all eligible travellers entering via any recognised entry point. Any inbound travellers that are unvaccinated, will still have to do a 14-day quarantine in a venue designated by the local authorities.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, was cited by local media as saying the moves were to boost inward investment and tourism.
Neighbouring Vietnam had said it was “fully reopening” its borders for international tourism from March 15. It was not clear from media reports, whether such foreigners would need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health did note that inbound foreigners were required to take a Covid-19 test prior to entering the country. Those who did not, would have to be tested for Covid-19 within 24 hours of entering Vietnam. They could only travel freely within the country and without quarantine, after obtaining a result proving they were ‘negative’ for infection.
Vietnam has also begun reinstating its visa-exemption programme for people from eligible countries. In addition, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Thursday that it has restarted its eVisa scheme.
As of this week, inbound visitors from 24 nations – including the ASEAN bloc – can enter visa-free, on single-entry permits lasting from between 14, and up to 90 days, according to local news outlet VN Express.
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