‘Digital vaccine passport’ under consideration in Vietnam

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism is working with relevant agencies on opening up to welcome foreign tourists who have obtained a Covid-19 "vaccine passport".
March 12, 2021 | 18:41

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‘Digital vaccine passport’ under consideration in Vietnam
"Digital vaccine passport" is under consideration. Photo: Bao Quoc te

On the afternoon of March 11, Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, General Director of Tourism said that after the discussion with relevant ministries and agencies, he would advise the leaders of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to report to the Government on Passport (visa) issue Covid-19 vaccine in the tourism sector.

Speaking of this, Ms. Le Thi Thu Hang, Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that vaccine passports have been applied in some countries, and "along with re-opening activities, easing travel restrictions and promoting tourism development, the disease control and prevention must be ensured".

On the same day of March 11, Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung stated that the Government "has not discussed yet to loosen the application of disease prevention measures for those who have had Covid-19 vaccine passport".

Now that new policies and regulations on the Prevention and Control of Covid-19 have not been approved by the Government as well as the National Steering Committee, "a 14-day quarantine is still required with people entering Vietnam", according to Deputy Health Minister Do Xuan.

A person was vaccinated for the first time, at the 2nd Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, on March 8. Photo: VNE

On March 5, the Government Office in accordance with the opinion of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to preside over and coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to study, evaluate and propose Suggested disposition measures related to "vaccine passport ".

Accordingly, Vietnam should consider opening to welcome tourists with Covid-19 “vaccine passport”, which will help enhance the status of Vietnamese tourism. However, putting this passport into practice will pose many obstacles, especially in terms of legal and technological basis.

On March 4, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had a discussion with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan about measures to boost trade, promote economic recovery, re-open and facilitate travel; vaccination plan and the possibility of vaccine passport application.

The vaccine passport is a digital document proving an individual has been vaccinated against the virus (also known as a digital health card). This document is stored on a phone or digital wallet, the data displayed in the form of a QR code, and can also provide information on whether a person has tested negative for the virus.

Several countries have issued Covid-19 vaccine passports including China; while Thailand has also announced plans to issue vaccine passports and reduce the quarantine period for vaccinated people.

However, the World Health Organization calls for caution with vaccine passports, requiring travel authorities and operators not to consider proof of vaccination as a condition of international travel.

On March 10, Mr. Calvin Q Trinh, an American overseas Vietnamese, over 40 years old, entered Tan Son Nhat, though presented his passport with a certificate of having two shots of Covid-19 vaccine, he remained on quarantine for 14 days.

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