Jun 02, 2020 / 15:23

Japan, Philippines, South Korea plan to reopen borders to Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - Airlines of Japan, the Philippines and South Korea plan to resume international flights to Vietnam.

Airlines of Japan, the Philippines and South Korea plan to resume international flights to Vietnam as the pandemic is deemed to subside in the country that has reported no deaths of Covid-19.

 Vietnam could consider welcoming back foreign tourists from the countries where the pandemic is under control. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Japan is considering easing the entry ban on travelers from Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand currently in place due to the spread of the new coronavirus, Japan News quoted a Japanese government source as saying on June 1.

The current entry restrictions on people from around the world are scheduled to run through June, thus, the first round of easing is expected to take place in summer or later, according to Japan News.

Nearly 16,900 novel coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Japan as of June 2, with 892 deaths.

The four countries under consideration appear to be containing infections, and business people are calling for the resumption of travel among the nations. 

Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are parties to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as TPP11, and Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura was planning to exchange views on easing travel restrictions with those countries as early as in June.

The Japanese government is planning an approach under which business people and others in possession of documents certifying that they are negative for coronavirus in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before leaving their countries will be allowed to enter Japan, and who also test negative after arriving in Japan.

Starting June 8, Philippine Airlines (PAL) will gradually resume both domestic and international flights on selected routes, according to a statement on its website on May 31.

PAL said it will operate “limited” international services on routes to the US, Canada, Guam, Vietnam, mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Japan, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

 PAL will operate “limited” international services on routes to Vietnam. 

Earlier, Asiana Airlines, the South Korea’s second largest airline, planned to reopen routes to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, increasing frequency to three flights per week to Hanoi and seven flights per week to Ho Chi Minh City.

From June, the Vietnamese national flag carrier – Vietnam Airlines planned to resume international services in its Hanoi-Seoul Incheon and Ho Chi Minh City – Seoul Incheon routes, according to Routes Online.  Due to travel restrictions, the airline only accepts reservations for departure from Vietnam.

Vietnam has initially contained the pandemic with a relatively low number of Covid-19 patients and has gone 46 consecutive days without local infection. 

Vietnam could consider welcoming back foreign tourists from the countries where the pandemic is under control, and pilot opening islands to foreign tourists, according to the National Steering Committee on Covid-19 Prevention and Control at a meeting on May 28.