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Sep 10, 2020 / 12:46

ASEAN to study establishing "travel bubbles" for reactivating tourism

The ASEAN community is studying a series of breakthrough and feasible solutions to control the spread of Covid-19 and restore economic activities.

Vietnam put forth the initiative of "air bridges" to reestablish air connection between safe destinations among Southeast Asian countries.

 Photo: Hai Ninh/VnExpress

At a sideline meeting with a theme “The Role of Parliaments in Promoting ASEAN Cohesiveness and Economic Recovery post Covid-19”, in the framework of the Economic Committee of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) on September 9, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Foreign Relations Nguyen Manh Tien emphasized that the ASEAN community needs to implement a series of breakthrough and feasible solutions.

They could include in the first instance accelerating exchange of information relating to health, tourism and other necessary measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

He explained that "air bridges" or "travel bubbles/corridors" is arrangements between countries for their airlines to operate international flights with streamlined safety regulations such as requiring passengers to test for coronavirus at the departure point, travel in safe ground transportation to the destinations and then leave. 

According to industry insiders, air bridges are a concept proposed by a few countries in Europe to allow air travel between each other without imposing 14-day quarantine at each destination. 

In early September, the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport’s request to reopen international air routes to Japan, South Korea, China from September 15 and Taiwan (China), Cambodia and Laos from of September 22 was submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for approval. Those flights will prioritize people entering with diplomatic and business purposes and overseas Vietnamese.  

Minister - Head of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the resumption of air travel should be carried out by phases. After a trial period, the flight frequency and scope of passengers would be expanded. Only passengers bearing papers certifying that they are negative for the coronavirus could board the plane.