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Countries exempt VN travelers from COVID-19 self-isolation



Travelers arriving from Vietnam will no longer be forced to self-isolate for a two-week period upon arrival in several countries, including Singapore, South Africa, and the UK.

Vietnamese citizens are exempted from COVID-19 self-isolation when travelling to several countries.
Vietnamese citizens are exempted from COVID-19 self-isolation when travelling to several countries.

Singapore has unilaterally removed border restrictions for visitors from Vietnam starting October 8 due to the nation’s effective control of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Individuals traveling from Vietnam can register themselves to the Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for free between seven and 10 days before entering the island state.

South Africa has also opened up to welcome tourists from several countries, including Vietnam. The African nation requires visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test that is less than 72 hours old. In addition, South Africa will try to limit the arrival of tourists from countries that are considered high risk, including the United States, the UK, Russia, and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has permitted quarantine-free international travel to approximately 60 “lower risk countries”, including Vietnam, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong (China), Taiwan (China), and Macau (China). Elsewhere, India and the US are also among the countries excluded from the list of nearly 60 low-risk nations.

The new measures, which had originally came into force on July 10, mean that people arriving from several green or amber destinations will be able to enter the UK without the need to self-isolate, unless they have been in or have transited through non-exempt countries 14 days prior.

Moreover, the Maldives has been open to all global tourists since July 15 without the need to go through a mandatory quarantine upon arrival at Velana International Airport. However, due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, since September 10 tourists visiting the island nation have needed a negative COVID-19 certification 72 hours ahead of their arrival.

Dubai has also reopened to foreign tourists since July 7, with all arrivals required to produce a medical certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test result within four days prior to arrival, or alternatively undergo a mandatory PCR test at the airport in the Emirate.

In Africa, Tanzania first began to welcome tourists back in June. Since September 15, the country does not require any foreign travelers to show negative COVID-19 test results.

At present, Brazil is welcoming tourists from around the world with no restrictions, aside from being required to have health insurance for the duration of their trip. VOV



‘Patriotic bread’ all the rage in Hanoi



The red pink with yellow star bread, representing the Vietnamese flag, has allured patrons to a bakery in Hanoi.

Do Ngoc Huy and Tran Thu Huong drew inspiration for their bread from their love of Vietnam, and desire to bring local cuisine to international friends.

“Looking at how Vietnamese united to fight Covid-19, and motivated by widespread national pride, we decided to make our bread a reality,” Huy said.

People call it “patriotic bread” or “national bread”.

[The patriotic bread in a Hanoi bakery. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Huy.

[The ‘patriotic bread’ in a Hanoi bakery. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Huy.

It took about 3-4 months for the bread to reach a satisfactory standard. The red pink color of its crust was created with beet juice, and the yellow star with turmeric powder.

“Initially, we tried creating the crust from red dragonfruit, which proved not suitable as the color was not what we want,” Huy said.

Rising at 4 a.m. to prepare the flour, Huy would carefully mix the beet juice and stoke the fire to just the right temperature.

Popular fillings include stewed beef with ginger, chicken stir fried with sweet and sour vegetables, crispy fried fat with sauce, fried eggs with scallions and traditional red sausage with pate.

Bread with filling cost VND15,000 ($0.65) a pop, and those without, VND4,000.

Phuong Anh, a tourist said: “The bread looked pretty cool, so I ordered some. It’s quite cheap, with lots of filling.”

Curious eaters could visit Cyburger By Homekekery to try this “patriotic bread” at Number 9, Alley 345, Nguyen Khoai Street, Hai Ba Trung District or order online. For take-away customers, the bread is wrapped in paper and tied with rope to protect the environment.


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New community-based tourist site opens on Hô Islet in Mekong Delta



The second Culture, Tourism and Southern Cuisine Week opened on Sunday (October 25) in Trà Vinh Province. – Photo

 HCM CITY — A new community-based tourist site on Cồn Hô (Hô Islet) in the Mekong Delta province of Trà Vinh has opened as part of an effort to diversify tourism products in the province.

The 22-hectare islet in Càng Long District’s Đức Mỹ Commune on the Cổ Chiên River is ecologically diverse and has many fruit gardens, offering favourable conditions for eco-tourism and exploration of natural landscapes.

Dương Hoàng Sum, director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the islet is home to 24 households with 49 residents who will work together to develop the site and plant flowers and fruits.

Trà Vinh has natural diversity ranging from the delta, orchard gardens, and islets on the Tiền and Hậu rivers to the sea.

It is home to more than 310,000 ethnic Khmer people, accounting for nearly 32 per cent of population in the province.

Ok Om Bok, Sene Dolta and Chol Chnam Thmay festivals are the annual major traditional festivals of the Khmer, with huge potential for development of cultural and spiritual tourism and community-based eco-tourism, Sum said.

An underdeveloped tourism infrastructure and limited tourism marketing and promotion have resulted in sluggish tourism development, he said.

The province will promote new tourism products and build tourist destinations in each district.

Two festivals 

The province released a tourism brand identity at the second Culture, Tourism and Southern Cuisine Week festival that opened on Sunday. 

The cultural, tourism and cuisine festival is being held concurrently with the Ok Om Bok Festival, also called the Festival of Worshipping the Moon.

The one-week events aim to preserve traditional cultural identities and promote tourism.

A variety of activities are being held, including a tourism and trade fair with more than 370 booths, a Mekong Delta tourism exhibition, a Khmer traditional costume competition, an exhibition of typical Khmer products, folk games, and the Khmer long boat race.

The festivals will run until the end of this month.

The number of tourist arrivals to the province this year has dropped by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNS

Visitors at a trade fair, one of events at the second Culture, Tourism and Southern Cuisine Week festival. VNA/VNS Photo


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Explore Ý Ty Mountainous Commune in Lào Cai Province



The Ý Ty Mountainous Commune in Lào Cai Province is famous among Vietnamese trekkers for its beautiful scenery. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY  — Y Tý Commune in the northern mountain province of Lào Cai is famous among Vietnamese trekkers for its beautiful scenery.

Y Tý is located about 70km away from the centre of Sa Pa City, which is rather isolated due to northwestern Việt Nam’s high surrounding mountains. The commune, which is 2,000 metres above sea level, is home to Mông, Dao, Giáy and Hà Nhì ethnic minority groups.

In March, the fields are barren, but the arid ground is covered with blooming docynia trees, blanketing the villages with a white shade of natural beauty.

If you visit the communes in the ripe rice season from late August to early September or harvest season in September-October, you will come across many trekkers enjoying the beauty of golden terraced fields.

Motorbikes are the most recommended mode of travel from Sa Pa to Y Tý since it is challenging for cars to traverse Y Tý’s mountainous route.

There are many homestays in Y Tý with good services and reasonable prices at US$4.3. The owners also provide a private-lodging choice for VNĐ1 million ($43). – VNS


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