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Vietnam proposes starting South-East Asian travel bubble

Vietnam has proposed setting up a travel bubble within South-East Asia that would see visitors transported across the region to tourist hotspots in areas considered safe from COVID-19, state media says.

Nguyen Manh Tien, deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Committee at Vietnam’s National Assembly, suggested the idea during a meeting on South-East Asia’s economy as part of an ongoing summit held by ASEAN member states.

Mr Tien’s idea is to permit a slight reopening of borders to allow for international tourism within the region.

The tourism travel bubbles would include routes to and from popular tourist destinations.

Tourists would only visit these specific areas and would also be required to get tested for the virus in order to complete the trip, local media reports.

The suggestion arrives as Vietnam seems to be opening up to the idea of resuming international flights.

At the end of March, the nation slammed shut to almost all international flights to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On September 2, Vietnam’s aviation authority proposed resuming weekly air routes to Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Cambodia and Laos starting September 15.

As of Thursday, Vietnam has reported 1059 coronavirus cases and 35 deaths related to the virus.

No new community transmissions of the virus have been reported in the last week.

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