The People’s Committees of Phu Yen and Quang Nam have decided to temporarily shut down tourist attractions from July 29 in a bid to protect health for local residents and visitors amid complex developments of COVID-19.
The local Departments of Health were tasked to promptly launch measures in coping with COVID-19 and other diseases such as diphtheria and dengue fever.
Police force in Phu Yen Province is joining hands with relevant agencies to control the number of visitors and entrants into the locality as well as strictly handle illegal entrants as regulated.
Transport enterprises, contract cars and taxis in Phu Yen Province are required to temporarily stop carrying passengers to Da Nang City.
From July 29, festivals, religious ceremonies, sports and other events that gather a large number of people are banned. "Non-essential" businesses including entertainment facilities, beauty salons, massage and karaoke parlors, and bars are closed.
In Da Nang City, Da Nang International Airport has temporarily halted operation from July 28.
Tour agencies receive mass cancel requests amid Danang outbreak
Tour agencies receive mass cancel requests
Many people are cancelling tours across Vietnam due to rising fears for the new virus outbreak in Danang.
Minh Phuong from Hanoi and his family were supposed to go on a four-day-two-night holiday in Phu Quoc on August 2. They had paid for everything months ago and the new outbreak in Danang has made them worried.
"I'm considering cancelling the trip. It's not small amount of money and everyone was very eager and they had to arrange their jobs and time for it," he said.
Minh Hue from Hanoi also said she was trying to cancel a VND8m tour to Con Dao in early August. However, the tour agency said her case was difficult because Con Dao is not in the outbreak area or has to be implemented social distancing rules. The agent proposed to postpone the trip or else she will lose the money.
Luong Duy Doanh, director of Fivestar Travel, said after the outbreak in Danang, they have received many requests to cancel tours, including to locations that do not have outbreaks like Quy Nhon, Phu Quoc and Nha Trang. As of now, they have received 200 requests.
"We offered customers alternative plans but they refused and only wanted a refund. This is really hard and a huge loss for us. We have to make deposit or advance payments for our partners for months," he said. "We are still operating tours to other destinations but with stronger preventive measures."
According to Doanh, their airline and hotel partners only agree to change the date and would not provide refunds. If a tour is cancelled, the tour agency may even have to pay fines for their customers.
Phung Xuan Khanh, director of Tien Phong Tour Company, said they could help customers to postpone the date, change location or reserve the trip. Customers will have to pay fines if they cancel tours not regulated by emergencies.
The number of registered domestic tours dropped by 70-80%.
Nguyen Quy Phuong, director of the Tourism Department, said customers should remain calm and everything is in the contract. Tour agencies and accommodation facilities should follow all preventive measures even when they are not in the outbreak areas.
Each tour agencies have their own refund policy. Normally, when a customer cancels a tour five to 10 days before the departure date, they will have to pay 30-50% of the package price. They will lose all money if they cancel the tour less than three days before the departure. If the tour agencies cancel the tours, they will have to pay for all the charges.
COVID-19: Tourism administration urges safety measures for travellers
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has requested tourism departments of localities nationwide to promptly take measures to ensure safety for tourists in the face of the complex developments of COVID-19.
The VNAT said on July 29 that in a recent document sent to tourism authorities, its General Director Nguyen Trung Khanh ordered them to make sure that local travel firms and tourists regularly update themselves on the COVID-19 situation and seriously comply with directions by the Government, the national steering committee on COVID-19 prevention and control, the Ministry of Health, and local People’s Committees.
Provinces and cities nationwide have to maintain hotlines to stay connected with tourism businesses and travellers so as to have a good grasp of the situation and take actions to address difficulties facing them in a timely manner.
While the localities with confirmed cases need to follow the Health Ministry’s recommendations, tourism service providers have to seriously adhere to regulations set by relevant authorities and carry out measures to ensure safety for tourists and prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the VNAT.
It also asked other localities to swiftly activate COVID-19 prevention and control procedures for different groups such as tourists, travel firms, accommodation facilities, tourism service providers, and their staff as directed by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the VNAT.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam currently stands at 459, including nine new locally infected ones confirmed on July 30 morning. VGP/Dtinews/VNA