Vietnam has become the latest Asian country to ease up on its COVID-19 measures in a bid to bring in international travelers and restart its land-based gambling industry. The country is now dismantling its border restrictions introduced due to the pandemic and will seek to court travelers, tourists, and gamblers back.
Vietnam Removes COVID-19 Restrictions for Country Entry
Vietnam would no longer require people to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entry into the country, as confirmed by deputy prime minister Vu Duc Dam over the weekend. The restriction was lifted on Sunday and is part of the overall improvement in the COVID-19 situation involving fewer deaths and hospitalizations.
Vietnam and Southeast Asia have been looking to rapidly attract tourists back. The Philippines, another COVID-19-buffetted country, managed to lift the majority of restrictions as well and is now welcoming travelers as its land-based casinos are beginning to slowly shift into action.
Others have been less successful though, as Cambodia is still struggling to tackle labor shortages that have kept its border properties shuttered. Part of this is Cambodia’s own response to labor protests which saw casino employees being jailed over refusal to vacate premises near gambling establishments that have laid them off abruptly.
This has made many people in the region seek employment in the gambling industry elsewhere with Cambodia now having to work twice as hard to find workers for its casinos. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Health Ministry has said that the measure to suspend requirements of negative COVID-19 tests, is in line with the response the rest of the world has had to the pandemic.
China Doubles Down on Zero-Cases Policy
Meanwhile, China remains to ramp up the measures against the further spread of infection. The “zero-cases” policy touted by authorities in Beijing has already cost the economy a fair bit. Shanghai and Beijing have been put on repeated lockdowns. More importantly, the border with Macau has remained fairly restricted as China introduced new travel restrictions, costing casinos and businesses in the SAR a fair penny during the May holidays.
As the rest of the world opens up and begins looking to lure tourists and travelers back, China is still treading cautiously.