By: Southeast Asia Journeys

We have all been looking forward to being able to travel back to our favorite countries in Southeast Asia and as the region slowly opens up to tourism, we know everyone is wondering, how safe is it to travel? Is the Covid situation under control? What are the vaccination rates like?

No one wants to put a country's population at risk, and there are many things to consider, so we hope the numbers below can bring some clarity and help in your travel planning.

CAMBODIA
Cambodia is currently reporting very low infection numbers, which is attributed to the country’s successful vaccination campaign. The vaccination campaign has received praise around the world and not only does Cambodia have a higher vaccination rate than its neighbors Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, but it is now one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.

Covid Case Numbers
Confirmed new cases as of November 6, 2021: 73
3 infections per 100K people reported in the last 7 days
9% of peak

Vaccination rates
Please note that the Cambodian government does not have an accurate census of the population which throws off their vaccination percentages (which is why the reported numbers are sometimes greater than 100%).
Adults 18+: 100%
Children 12-18: 98%
Children 6-11: 102%
Children 5 and under: 51%

THAILAND
Covid infections are decreasing in Thailand and are at their lowest since Thailand entered their 3rd wave of Covid in April 2021. The government is aiming to have 70% of the population fully vaccinated by the end of November.

Covid Case Numbers

Confirmed new cases as of November 6: 8,467
81 infections per 100K people reported the last 7 days
37% of peak

Vaccination rates
Thailand started the vaccination of children ages 12-17 in October and plans to vaccinate 3 to 11 year olds at the start of 2022.
Adults 18+: 46%

LAOS
Laos is currently experiencing its worst Covid wave with new infections reaching new highs every day. The vaccinations are going slowly and the country is dependent on donations from COVAX. At the current vaccination rate, the government’s goal is to have 50% of the population fully vaccinated by the end of the year.

Covid Case Numbers
Confirmed new cases as of November 6: 960
89 infections per 100K people reported the last 7 days

Vaccination rates
The Lao government are currently only vaccinating adults and no decision has been made on vaccinations of children.
Adults 18+: 39%

VIETNAM
The "new normal" began in October 2021 and Vietnam is feeling its way into post-pandemic life. Daily cases are increasing mainly outside the main cities as the movement of people has increased, but new infections are less severe amongst those vaccinated. As more people are vaccinated daily the trend should show numbers begin to decline again within the next couple of weeks.

Covid Case Numbers
Confirmed new cases as of November 6: 7,491
41 infections per 100K people reported the last 7 days
47% of peak

Vaccination rates
Vietnam is rapidly picking up the pace of administering vaccinations to its population now that there is an increase in vaccine deliveries arriving and being made available. Until September the focus was on vaccinating the 18+ adult population. From October there is now a proactive push on vaccinating 12 to 17 year olds. The decision around ages up to 11 years old is still pending.
Adults 18+: 29,8%

CONCLUSIONS
The decision to travel to a country that’s still being majorly impacted by the Covid pandemic is one to be thought through. If you’d like some help planning your trip or simply deciding if now is the right time to go, consider a one-hour Travel Coaching call with one of Kaanect’s Southeast Asia specialists.

2020 saw Vietnam successfully handling the Covid pandemic and the country subsequently receiving worldwide recognition for doing so well. However, in April 2021, the Delta variant broke through and spread rapidly across the country. In a short time, it literally brought local businesses and residents, still trying to survive, further to their knees.

Delta Variant's Impact on Vietnam and the "New Normal"

This latest wave has been the longest and toughest time in the battle against the virus. The Government has put in place and tried many iterations of directives, guidance, and support mechanisms countrywide to help with the common goal of achieving Covid-zero. However, despite best efforts by everyone, the economy and people have reached their limit and can no longer sustain more location-wide lockdowns and strict directives. As with many countries, the Vietnamese Government has decided that the best way forward is to adjust to the ‘New Normal’, where the only way forward is to slowly open and learn to live with the Covid virus. What the ‘New Normal’ for travel and living means is gradually being agreed upon and, at present, changes day to day. Vaccinations are going well and herd immunity through population vaccination is expected to be reached by April 2022.

What this "New Normal" Means for Tourism in Vietnam

What we do know is that when international borders reopen, Vietnam will follow the standard which now applies to travel around the world. At a minimum, travelers will need to be fully vaccinated and if we are to go by Vietnam’s neighbors, a negative PCR test before and after arrival will also be necessary. Even though there is no set date for when the borders will fully reopen, certain areas are expected to begin their trials this November. Phu Quoc and Da Nang are the first locations to trial with a model very similar to Thailand’s Sandbox project, followed by Nha Trang in December this year. Hoi An is set to open with its trial in January/February 2022.

Our friends and partners in Saigon, Khoa and Michelle who own In Country Tours, have regularly kept us up to date since the international borders closed early last year. Since May 2021, they have been in various stages of extremely strict social distancing and lockdowns, and they were so excited to share with us recently that starting this month the strictest directive has been lifted and they are gradually beginning to resume a more normal living and working life. In addition to feeling renewed joy and hope, they also shared the wonderful news that they have recently been inspected and approved to operate touring within the ‘New Normal’. Our guides, drivers and local providers are beginning to engage in rebuilding the travel industry after nearly two years of limited/no work and are really looking forward to caring for us travelers again.

Looking to Travel to Vietnam in 2022? Our Travel Coaches are Here to Guide You!

Vietnam has had a tough road...from being an example to other countries to being on one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. We are excited that there is light at the end of the tunnel and we are talking to travelers now about Vietnam 2022! Schedule a call today with a Southeast Asia Travel Coach/Specialist to start planning your trip!

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