The tourist route between Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Den Mountain in neighboring Tay Ninh Province will reopen to visitors on Saturday, following months of closure due to COVID-19, according to the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee.
The decision to restore the route was announced during a meeting on epidemic prevention and control measures between various stakeholder agencies on Monday.
Phan Thi Thang, vice-chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, stated during the meeting that her administration and Tay Ninh authorities have agreed to relaunch tours between Cu Chi Tunnels and Ba Den Mountain.
Those who wish to participate in the tours should be vaccinated against COVID-19, have received a negative rapid antigen test, and adhere to COVID-19 prevention requirements, according to Thang.
This is just an initial step toward reopening interprovincial tourist routes and the city has plans to work in coordination with several other localities to relaunch additional tourism products and services next week.
Nguyen Ngoc An, deputy general director of Fiditour Travel Company, expressed his optimism about the future of local tourism after authorities agreed to bring back tours to 'green zones,' or places at low risk of coronavirus transmission, from Ho Chi Minh City.
"I'm overjoyed because I'll be able to reopen my tour between Ho Chi Minh City and Tay Ninh following the lengthy lockdown," An said.
"I’m excited to start earning money again and believe this will motivate the entire tourism sector."
Ho Chi Minh City recently launched trial tours to outlying Cu Chi and Can Gio Districts for medical workers from other localities that had come to assist Ho Chi Minh City in the fight against COVID-19.
Around 98 percent of people over the age of 18 in Ho Chi Minh City have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose and approximately 72 percent have been jabbed twice.
Tay Ninh Province's vaccine coverage rate is expected to increase toward the end of October.
Vietnam started relaxing COVID-19 restrictions on October 1, after five months grappling with the Delta variant, as vaccines have been rolled out on a wide scale across the nation.
The country has confirmed 849,197 community transmissions in 62 out of its 63 provinces and cities since the fourth virus wave emerged on April 27.
Ho Chi Minh City is struck the hardest with 414,744 patients while Tay Ninh has recorded 8,674 infections.
The national toll has climbed to 20,950 deaths after the Ministry of Health documented 81 fatalities on Thursday.
The country logged only 35 fatalities last year, the remaining in this fourth bout.