NEWS: Vietnam to trial opening to visitors, 3 ditch free roaming & Delta reveals real world risk of air travel,

Bai Sao beach in Vietnam on Phu Quoc island.

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Vietnam to trial opening to visitors

After Thailand’s partial reopening of the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui to visitors, Vietnam also plans to reopen the island of Phu Quoc to foreign tourists from October. The government like many others, has finally conceded that they must start to live with Covid and take steps to revive the economy. 

The island is 6 miles off the coast of Cambodia and a stunning beach-laden destination. Vietnam is currently closed to most visitors but is expected to trial the reopening of Phu Quoc for a period of 6 months. 

Fully vaccinated tourists with a negative Covid test will be allowed to visit Phu Quoc. The plan is to fully vaccinate all residents on Phu Quoc before opening. It will be interesting to see the full list of requirements given the multiple hoops that are in place for Thailand. 


3 ditch free roaming

I always think of mobile networks like politicians. They say they don’t plan to do something at this point but we all know that just means they will do it later. All the main networks said earlier in the year that they were not planning to ditch free EU roaming after Brexit. Now we are at the third of the major companies (and the one I am with) that has said they will not honour that. EE and Vodafone were the first to announce the changes. The only one now left doing free EU roaming is O2. Personally, I think it’s a huge mistake by 3 as the only reason I joined 3 is because of the travel offers.  

The only good news is that you have just over two weeks’ notice to change or upgrade your contract with 3 as it only applies to new contracts and upgrades after 1 October. From 23 May 2022, customers who have taken out a new or upgraded contract after 1 October will have to pay £2 a day to use their monthly allowance of minutes, texts, and data in the EU. Sadly, that’s not the end of it as there will also be a £5 a day charge outside Europe. On the current contracts, you get 71 countries with free roaming which I had used a lot. 

So if you want free roaming you’ll need to take out a contract now before they all ditch it!


Delta reveals real-world risk of air travel

There have been a number of studies recently, all showing what nonsense many of the UK and US’s travel rules are. First was a study about the very low numbers of people testing positive on return from abroad. Then a study demonstrated you were far more likely to get Covid on holiday in the UK than when travelling abroad. Which in fact I pointed out in June was very likely to happen…

Now Delta has revealed the results from the real world trial they have been conducting to study the real-world risk of travel with appropriate mitigation.

A unique study that examined real-world customer data on Delta’s COVID-tested flight corridors between New York-JFK, Atlanta and Italy’s Rome Fiumicino International Airport found that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while traveling after all passengers test negative 72 hours in advance of your flight is less than 0.1 percent. The study began in December 2020. 

The peer-reviewed study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings showed a single COVID-19 test performed within 72 hours of departure could decrease the rate of people actively infected onboard the aircraft to a level that is significantly below community infection rates. For example, when the average community infection rate was at 1.1 percent – or about one in 100 people – infection rates on COVID-19-tested flights were 0.05 percent or 5 in 10,000 passengers. 

“We are going to live with COVID-19 variants for some time. This real-world data – not simulation models – is what governments around the world can use as a blueprint for requiring vaccinations and testing instead of quarantines to re-open borders for international travel,” explained Dr. Henry Ting, Delta’s Chief Health Officer. “Air travel risk varies depending on case rates and vaccination rates at the origin and destination, masking and other factors. But the data collected from this study show that the routine use of a single molecular test within 72 hours before international travel for unvaccinated individuals significantly mitigates the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission during airline travel.”

5 Comments on "NEWS: Vietnam to trial opening to visitors, 3 ditch free roaming & Delta reveals real world risk of air travel,"

  1. The Covid risk is ludicrously minimal, yet still there is a fear driven industry devoted to perpetuating it. Thank you for featuring the Delta study.

    • Agreed. On the one hand we’re being told to live with COVID, on the other, they’ve destroyed the industry because of COVID. Go figure

  2. A couple of things Michele. I changed my contract with Three on Wednesday. Like you, I was furious as I’ve been with them for over 10 years and I (usually) travel extensively. I also have a house in Granada so their “Feel At Home” is essential for me. I called and pressed the “if you’re thinking of leaving us” key, which, surprise, surprise, was answered quickly. I started by asking them why they think it’s alright to lie to their customers…My contract ran out in July and I buy my own handsets and had a “Pay Monthly” sim – with unlimited everything for £22 ish a month. I asked them what my monthly data usage has been over the past two years. Apparently it’s not been more than about 6GB. I always use WiFi and music is downloaded so I generally don’t stream on the go. Reducing the plan to 8GB per month from unlimited which I never used has cut my bill from £22 to £10 per month and I got a “first 6 months” at £5 per month on a two year contract. Next April, there is an automatic inflationary increase of 4.5% and a similar increase the following year. I wasn’t in the mood to start changing networks but at least I deprived them of some revenue.
    BEACHES: Phu Quoc- I’ve been twice – has had massive development over the past five years in particular. Some of the resort hotels are stunning. Beaches however, in my humble opinion can appear beautiful but often, piles of rubbish are stacked high on the beaches. I swam at many including Bai Sao and was gutted with the polystyrene boxes. And plastic floating in the sea. Otres beach in Cambodia is now Casino land. In three years, beach shacks were replaced by huge casinos built for the Chinese market. I took my sisters because I’d enjoyed it so much three years previously. It was a building site. Rubbish everywhere. Rats had taken over. I stayed one night and got a flight out next day. NEVER AGAIN. Apparently, apart from major cites in Vietnam and Cambodia, there is no refuse collection so it’s dumped or dumped and burned, including on beaches-vile. I would love to hear where you recommend for pristine beaches. We were heading for Boracay this winter, about to be canned. For me, Oz, Mauritius, the Seychelles and the Maldives are trusted. SE Asia generally disappoint these days. Your thoughts…

    • Thanks for sharing your info on 3. It’s sad to here about the rubbish on Phu Quoc beaches. Sadly Vietnam has expanded tourism very quickly and I advise people if they want to go, do it ASAP before it becomes overwhelmed. The beaches south of Danang were great when I visited in 2019. Also the IC Danang beach. But obviously can’t visit now. Barbados for me has some of the best beaches in the world. Although visiting does require some quarantine even if fully vaccinated but you can pay for testing privately and get it back within around 12 hours with many hotels allowing you to use pool and restaurants while waiting. I visited last year and loved it.

  3. Well that’s the 4 Three contracts I pay for being ditched. It’s their ‘feel at home’ service that makes them attractive. Without it, or a daily fee im simply not going to pay, they lack anything to keep my 12 year loyalty.
    The fact they are introducing a £5pd ex-eu charge also proves that it’s NOTHING to do with Brexit in the slightest and purely a money grabbing exercise wrapped up in lies in the hope most won’t work out the obvious truth

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