COVID-19 Warning: “We Cannot Go Back to Acting Like We Did Before”

Commentary from Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, the general manager of the new Alma Resort at Cam Ranh:

We are very happy and impressed with the Vietnamese authorities’ initial management and handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Vietnam’s COVID-19 response has been hailed a huge success worldwide, based on quick and thorough action that kept the number of COVID-19 cases very low and resulted in zero deaths.

Each and every hotel, resort and restaurant in Vietnam now has to take its responsibility to keep its guests and staff, and ultimately the wider community, safe very seriously.  With social distancing measures easing, all hotels, resorts and restaurants need to ensure they are implementing sweeping safety and hygiene measures to protect people from the threat of COVID-19. 

We cannot go back to acting like we did before, as if nothing has happened. Only placing hand sanitizers at the entrance of a restaurant doesn’t cut the mustard, particularly if you are still leaving salt, pepper and chili bottles on the table for everyone to touch, and huddling chairs together as if social distancing was a passing fad.  We need to do more.

Perhaps the government could issue strict safety, hygiene and social distancing rules for every hotel, resort and restaurant, and make sure everything is followed up with random checks by inspectors and auditors. After all, we are all in the same boat and if someone is not taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously, it jeopardizes not only the entire tourism industry’s efforts but, significantly, the broader community’s health and people’s lives.  

We don’t want to undo all of the fantastic work that has been achieved in Vietnam so far. The idea of an outbreak occurring now is frightening. Unfortunately the reality is we are still only at the beginning of this and until there is a vaccine or cure, we cannot go back to how we used to behave.  It’s too early now to relax, we all need to do everything we can to protect each other.



Jim Sullivan Managing Director
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