HOST Vietnam will implement a “no vaccine, no entry” policy in the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) slated for May 12-25 in Hanoi.

“All delegation members, not just athletes and coaches, must have at least two doses of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines with the second dose taken at least 14 days prior to the departure,” said Ramon Fernandez, a Philippine Sports Commission board member and the country’s chef de mission right on their first chef de mission online meeting on Tuesday.

The vaccine requirement was apart from the negative RT-PCR test result for each delegation member must posses to be allowed entry and participation.

For those recently afflicted with COVID-19, one must also present a certificate or documentation of recovery.

Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino, for his part, said the host nation has reaffirmed in the same meeting the staging of the 11-nation biennial conclave.

“It’s certainly a go,” said Mr. Tolentino. “Pre-Games formalities and timelines were presented, as well as soft copies of the Games manual were distributed to the members.”

With the entry by numbers already done last Jan. 12, the congressman from Tagaytay said Hanoi set a Feb. 12 distribution date and March 12 deadline for the submission of accreditation forms.

The deadline for the submission of entries by names is set for March 12, after which the chefs de mission will meet again, possibly face-to-face if conditions improve, on March 18.

Mr. Tolentino clarified that the country has fielded in 627 athletes, and not 626 as earlier reported, in 39 of the 40 sports calendared in Hanoi. — Joey Villar