Covid-19 ‘travel pass’ gives manufacturers logistics headache

By Vien Thong, Tat Dat   July 9, 2021 | 02:30 pm GMT+7
Covid-19 ‘travel pass’ gives manufacturers logistics headache
A person holds a Covid-19 test result in Ho Chi Minh City on July 6, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The “travel pass” regulations is increasing the burden on southern manufacturers due to a lack of consistency in its implementation.

Duy Anh Foods in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City has been struggling to attain Covid-19 tests, referred to as a travel pass, for its workers so they could freely transport goods to customers.

"The number of people that needs to be tested outnumber testing facilities," said CEO Le Duy Toan.

A similar situation is seen in several southern provinces like Binh Duong and Dong Nai as contagion risks remain high with HCMC being the disease epicenter.

Di An Town in Binh Duong started requiring travel passes on July 5, while on the same day, Dong Nai started requiring people coming from HCMC and Binh Duong to provide Covid-19-free documents.

Other localities like Vinh Long and Tien Giang also require the same pass, with entrants to be tested within three days upon arrival.

Starting Thursday, people transporting goods in and out of HCMC are all required to have tested negative for Covid-19.

Businesses say they are burdened by this regulation.

A spokesperson for delivery company AhaMove in HCMC said the sudden regulation did not give them enough time to test employees and some drivers were therefore not able to pass checkpoints.

Pham Thanh Binh, CEO of food producer Bich Chi in Dong Thap Province, said there is a low number of testing facilities in small provinces and drivers have to wait for a long time to be screened.

"There is not enough time to transport goods anymore. If drivers cannot acquire the pass, goods won’t be delivered in time."

Some other businesses say each province’s travel pass regulation differs from one another in terms of expiration and administrative procedures.

Testing is also a cost burden, with each quick test priced at VND200,000-400,000 ($8.69-17.37), while a PCR test is over VND700,000.

The Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA) recently proposed no PCR test is required for drivers entering and leaving areas with high risks in HCMC to reduce costs.

Instead, drivers must wear protective gear and should remain inside the cabin while the goods are loaded or unloaded, it said.

Binh of Bich Chi said drivers should be prioritized for vaccination so transport is not disrupted.

 
 
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