Hanoi asks restaurants, cafes to close by 9 pm

By Vo Hai   November 1, 2021 | 06:20 pm PT
Hanoi asks restaurants, cafes to close by 9 pm
People move by Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Hanoi has ordered food and beverage establishments to close up shops before 9 p.m., amid other restrictions to avoid large gatherings.

In a plan to adapt to Covid-19 and mitigate outbreak risk, issued Monday night, the city said restaurants and other food and beverage establishments, except for those that sell alcohol, are allowed to operate on-site but must close down before 9 p.m. Other requirements like social distancing and employees being fully vaccinated still hold.

The decision came as Hanoi's People Committee has raised the city's coronavirus risk to medium, or at level 2, with two areas determined as having high risk.

The Health Ministry last month classified Hanoi as a safe area, with its Covid-19 outbreak risk ranked low, or at level 1. The capital had no area determined to have high coronavirus risk back then.

Among the new restrictions, weddings must not have more than 30 people at the same time. All participants must have either been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19. Those who have symptoms suspected to be Covid-19 and others who don't satisfy such requirements are recommended not to go.

People must keep distances and ventilation must be ensured. The use of air conditioners is discouraged.

Similarly for funerals, no gathering of more than 30 is allowed, and no dining event can take place at the funerals.

For religious institutions and other places of worship, all participants must either have been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or test negative for the coronavirus within the last 72 hours. No gathering of more than 20 is allowed, and those with symptoms suspected to be Covid-19 cannot attend on-site.

Facilities with indoor physical sports and exercises must also limit their capacity by half and not allow gatherings of more than 30. They must disinfect equipment and the environment every day, and scan QR codes of participants for medical declaration daily. Participants must either have been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

Barbershops and beauty parlors are allowed to operate as long as they abide by coronavirus prevention measures and all employees have either been fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

Bars, massage and karaoke parlors are still suspended.

Coronavirus risks are categorized by a four-level risk assessment system, with level 1 being the safest and level 4 having the highest risks.

Level 1 areas theoretically can allow all services and activities to resume as normal alongside Covid prevention measures like wearing masks or keeping distance. These include food and beverage establishments, malls, hotels, religious institutions and movie theaters.

As areas ascend to levels with higher-risks, services and activities would be restricted, even banned outright. Level 2 areas in particular should limit large gatherings either indoor or outdoor, and businesses and services with high coronavirus risks like dance clubs, karaoke parlors, beauty parlors and bars will either be restricted or suspended.

Around 98 percent of Hanoi’s adult population have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine shot, while around 61 percent have been fully vaccinated. The capital has recorded dozens of new community transmission cases a day recently.

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