HCMC begins to ease Covid restrictions

By Huu Cong   September 16, 2021 | 01:33 pm GMT+7
Covid-19 epicenter Ho Chi Minh City has eased some of the stringent social distancing rules that had been in place for weeks.

Starting Thursday inter-district delivery services will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Delivery persons had hitherto not been allowed to cross borders.

Businesses can again use their own delivery staff and no longer have to exclusively use shipping companies.

However, they can only do so within their district and their delivery workers need to be tested every two days for Covid.

Late last month delivery companies were allowed to resume operations in eight districts earlier designated high-risk.

Shipper chờ lấy mẫu xét nghiệm Covid-19 tại quận Gò Vấp, ngày 31/8/2021. Ảnh: Quỳnh Trần/VnExpress

Deliverymen are tested for the new coronavirus in HCMC's Go Vap District, August 31, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

Also from Thursday people living in ‘green zones,’ as areas with low risk are called, can go walking and do other exercises in public places though they must wear masks and keep a distance from others.

People can check the status of their area at bando.tphcm.gov.vn.

Outdoor physical exercises had been banned in the city since July 9 when it started imposing Directive 16, which requires people to stay at home except for "essential" reasons.

The city has also allowed a number of other businesses to resume, though only between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., including postal and telecommunications services, offices, informatics and schooling equipment sellers.

Also given the green light are those that supporting agricultural production, food production, processing and trading; veterinary facilities; maintenance and repair works; transport machinery and equipment maintenance and repair services; and those that sell vehicle parts.

A man buys bread at a store in HCMCs District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

A man buys bread at a store in HCMC's District 1, September 1, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran

On September 7 food and beverage sellers had been allowed to reopen but only for takeaway and delivery and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Also from Thursday construction and traffic works can resume. All infrastructure works deemed "not urgent" had been halted on July 22.

Restrictions will be eased to the greatest extent in the three districts of 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio where the pandemic is basically under control.

People in these districts can go grocery shopping once a week at both supermarkets and traditional markets.

It is in these three districts that the city will trial its vaccine 'green pass' scheme for two weeks. Pass holders can undertake certain activities without too many restrictions like domestic and international travel and participating in public events.

In the latest Covid wave that hit Vietnam almost five months ago, HCMC has been hit hardest.

The city of 13 million has had more than 315,000 cases and over 12,600 deaths in it while the nation’s tally stands at 641,245 and 16,151.

 
 
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