HCMC culture department calls for reopening bars, karaoke parlors

By Huu Cong   December 27, 2021 | 07:45 pm PT
HCMC culture department calls for reopening bars, karaoke parlors
Bars on Bui Vien Street, part of HCMC's popular backpacker precinct, remain closed on October 5, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The HCMC Department of Culture and Sports has recommended the reopening of bars, discos and karaoke parlors saying the Covid-19 situation is reasonably under control.

It wrote to the city government Monday saying these businesses would serve tourists and help gradually restore the economy.

HCMC has gradually brought the outbreak under control and, with its high vaccination rate, most businesses have resumed operations, it said in the proposal, which followed pleas by karaoke businesses to permit their reopening.

Some 7.1 million people, or 98.8 percent of the city’s population aged 18 or more, have received two shots of vaccines, official data shows.

The city has already issued safety criteria for reopening businesses, including bars, discos and karaoke parlors, the department pointed out.

These would serve as the foundation for the reopening of the latter, it said.

Karaoke parlors should ensure customers stay four square meters from each other while at discos and bars the distance would be determined by their size, it said.

HCMC has around 500 karaoke parlors, bars and discos, which have been closed for almost eight months now.

On Nov. 16 the city allowed cinemas, bars, night clubs, spas, discotheques, and karaoke and massage parlors to reopen, but just two days later it ordered all of them except cinemas to again close.

Last week it approved 10 safety criteria for spas and massage parlors that want to reopen, including getting customers to furnish a negative Covid test done within the previous 72 hours.

HCMC was the epicenter of the latest Covid wave which hit Vietnam eight months ago.

In recent times the city has seen a decline in the number of daily infections and deaths, with the former dropping by 35 percent in the last two weeks.

The average daily death toll in the last seven days is 43, down from 62 a week earlier.

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