HCMC eyes January return to post-pandemic normalcy

By Trung Son   September 10, 2021 | 04:40 pm PT
HCMC eyes January return to post-pandemic normalcy
A military personnel and a police officer check the travel permits of a man in HCMC, August 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Ho Chi Minh City has unveiled elaborate plans to return to normalcy post-Covid-19 with just a few restrictions from January 15 next year.

At a meeting with the business community on Friday, city authorities revealed plans to open up in three phases with people categorized in two groups starting September 15.

The first group will comprise fully vaccinated people who produce enough antibodies and those who have recovered from Covid in the previous six months, and they will be issued green passes.

The second group will comprise people who have received one shot of a vaccine and produce a certain amount of antibodies, and they will receive yellow passes.

In the first phase between September 16 and October 31, karaoke and massage parlors, night clubs, bars, restaurants, sports and amusement venues, cinemas, and shopping malls will remain closed.

Organizations and businesses all of whose employees have green passes can carry on any activity except those in this list.

Green pass holders can move freely while yellow pass holders will need to furnish a negative Covid test to take part in certain activities.

In the second phase between November 1 and January 15 next year the city plans to throw open malls, sports centers, outdoor entertainment venues, and restaurants that serve less than 20 covers at a time to green pass holders.

In the final phase, after January 15, all businesses can reopen though karaoke and massage parlors, night clubs and bars can only allow green pass holders in.

Phan Van Mai, the city’s chairman, admitted at the meeting that reviving the economy while also fighting the pandemic is a difficult task.

There would be drastic pandemic prevention measures in order to ease restrictions early, he said.

"The reopening of the economy depends on whether the pandemic situation improves."

Since it has economic ties with many other cities and provinces, he said the city would need to discuss with them before deciding what activities should resume first.

It would continue to listen to the business community, he promised.

"We do not have much time left (for September 15), and so there could be some delay in issuing official policies. We hope businesses will understand and make proper preparations for resuming operations."

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