HCMC keeps some businesses on hold despite easing Covid-19 restrictions

By Huu Cong   April 23, 2020 | 06:49 pm PT
HCMC keeps some businesses on hold despite easing Covid-19 restrictions
A man cleans up a bar on Bui Vien backpacker street in HCMC that remains closed on April 23, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Karaoke parlors, bars, cinemas, and Internet cafés are among businesses that remain closed in HCMC despite a relaxation of certain Covid-19-related restrictions.

Beauty centers, plastic surgery clinics, spas, physiotherapy, massage, and sauna establishments, theaters, wedding and convention centers, pubs, beer clubs, sports centers, and sports equipment shops are also not allowed to open yet.

Religious places cannot host activities with more than 20 people. Homestay and Airbnb accommodation providers cannot accept new guests.

The city also prohibits all activities and gatherings of over 20 people outside of workplaces, hospitals and schools.

"Other businesses are allowed to operate but must strictly comply with the pandemic prevention measures," Vice Chairman of the city, Le Thanh Liem, said.

The city also requires people to unfailingly wear masks in public and at the workplace. A minimum distance of two meters is required between people in public places. People are still advised not to go out unless required.

Traditional taxis, ride-hailing services and inter-provincial buses resume operations on Friday after a 22-day hiatus.

Local subsidized buses will begin plying on May 3. As for non-subsidized buses, the city's Department of Transport will coordinate with provinces to announce their schedule.

On inter-provincial routes, there will only be 30-50 percent of normal services between the city to other localities.

Inter-provincial buses are back on operation after 22 days on pause. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

Inter-provincial buses at Mien Dong Bus Station in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.

Transport companies must comply with safety measures stipulated by the Ministry of Health. Passengers are required to have a medical declaration and wear masks.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc downgraded HCMC’s status from ‘high risk’ to ‘at risk’, which meant the city can ease social isolation, but has to continue to comply with certain restrictions for prevention of infection.

Authorities around the country are still required to stop social events and gatherings of over 20 people in a place and 10 people outside workplaces, schools and hospitals.

A minimum distance of two meters should be maintained between people in public places.

During the nationwide social distancing period that started on April 1, gatherings of more than two people in public places are not allowed, and people are required to stay at home except for emergencies, buying food and medicines, and working in factories, production facilities and businesses that involve "essential" goods and services.

These regulations are still in force in certain districts of Hanoi, Ha Giang and Bac Ninh Provinces which are deemed to carry high risks of infection.

HCMC has only one Covid-19 patient still undergoing treatment and has gone 21 days without a new case.

Vietnam has kept its Covid-19 infection tally unchanged at 268 for eight days now, including 44 active cases.

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