Local authorities decide isolation rules for arrivals

By Ngoc Tai, Viet Tuan, Nguyen Dong, Giang Chinh, Duc Hung   October 5, 2021 | 12:17 am PT
Local authorities decide isolation rules for arrivals
People returning home in northern Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City stop at a checkpoint in the central Thua Thien Hue Province, October 4, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh
The Health Ministry has decreed that people traveling between cities and provinces can self-isolate but that local authorities could make adjustments depending on individual cases.

A guideline issued by the ministry last Sunday stated people moving between cities and provinces would be allowed to self-isolate either at home or accommodation facilities instead of being sent to centralized quarantine.

However, as the pandemic situation differs among localities, "provinces and cities can apply more regulations in line with their actual conditions, as long as they are consistent with ministry guidelines," Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son told VnExpress.

After the ministry issued the guidance, some provinces and cities have adjusted measures on isolating and testing arrivals.

The northern port city of Hai Phong does not accept anyone coming from areas where Directive 16, the most stringent social distancing rule, is applied.

Except for "inevitable situations," those arrivals must be isolated in centralized quarantine camps for 14 days, during which they must be tested thrice and pay the fees, the city said.

Those coming to Hai Phong from areas where social distancing measures have been eased must self-isolate for seven days and be tested once if they have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days or recovered from Covid-19 in the past six months. Other cases must isolate at home or accommodation facilities for 14 days and be tested once.

People coming from Ho Chi Minh City to Hai Phong will be isolated at home for seven days and tested once if they are Covid-19 recoveries, but the quarantine rule is 14 days for those that have got two vaccine doses. HCMC arrivals that have yet to receive any vaccine shots or just one shot must stay in centralized facilities for 14 days and be tested thrice.

Da Nang City allows people to get in freely if they come from areas that have been free of community Covid-19 cases for 14 days in a row or areas where no social distancing measures are applied, as long as they show a negative test result within 72 hours.

Visitors to Da Nang must register on the mobile application Danang Smart City or website khaibaoyte.danang.gov.vn to get a QR code.

The central hub stated it is working on the rule to isolate those coming from high-risk areas and in the coming time, should more people from different places arrive in the city, the rule could be adjusted.

In northern Vinh Phuc Province, home to many industrial complexes, authorities are still working on specific rules on isolation and testing to ensure safety.

In the Mekong Delta, which has received tens of thousands of people returning home from HCMC and neighboring Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An provinces on recent days, provinces have adopted different quarantine policies.

In An Giang, with the number of returnees having reached almost 30,000 in three days since Friday, the province had on Monday changed its policy, allowing people with two Covid-19 vaccine doses and negative repid test result to go home and isolate themselves.

Its neighbor Kien Giang has already made the move of letting all returnees who test negative isolate themselves at home for 14 days after receiving 20,000 returnees in the past three days.

The delta's Dong Thap Province has yet to allow returnees to isolate themselves at home. Anyone with two vaccine doses will stay in centralized quarantine for three days, while those with one dose must stay for a week, and the rest, 14 days.

Tens of thousands of migrants have left HCMC and its neighbors for their hometowns across Mekong Delta and the north in recent days as the city started to remove street barriers and checkpoints for reopening. Most said they have lost their jobs and are now out of money after surviving four months under strict social distancing measures in the epicenter of Vietnam's latest Covid-19 wave.

Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An are the second, third, and fourth hardest hit localities in the wave, after HCMC. All four are major industrial hubs that employ a large number of workers from across the country.

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