Vung Tau polices beaches to keep out holiday crowds

By Truong Ha   April 30, 2020 | 10:47 pm PT
Vung Tau polices beaches to keep out holiday crowds
Police officers ride motorbikes along a beach in Vung Tau Town on April 30, 2020 to enforce a swimming ban. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha.
The Vung Tau administration has dispatched over 1,000 security officials to prevent tourists from entering beaches amid fears of Covid-19 spread.

Pham Khac To, director of the central town’s tourism spots management board, said that police and urban security personnel would be posted from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the holidays to implement the restrictions on gatherings.

With the National Reunification Day and Labor Day holidays on Thursday and Friday starting a long weekend, people poured into Vung Tau to visit its beaches.

But they mostly stayed off the beaches as local authorities kept a close watch.

The beach of Vung Tau Town pictured at 6 p.m. April 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha.

A beach in Vung Tau at 6 p.m, April 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha.

Le Phi Long from Ho Chi Minh City had not expected the ban. "I am surprised by the ban. But as the pandemic remains, safety should come first."

Nguyen Van Hoa, who had come from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, pointed out that the ban on congregating was not effective since people were instead gathering in parks in Vung Tau.

He suggested that authorities should let people swim while maintaining a minimum distance from each other.

The swimming ban was imposed after thousands of tourists flocked to the beaches last Saturday, most of them not wearing masks.

Tourists walk along the Vung Tau Town beach on April 30, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha.

Tourists at a beach in Vung Tau on April 30. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, of which Vung Tau is the capital, has not recorded any Covid-19 cases. Last year its beaches attracted over 100,000 people.

Vietnam has gone seven days with no new coronavirus infections and 15 days without community transmission.

Of the country's 270 Covid-19 cases, 51 are active and the remaining 219 have been discharged from hospitals. There have been 12 relapses.

The pandemic has spread to 210 countries and territories so far, claiming over 233,700 lives.

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