Interprovincial passenger bus routes between Ho Chi Minh City and other localities are expected to be reopened on November 1 after months of suspension due to COVID-19, according to local transport authorities.
The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has prepared a draft plan for the resumption, as the city and Vietnam in general have been loosening strict COVID-19 restrictions since October 1 to reopen its socio-economic activities after a four-month pause.
Under this plan, which has been delivered to transport authorities of other localities for feedback, the reopening of interprovincial passenger transport is divided into three phases subject to strict compliance with epidemic prevention measures.
Phase 1 will take place from November 1 to 15, with a maximum of five trips every day. As for routes whose pre-pandemic frequencies were more than 100 trips per day, they will be resumed at 15 trips per day at most.
All buses, except sleeper cars, are required to operate at no more than 50 percent of their capacity.
Phase 2 will be from November 15 to 30, with a cap of 10 trips per day applied. A daily limit of 30 trips is applicable to routes with over 100 journeys prior to the pandemic.
The final phase will last from December 1 to 21, with transporters required to operate no more than 50 percent of their capacity for all routes.
Passengers leaving Ho Chi Minh must either get at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose for at least 14 days, have proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last six months or a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departing.
The same requirements are applied to bus drivers and attendants before they are on duty. If they exhibit common COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, they must immediately inform health agencies.
Passengers arriving in Ho Chi Minh City are required to have a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival.
Before boarding, passengers must make health declarations and have no cough, fever, difficulty breathing or sore throat.
When reaching their destinations, passengers must notify local authorities of their presence, self-monitor their health at their residence for at least seven days, and contact health agencies for instructions if they have any abnormal health conditions.