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Ho Chi Minh City makes U-turn on reopening of bar, karaoke, massage businesses

Ho Chi Minh City makes U-turn on reopening of bar, karaoke, massage businesses

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 19:23 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City makes U-turn on reopening of bar, karaoke, massage businesses
A spa reopens in Ho Chi Minh City, November 17, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City administration has ordered the closure of local bars, discos, spas, massage parlors, and karaoke shops, just less than two days after it allowed the services to resume operations.

In a fiat issued on Thursday afternoon, the municipal People’s Committee stated that the COVID-19 pandemic is still very complicated and poses high risks.

At the request of the municipal Department of Health, the administration required all bars, discos, spas, massage parlors, and karaoke shops to shut down until further notice.

City authorities asked the health department to work with the municipal pandemic control steering committee to consider issuing a set of safety criteria for the operation of bars, spas, and massage parlors in the current context.

Officials in each district and Thu Duc City were tasked with making sure all residents and businesses comply with the new order as well as sternly penalizing violators.

On Tuesday evening, chairman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Van Mai signed a decision to reopen cinemas, karaoke parlors, bars and discos, spas, massage parlors, and bike-hailing service following an over-six-month ban due to COVID-19.

The reopening came with various conditions depending on the risk level of each ward and district.

Employees of a karaoke shop prepare for reopening in Ho Chi Minh City, November 17, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Employees of a karaoke shop prepare for reopening in Ho Chi Minh City, November 17, 2021. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, multiple spas and karaoke shops in the city had resumed operations on Wednesday.

Nguyen Thi Lua – owner of Lua Health Spa – said she was renewing many products for the reopening and planned to test her employees for COVID-19 once every three days.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality in Vietnam since the fourth virus wave began on April 27, with nearly 451,000 infections.

A total of 1,337 domestic transmissions were recorded in the metropolis on Wednesday, while 1,183 cases were logged on Tuesday.

The city has imposed various levels of social distancing since May 31 before loosening restrictions in October thanks to a high vaccination rate.

Authorities had previously closed bars, discos, and karaoke shops from April 30, and cinemas and massage parlors from May 3, while ride-hailing service was suspended from July 9.

As of Wednesday, health authorities had administered more than 13.8 million vaccine doses, with nearly six million out of nine million people in the city fully inoculated.

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