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Ho Chi Minh City reopens eateries, extends ban on entertainment facilities

Friday, April 24, 2020, 12:04 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City reopens eateries, extends ban on entertainment facilities
A beauty salon in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Photo: Bong Mai / Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City administration has lifted a ban on dine-in eating as part of its relaxation of social distancing rules, though authorities have yet to permit entertainment venues to resume operations.

The city's vice-chairman Le Thanh Liem approved a proposal on Thursday to maintain the closure of certain facilities despite the easing of social distancing regulations.

Accordingly, the city will continue to shutter beauty salons, cosmetic surgery and physiotherapy facilities, saunas, massage parlors, entertainment venues, spas, discos, karaoke shops, bars, beer clubs, online and video game centers, sports centers and indoor sports businesses, theaters, cinemas, and wedding reception venues

Local homestays and AirBnB lodging facilities are still not allowed to receive new guests.

Religious ceremonies and activities involving more than 20 people at places of worship, as well as activities or meetings with 20 or more attendees are also suspended indefinitely.

Gatherings of over 20 people in public places and outside of offices, hospitals, and schools are prohibited as well.

Businesses and activities that are not included in this list are allowed to resume, including for-here food services, but safety and hygiene measures must be in place there and they will be closely monitored by local authorities.

Wearing face masks at workplaces and in public is still mandatory.

State agencies have been reopened but they are encouraged to carry our procedures via the Internet.

The regulations are valid from April 23 until further notice.

As Vietnam’s COVID-19 tally has stayed unchanged at 268 since April 16, the prime minister on Wednesday permitted officials in each province and city to determine their own social distancing rules in accordance with each locality’s particular situation.

Ho Chi Minh City has recorded 54 cases so far and only one patient remains in hospital.

The municipal administration decided to shut down most entertainment facilities from March 15 as part of COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

On March 25, all entertainment venues, beer clubs, restaurants, billiard clubs, gyms, beauty salons, barbers, hairdressers, and more were shuttered, while food joints were only allowed to open for takeout or delivery.

The novel coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has infected over 2.71 million people and killed more than 190,600 globally as of Friday morning, according to Ministry of Health statistics.


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