A couple has been fined after they were caught kissing at a public park in the middle of a social distancing drive in the northern province of Hai Duong – Vietnam’s largest COVID-19 epicenter at present.
The People’s Committee in Hai Tan Ward, Hai Duong City, the capital of the namesake province, confirmed on Saturday that a 19-year-old boy and his 19-year-old girlfriend were each fined VND2 million (US$86) for failure to wear face masks and leaving home without suitable reasons.
Officers in charge of COVID-19 prevention and control were patrolling an area in Hai Tan Ward at around 5:40 pm on February 17, when they spotted the couple sitting on a bench at a local park.
The two were not wearing face masks and were kissing, while an ongoing social distancing drive in Hai Duong only allows residents to go outside when necessary.
Hai Duong Province has recorded 596 local COVID-19 infections since January 27, with five major clusters in Chi Linh City, Cam Giang District, Kinh Mon Town, Nam Sach District, and Hai Duong City.
A 15-day social distancing period began in the province on February 16.
All residents are required to stay home and can only go outside to buy food, supplies, medicine, and other essential goods and services, or to seek medical examinations and treatment.
People are also allowed to leave their homes to go to work at factories, manufacturing establishments, businesses, and essential services.
Residents must wear face masks when leaving their houses and keep a two-meter distance from one another, while the gathering of more than two people outside public offices, schools, and hospitals is forbidden.
As of Sunday morning, Vietnam has documented 2,368 COVID-19 cases, with 1,627 having recovered and 35 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.