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Stores on Bui Vien Street in Saigon committed to reducing noise

Sunday, March 21, 2021, 15:27 GMT+7
Stores on Bui Vien Street in Saigon committed to reducing noise
Officials inspect a store on Bui Vien Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Bars and beer joints on the popular Bui Vien ‘backpacker street’ in downtown Ho Chi Minh City have been committed to tackling noise violations as they were allowed to reopen after weeks of closure for COVID-19 social distancing.

Bars, karaoke parlors, and discos were the last businesses to resume operations in the southern metropolis on Friday night after non-essential services had been told to close down since February 9, as the city raced to squash its latest surge in COVID-19 cases.

On Saturday night, just one day after the reopening, a team of District 1’s Pham Ngu Lao Ward officials conducted an inspection of business activities on Bui Vien Walking Street, located in a busy neighborhood populated with bars, pubs, discos, and beer joints.

During the inspection, the officials encouraged store owners to make formal commitments to not violating noise regulations for the sake of nearby residents.

Over 30 businesses agreed to sign commitment papers presented to them by the authorities.

An official explains to a store owner the terms of a noise-reducing commitment during an inspection of businesses on Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An official explains to a store owner the terms of a noise-reducing commitment during an inspection of businesses on Bui Vien Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The documents include such commitments as “not making loud noise that causes disturbance in residential and public areas between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am."

Specifically, noise of up to 75 decibels (dB) in loudness is allowed between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, while acceptable loudness is capped at 70 dB and 50 dB during the respective time frames of 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm and 10:00 pm until 6:00 am the next day.

Businesses that signed the commitment can have their business license revoked with no chance of appeal if they are found to violate the terms of their commitment.

Employees of a store move chairs and tables out of the pavement as officials inspect stores on Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Employees of a store move chairs and tables out of the sidewalk as officials inspect stores on Bui Vien Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A café also had their sidewalk-encroaching store signs confiscated and an individual told off for loud public singing using a portable speaker during the officials’ patrol.

“Since stores in this area are similar, many rely on loud music to attract customers,” Nguyen Hong Linh, an employee at a beer joint on Bui Vien which has been committed to reducing its noise, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

“Our store owner has told employees to keep the volume down after the officials’ reminder."

Officials remind a group to turn off their portable loudspeader, which they used for singing, at the September 23 Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Officials remind a group to turn off their portable loudspeader, which they used for singing, at the September 23 Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Pham Ngu Lao Ward chairman Nguyen Hoang Tam told Tuoi Tre a campaign to inspect and measure noise at businesses in the area has been ongoing since before the Lunar New Year holiday in February, with support from District 1 authorities.

Inspections similar to the one on Saturday will continue to be carried out in the coming months and violating premises will be penalized accordingly, Tam warned.

Bui Vien is turned into a pedestrian-only zone from 7:00 pm on weekend nights, where stores are allowed to operate until 2:00 am the next day.

The street is nowadays frequented mostly by locals as Vietnam has closed its borders to foreign visitors since March last year, only allowing entry to those with valid travel needs such as international experts and diplomats.

An official explains to a store owner the terms of a noise-reducing commitment during an inspection of businesses on Bui Vien Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

An official explains to a store owner the terms of a noise-reducing commitment during an inspection of businesses on Bui Vien Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20, 2021. Photo: Chau Tuan / Tuoi Tre

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