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Ho Chi Minh City plans to pilot vaccine travel passes in three stages of economic reopening

Ho Chi Minh City plans to pilot vaccine travel passes in three stages of economic reopening

Saturday, September 11, 2021, 12:10 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City plans to pilot vaccine travel passes in three stages of economic reopening
Employees work at a textile factory in Vietnam. Photo: N. Hien / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have announced the trial of travel passes based on people’s vaccination progress in its plan to recover the economy in three phases after a long period of strict social distancing.

The municipal People’s Committee on Friday afternoon held a conference fielding suggestions from enterprises for the city’s draft plan on COVID-19 control and economic recovery after September 15.

Speaking at the meeting, chairman Phan Van Mai said the city is striving to basically control the epidemic by September 15 in order to relax social distancing measures, restore the economy, and bring the city to a ‘new normal’ state.

“The economic recovery plan will be carried out under the principle of safety and flexibility according to the results of epidemic prevention,” Mai said. 

As per the draft, resdients' safety will be assessed and classified into green and yellow cards based on their vaccination status.

People fully vaccinated for at least 14 days or those having recovered from COVID-19 less than six month will be granted with green cards.

Besides, people with one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or those testing negative for the virus every three days will be provided with yellow cards.

The cards will be issued in the form of a quick respond (QR) code on a unified application for smartphones.

The app will be connected to national and municipal databases to allow people to perform multiple tasks such as getting vaccine travel passes, medical declaration, participation in business activities, check-in at locations, and registration for COVID-19 vaccination and testing.

For people who do not use smartphones, authorities will issue a code via text message or a physical card printed with a QR code.

Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai speaks at a conference on consulting enterprises on the city’s draft COVID-19 management and economic recovery plan after September 15 in this picture taken on September 10, 2021. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Press Center
Ho Chi Minh City chairman Phan Van Mai speaks at a conference collecting suggestions from enterprises for the city’s draft plan on COVID-19 management and economic recovery after September 15 in this picture taken on September 10, 2021. Photo: Ho Chi Minh City Press Center

Phased reopening

The city administration intends to gradually allow the resumption of economic activities in three stages.

In stage 1, from September 16 to October 31, individuals and workers with a green card can participate in all business activities, except karaoke, discos, bars, massages, on-site catering services, amusement parks, gyms, sports facilities, cinemas, and shopping centers.

Individuals and workers with a yellow card are allowed to participate in a number of specific fields.

Organizations with 100 percent of employees holding green cards are allowed to participate in all business fields, except karaoke, discos, bars, massage, on-site catering services, amusement parks, gyms, sports facilities, cinemas, and shopping centers.

Enterprises that require in-person contact with guests must mobilize employees with green cards only.

In stage 2, between October 31 and January 15, 2022, the city will expand the activities allowed for green-card holders to include shopping centers, gyms, sports facilities, outdoor recreational activities, and on-site catering services with a capacity under 20 people.

In stage 3, the city plans to resume all activities of the economy after January 15, 2022. 

For karaoke, discos, bars, massage businesses, participants must acquire a green card.

In addition, the city is preparing solutions to support enterprises in terms of credit, production and business organization, operation cost and workers’ livelihood, market expansion, information and manpower training, and seeking aids from the state budget.

The priority of the pilot scheme will be given to District 7, Cu Chi District, and Can Gio District -- the first three areas in Ho Chi Minh City that have claimed the control over the COVID-19 epidemic.

Ho Chi Minh City last month deployed troops to enforce its stringent social distancing measures and prohibited residents from leaving their homes to slow a spiraling rate of COVID-19 deaths.

The southern economic metropolis alone has recorded over 286,000 local coronavirus infections and 11,472 deaths, representing nearly half of Vietnam’s cases and over 77 percent of its fatalities.

The vast majority of those have been reported since April 24 when a new wave of infections struck the country.

The Ministry of Health on Friday reported 13,321 coronavirus infections, raising its caseload to 589,417 with 14,745 deaths.

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