Ho Chi Minh City transport authorities are fielding suggestions for its draft plan allowing people and vehicles to enter and leave the city since October 1, in preparation for the southern Vietnamese business hub to enter “new normal conditions” amid the COVID-19 fight.
The plan aims to facilitate vehicles that transport goods and people with legitimate reasons from the city to other localities and vice versa from next month, when the city is prepared to reopen its economy.
Based on the opinions collected, the city’s Transport Department will perfect the plan and submit it to the municipal administration for approval.
According to the draft plan, people travelling on vehicles must comply with all required epidemic prevention measures and make health declarations on the website suckhoe.dancuquocgia.gov.vn or through VNEID app.
Transport firms must meet conditions specified in the set of epidemic safety criteria applied for transport activities.
From October 1, the city will be divided into three areas, including locked down areas, areas at risk of COVID-19, and areas in “new normal conditions”.
In locked down areas, traffic is allowed only for vehicles for transporting necessities and medical equipment, carrying people on official missions or engaged in COVID-19 fighting activities, bringing people discharged from quarantine facilities or hospitals, conducting funerals, performing utility services, and handling urban infrastructural problems.
In areas vulnerable to a COVID-19 outbreak, in addition to cases allowed in lockdown areas, traffic is open to vehicles used for supporting businesses and services such as banking, law, secured transaction, public notary; for posts and telecommunications services; for production, exports and imports; and for medical services.
Besides, the green light is also given to vehicles carrying people from the city to their native towns and vice versa, shuttle buses for workers and experts, taxis with operation permits, and vehicles that carry materials for construction or repairing projects, perform maintenance services or handle infrastructural problems.
In areas with ‘new normal conditions,’ besides the mentioned cases, travel permission is also granted to buses and contract vehicles, and waterway vehicles, with all subject to regulations of transport authorities.
Regarding passenger transport, buses, taxis, and app-based vehicles with up to nine seats, and tourist vehicles are allowed to operate following QR codes and relevant regulations.
Shuttle buses for workers and experts are subject to identification certificates with QR codes issued by transport authorities.
In respect of traveling between Ho Chi Minh City and the provinces, vehicles carrying goods with QR codes are allowed to enter and leave the city.
Meanwhile, workers and experts entering the city must be given at least the first vaccine shot at least 14 days before travel, or have certificates of recovery from COVID-19, or have valid negative test results as required.
People entering Ho Chi Minh City for medical services are required to have negative COVID-19 test results with validity and present either a hospital transfer form, an invitation to a follow-up appointment, or a travel pass issued by their local authorities.
Meanwhile, travel to and from Tan Son Nhat International Airport is subject to the previous regulations by the Ministry of Transport.
After experiencing social distancing periods at different levels due to the COVID-19 impacts since May 31, the city is now applying continued restrictions under the prime minister’s Directive 16 since August 16.
However, the city has taken necessary steps, including vaccination acceleration and improvements of the health sector’s capabilities, to gradually recover its socio-economic operations in ‘new normal conditions’.
Since the pandemic hit Vietnam in early 2020, the city has documented 363,013 infection cases, including 14,124 fatalities, leading the country in both infections and deaths, the Ministry of Health reported on Friday evening.
Nationwide, the Southeast Asian country has registered 736,972 COVID-19 cases, including 505,859 recoveries and 18,220 deaths, in 62 out of its 63 cities and provinces.
The only locality is now free from coronavirus is Cao Bang Province, where measures to prevent virus penetration have been strictly applied.