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Hanoi residents resume outdoor exercise habit following relaxed social distancing rules

Hanoi residents resume outdoor exercise habit following relaxed social distancing rules

Wednesday, September 29, 2021, 15:57 GMT+7
Hanoi residents resume outdoor exercise habit following relaxed social distancing rules
Cyclists bike around the West Lake in Hanoi, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi residents have returned to their outdoor exercising habit after spending two months at home under local authorities' stringent COVID-19 movement curbs, which have been slowly loosened in recent weeks.

As witnessed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondents on Tuesday, many Hanoi residents showed up at the waterfront of Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake, both located in the city’s downtown area, for their outdoor workouts.

This was also the first day that they were allowed to go outside for sports and physical activities in two months, since the city leaders had just approved on Monday the resumption of such activities, provided they would not lead to gatherings of more than ten people.

Upholding such regulations, cyclists could be seen forming small groups, running on Nguyen Dinh Thi and Trich Sai Streets near the West Lake.

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi since the early morning of September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi in the morning of September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

“I’m glad to be able to go back to the streets for exercises,” said Pham Van Binh, 67, a resident who arrived at the West Lake at 5:00 am on Tuesday morning.

“Seeing people back to the streets makes me even more glad that we’re past the peak of the outbreak.”

He also suggested that residents maintain adherence to safety guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, including face mask wearing, during exercises.

Luong Minh Hai, 32, another outdoor exerciser who showed up on Hanoi streets on Tuesday, said he felt relieved to be outside after undergoing two stressful months under social distancing.

“A lot of people go outside for physical exercises today, as we all want to breathe some fresh air after an extended social distancing period,” he said.

“I hope that the epidemic prevention achievements of Hanoi and the whole country will be sustained.”

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi in the morning of September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Exercisers show up at the West Lake in Hanoi, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Dancers practice near the West Lake in Hanoi in the morning of September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Dancers practice near the West Lake in Hanoi, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A Hanoi resident practices near the Hoan Kiem Lake in the morning of September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A Hanoi resident practices near the Hoan Kiem Lake, September 28, 2021. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Meanwhile, the promenade of Hoan Kiem Lake in the namesake district was also crowded with runners, dancers, and cyclists resuming their practices.

Most of the exercisers complied with safety rules, save for some who removed their face masks or wore them wrong.

“I was delighted to hear about the resumption of outdoor workouts yesterday,” said Bui Thi Thao, a 33-year-old cyclist.

“I contacted my fellow cyclists immediately, before leaving my house at 6:00 am today,” she said after completing a lap around the West Lake.

Hanoi has recorded 4,208 local COVID-19 cases since a new wave of infections began in Vietnam on April 27 and has applied various social distancing levels since early July.

The loosened pandemic prevention regulations on Monday came as Hanoi had recorded no new local infections for 48 hours over the last weekend.

The majority of the capital's population has been given at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot.

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