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Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City railway service open to public following COVID-19 hiatus

Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City railway service open to public following COVID-19 hiatus

Thursday, October 14, 2021, 16:42 GMT+7
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City railway service open to public following COVID-19 hiatus
Passengers head to the SE5 train at Hanoi Railway Station on October 13, 2021. Photo: Duy Hoang / Tuoi Tre

The Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City railway route resumed operations on Wednesday following a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service was relaunched with the operation of SE5 and SE8 trains, one of which departed from Hanoi while the other from Ho Chi Minh City.

The trains were scheduled to stop at 23 stations along their journeys.

The SE5 left the Hanoi Railway Station at 3:20 pm, carrying 103 passengers, of whom 34 headed to Ho Chi Minh City.

Meanwhile, the SE8 departed from the Saigon Railway Station at 6:00 am with 308 passengers.

A passenger has his body temperature measured at Hanoi Railway Station, October 13, 2021. Photo: Duy Hoang / Tuoi Tre

A passenger has his body temperature measured at Hanoi Railway Station, October 13, 2021. Photo: Duy Hoang / Tuoi Tre

Two more trains are expected to be put into operation along the Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City route on Friday.

The SE7 will leave Hanoi at 6:00 am while the SE6 will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 3:20 pm.

To provide a convenient trip for passengers, local authorities have organized rapid COVID-19 testing service right at the Hanoi Railway Station.

An individual test costs VND160,000 (US$7), while pool tests of two and three samples cost VND85,000 ($4) and VND65,000 ($3) per person, respectively.

A passenger puts on face mask and protective clothing to protect herself on the SE5 train at Hanoi Railway Station, October 13, 2021. Photo: Duy Hoang / Tuoi Tre

A passenger puts on a face mask and protective clothing to protect herself on the SE5 train at Hanoi Railway Station, October 13, 2021. Photo: Duy Hoang / Tuoi Tre

All passenger trains had been suspended in the country since late August due to the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic situation began to subside and localities slowly reopened economic activities, the Ministry of Transport decided to resume the service on the Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City railway route on a trial basis from October 13 to 20.

Passengers traveling from high-risk localities to destinations at a lower risk must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease within six months.

They must also test negative for the novel coronavirus within 72 hours before the journey.

Passengers, including children, who are not eligible for vaccination must present a negative test certificate when traveling with their family members.

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