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Ho Chi Minh City resumes conditional operation of cinemas, discos, bike-hailing service

Ho Chi Minh City resumes conditional operation of cinemas, discos, bike-hailing service

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 14:34 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City resumes conditional operation of cinemas, discos, bike-hailing service
A bar on Bui Vien Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have allowed local cinemas, karaoke parlors, discos, and bike-hailing service to resume operations under various conditions depending on the coronavirus risk level of each area.

Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Van Mai signed a decision on temporary measures to safely and flexibly adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday evening.

Generally, residents have to be vaccinated with at least one shot or have recovered from the disease in order to participate in various activities in the city.

Those unable to receive the vaccination due to health problems must present a certificate from health authorities.

Unvaccinated children are allowed to take part in activities if they are accompanied by vaccinated adults.

The decision also highlighted the conditions for the reopening of cinemas, karaoke parlors, bars and discos, massage parlors, and bike-hailing service.

The conditions are different depending on the coronavirus risk level of each area.

There are currently four risk levels, namely low (a.k.a. green zone or level 1), medium (yellow zone or level 2), high (orange zone or level 3), and very high (red or level 4).

As of Wednesday morning, only Can Gio District was classified as level 3, while the remaining districts and Thu Duc City were at levels 1 or 2.

Residents can check the corresponding risk level of each ward and district using the interactive map operated by the municipal Department of Information and Communications via https://bando.tphcm.gov.vn/ogis/thongke?Province=79.

According to the latest decision, massage parlors, spas, beauty salons, bars, discos, and karaoke shops are permitted to operate in green, yellow, and orange zones.

All employees and customers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease. Customers who do not meet these conditions must have a negative test within 72 hours.

These establishments must operate at 50 percent of capacity in yellow zones and 25 percent in orange zones.

Cinemas are allowed to operate in green, yellow, and orange zones if they meet all safety criteria promulgated by municipal authorities.

These facilities are requireed to operate at 50 and 25 percent of capacity in yellow and orange zones, respectively.

Street vendors and lottery sellers can resume their job in green and yellow zones. Those in yellow zones must be fully inoculated or have recovered from COVID-19.

Bike-hailing service is permitted to re-operate if the overall risk of the city is at level 1, and must reduce to 50 percent of capacity if the city is at risk level 2.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently at level 2.

Traditional motorbike taxi service, or ‘xe om,’ is only restored when the city is at risk level 1.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit locality in Vietnam since the fourth virus wave began on April 27, with nearly 450,000 infections.

The city has imposed various levels of social distancing since May 31 before loosening restrictions in October thanks to a high vaccination rate.

Authorities had previously closed bars, discos, and karaoke shops from April 30, and cinemas and massage parlors from May 3, while ride-hailing service was suspended from July 9.

As of Monday, health authorities had administered more than 13.8 million vaccine doses, with nearly six million out of nine million people in the city fully inoculated.

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