Immunization coverage is center of attention as HCMC considers reopening on October 1

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In a draft plan sent to district authorities for comment on Monday, the city administration said that from October 1, the city is gradually easing restrictions on Covid-19 depending on the pandemic situation.

Production and commercial organizations that must have employees on site can resume operations provided that all have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months; in other words, the holders of the “green pass”. They will also have to follow all Covid-19 prevention measures regulated by the Ministry of Health.

The plan allows most businesses to resume operations and maintain the restrictions.

On the list of those who can resume operations from October 1:

– Production facilities inside industrial parks, export processing zones, high-tech parks in 21 districts and in Thu Duc city as well as Quang Trung software park in district 12;

– Cooperatives and households engaged in agricultural, forestry and fishery production and trade, agricultural production support services and veterinary practice;

– Traffic and construction works;

– Establishments for medical examinations and treatment, rehabilitation, physiotherapy, establishments for the trade of pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, hospitals and clinics offering aesthetic services, general and specialized clinics.

– Companies engaged in the supply of food and feed, gas stations, chemical traders, electricity and water service providers, fuel, repair and maintenance, utility and maintenance providers security, public services such as water drainage, environmental sanitation, environmental monitoring and treatment, and maintenance of public parks and trees, technical and transport infrastructure.

– Foreign representative offices, credit institutions, bank branches, treasury, commercial establishments directly linked to credit activities, logistics, securities, notaries, lawyers, bailiffs, auction companies, commercial arbitration, commercial mediation, advice legal and other judicial services.

– Post and telecommunications services, publishing, businesses using e-commerce platforms; books and stationery, libraries, galleries, art exhibitions, photography services, businesses providing school supplies, tools, eyewear and computer equipment.

– Warehouses and facilities for the storage, collection and transit of goods, support services for the transport, export and import of goods; shopping centers, supermarkets, convenience stores; grocery stores, retail stores, wholesale markets and traditional markets.

A mobile Covid-19 vaccination station in Go Vap district, HCMC on August 14, 2021. Photo by VnExpress / Quynh Tran

Restaurants and brasseries, on the other hand, can only continue to serve take-out meals, unless they are authorized by the competent authorities to provide on-site services.

Hairdressers can resume their activities at half capacity.

Museums, resorts and establishments offering guided tours can resume their activities at 30% of their capacity but can only serve customers with the green pass.

Sporting events must be held at a scale of no more than 30 percent of full capacity and all participants must be green pass holders.

Residents can indulge in physical exercise, but all of these activities cannot have more than 50 in one location if all participants have the green pass. Otherwise, the number of participants must be limited to 10.

Weddings can have up to 50 people, funerals up to 20, and both activities must be supervised by local health workers.

The city continues to let all schools run online classes for now.

Public passenger transport by road, rail and inland waterway can resume operations at half of their maximum capacity.

Cargo transport between HCMC and other localities can operate as usual, but all parties must ensure Covid-19 prevention measures and all drivers must present a QR code that allows them to travel on specific routes.

Activities and businesses that continue to be suspended include bars, spas, karaoke and massage parlors, beauty treatment services, on-site food services, cinemas, nightclubs, video games, events, cultural, artistic, religious events, launch ceremonies (unless authorized by relevant agencies), street vendors, including lottery ticket sellers.

Police officer scans QR code to check if a woman is on the street under HCMC's social distancing rule, August 2021. Photo by VnExpress / Quynh Tran

Police officer scans QR code to check if a woman is on the street under HCMC’s social distancing rule, August 2021. Photo by VnExpress / Quynh Tran

The draft plan also proposes the resumption of several national and international air links to and from Tan Son Nhat airport in HCMC.

Organizations and individuals will be allowed to hold gatherings both indoors or outdoors, but no more than 50 at an event with all participants having the green pass. Without the green pass, gatherings cannot exceed 10 people.

Residents allowed to go out from October 1 will be those who have received at least one injection of the Covid-19 vaccine in the past 14 days and those who have recovered from Covid-19 in the previous six months.

Twelve Covid-19 checkpoints will be maintained throughout the city, with the exception of 39 checkpoints at all city gates.

In the wave of Covid-19 that hit Vietnam at the end of April, HCMV recorded more than 375,800 infections (representing almost half of the national tally) and spent more than 100 days under different levels of social distancing.

The city has vaccinated more than 95% of people over 18 with the first vaccine and is ramping up administration to cover all adults with the second dose.


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