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What do we need to know about Vietnam’s face mask mandate?

Friday, May 07, 2021, 10:03 GMT+7
What do we need to know about Vietnam’s face mask mandate?
Officers remind a motorcyclist to wear a face mask in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, April 27, 2021. Photo: Nhat Thinh / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam’s regulations on the prevention and control of COVID-19 stipulate that individuals must wear face masks in public or risk being subject to fines.

Pursuant to Government Decree No. 117/2020, those who fail to wear face masks in public may wind up being fined VND1-3 million (US$43-130).

According to the decree, public spaces are defined as areas that serve the needs of many people, such as crowded venues, sidewalks, and roadways.

The Ministry of Health’s Decision No. 1053, issued on February 6, breaks down face mask requirements in specific locations.

In apartment buildings, it is mandatory for all residents to don face masks immediately after exiting their flats.

Managers and employees of local apartment complexes are obliged to keep their face masks on at all times while working.

Passengers are required to wear face masks at all bus and train stations, as well as on all means of public transportation.

Drivers, managers, and staff members at bus and train stations must wear masks while on the job.

In shopping malls and supermarkets, all customers, employees, managers, and workers are required to keep their masks on at all times. 

This rule also applies to sellers and customers in local markets and stores.

All attendees at funerals, weddings, death anniversaries, and other kinds of parties have to put on face masks unless performing or giving speeches.

Guests at tourist attractions, entertainment facilities, and spiritual sites must also wear face masks unless performing or giving speeches.

As the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam increases due to the 121 local infections recorded since April 27, authorities in many localities, especially major cities, have begun conducting regular patrols to ensure their residents comply with COVID-19 prevention and control regulations.

Ta Hoang Su, vice-chairman of the People’s Committee in Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City said during a patrol in late April that officers would give warnings to individuals without face masks before issuing fines.

“We want to raise people’s awareness so that they voluntarily comply with the regulation,” the official added.

Police in Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi said they had levied fines worth a combined VND319 million ($13,800) upon 134 individuals, including foreigners, for failing to wear face masks in public from April 30 to May 3.

On Tuesday, officers in central Da Nang City fined 15 people and warned nearly 50 others for similar violations.

Vietnam had documented 3,091 COVIDD-19 cases as of Friday morning, with 2,560 recoveries and 35 deaths, according to the health ministry’s statistics.

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