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COVID-19 restrictions in Saigon: Am I allowed to exercise on my apartment building’s premises?

Wednesday, July 14, 2021, 10:56 GMT+7
COVID-19 restrictions in Saigon: Am I allowed to exercise on my apartment building’s premises?
Officers review personal documents of commuters at a COVID-19 checkpoint in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre

Participating in such activities as taking a walk and exercising on the premises of apartment complexes is considered a violation of social distancing rules in Ho Chi Minh City.

The southern city began implementing extensive social distancing regulations on Friday under the prime minister’s Directive No. 16, which bans public gatherings of over two people and requires everyone to stay home unless they go out for food, medicine, or other emergencies.

Many people have been wondering whether they are allowed to sit, take a walk, exercise, or play sports on the premises of their apartment complexes during this period.

According to Huynh Van Nong, a lawyer from the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, people have full rights to use and live in their apartments pursuant to the housing law.

However, the remaining areas of an apartment complex such as corridors, the lobby, and yards are counted as shared ownership, which are thus considered public spaces.

By participating in such activities as taking a walk and exercising in the areas, residents may violate rules on public gatherings.

Participating in public gatherings of more than two people is punishable by VND10-20 million (US$435-870), Nong elaborated.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Mai, another lawyer based in Ho Chi Minh City, shared a similar opinion, adding that people who exercise on the premises of their apartment buildings will also be booked for going outside without proper reasons in addition to the said penalty.

This offense is punishable by VND1-3 million ($43-130), Mai said.

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