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What changes were made to Ho Chi Minh City’s pandemic response on September 16?

Friday, September 17, 2021, 10:40 GMT+7
What changes were made to Ho Chi Minh City’s pandemic response on September 16?
A resident presents her travel pass at a COVID-19 checkpoint in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City authorities announced a two-week extension of the city’s social distancing period from Thursday alongside adjustments to certain COVID-19 restrictions.

Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Phan Van Mai declared that the city would continue enforcing social distancing regulations under the prime minister’s Directive No. 16 from September 16 to midnight September 30.

Several changes, however, will be applied to the regulations, including the pilot of a ‘vaccine green pass’ scheme and the resumption of certain activities and businesses.

The ‘vaccine green pass’ plan will be implemented on a trial basis in District 7, Cu Chi District, and Can Gio District, where the pandemic has been put under control.

People in these three districts are permitted to go outside to buy groceries once a week.

Additionally, the management boards of export processing zones, industrial parks, and high-tech parks in these districts have been directed to execute production plans issued by the municipal steering committee for pandemic prevention and control, as well as adhere to safety criteria promulgated by municipal authorities.

Delivery workers can travel across all districts and Thu Duc City from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm daily, though they must undergo COVID-19 testing once every two days. The cost of such testing will be covered by the local budget.

Businesses specializing in postal and telecommunications services; office equipment; agricultural production support services; veterinary medicine; maintenance and repair services; supply of components and spare parts; and food production, processing, and trading are allowed to operate from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Eateries can only offer takeaway service, and orders must be placed online. All staff members must work, eat, and sleep at these facilities.

Delivery drivers of enterprises and household businesses are only permitted to operate within one district and must be tested for COVID-19 once every two days. The testing expense shall be covered by their employers.

Employees who must work at their workplace are required to have been injected with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and to be subject to testing once every five days. The expense shall be covered by their employers.

Enterprises and household businesses have to register with their ward- or district-level administrations in order to acquire travel passes.

Construction sites and infrastructure projects may resume operations as long as all safety criteria are met.

Residents can exercise within the premises of apartment buildings at low risk of COVID-19 transmission. Further details on this will be decided by authorities in each district.

The administrations of 21 districts and Thu Duc City may propose the resumption of other activities on a trial basis depending on the pandemic situation in each area.

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