|A green-zone checkpoint set up at the entrance of an alley in HCM City’s District 3 bans strangers from entering safe residential areas. — VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh|
HCM CITY — HCM City authorities are gradually removing barriers at pandemic checkpoints that blocked off alleys, residential areas and some roads in green (safe) zones.
Trần Phi Long, chairman of District 1’s People’s Committee, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that some checkpoints managed by the district in wards’ green zones had been removed.
Checkpoints managed by city police would wait for direction from the city government for the next steps after September 30, he said.
Trương Minh Kiều, chairwoman of District 5’s People’s Committee, said district authorities were gradually removing checkpoints in green zones. Checkpoints in the red zones - zones with COVID-19 cases - are still in place.
“The removal is being done step by step" to ensure that locals understand pandemic prevention regulations.
Inner-district checkpoints managed by city districts would be considered for removal, while inter-district checkpoints would have to follow the direction and anti-pandemic measures from the city’s Government after September 30.
Lê Thị Thu Thương, 30, a resident in Thủ Đức city, said the small alley where she lives was blocked by barriers to ensure safety.
“I always follow the rules strictly and only go out for COVID-19 testing or vaccination, but it’s a stifling atmosphere in my home,” she said.
She was excited about the news that the city planned to remove the barriers.
Mai Hữu Hoàng Vương, 24, a ride-hailing driver, said that reducing the number of checkpoints would be a good solution. He fully supports the city's supervision of the movements of citizens through technology like QR codes. This would help reduce the number of frontline forces on duty at checkpoints.
Phạm Công Bằng, deputy director of the city’s Transport Department, said the city was currently drafting pandemic prevention and control plans that would begin after September 30.
The city would allow eligible residents with a COVID-19 green card (partly and fully vaccinated people, or people who have fully recovered from the virus) to travel and work under fewer COVID-19 restrictions.
Inner-city checkpoints managed by the city in green zones were expected to be removed, while checkpoints on main routes and 12 checkpoints at city gateways would continue to be maintained.
The department has advised the city’s People's Committee to have transportation plans to support workers and students who want to return to the city from their hometowns.
Inter-regional travel between HCM City and other provinces and cities will be discussed further by the Ministry of Transport and relevant ministries and localities. — VNS