|Passengers in HCM City, Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương,and Tiền Giang provinces can travel on water bus after four months of hiatus due to COVID-19. —Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Transport has proposed reopening a high-speed boat and water-bus route that connects the city with Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu, Bình Duơng and Tiền Giang provinces from October 20.
The services will connect to beach destinations in Vũng Tàu and Cần Giờ.
The HCM City public river bus route No.1 between Bạch Đằng Wharf in District 1 and Linh Đông Wharf in Thủ Đức City has restarted after more than four months of suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Nguyễn Kim Toản, director of Thường Nhật Co., Ltd., which operates the service, there are 12 one-way trips on the route each day and the boats operate at not more than 50 per cent passenger capacity.
“We will change the number of trips depending on demand.”
All boat crew members have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Passengers have to follow guidelines issued by the city Department of Transport for the safe operation of inland waterway passenger transport such as using a QR code for movement declaration on the VNEID app and another showing vaccination status on the HCM Health app or the electronic Health Book.
People who do not have a QR code need to furnish a certificate showing they have recovered from COVID or got at least one dose of a vaccine at least 14 days prior.
Fares remain the same as before the pandemic, at VNĐ15,000 per trip.
According to the department, the decision to resume inland waterway transport of inter-provincial inland waterway aims to meet the needs of residents, workers, and experts, and contribute to tourism and socio-economic recovery during the pandemic.
Inter-provincial bus service
The HCM City Department of Transport has planned a draft on resuming inter-provincial bus service between the city and other provinces by November 1.
Under the draft, the fixed route buses will provide from three to five trips per day from November 1-15.
The routes that offered 100 trips per day before the pandemic will be allowed to provide 15 trips.
Passengers must follow the 5k protocol, and not occupy more than 50 per cent of seats.
The number of trips will be up to 10 for normal routes and 30 for high frequency ones from November 15-30.
In December, inter-provincial bus service companies will be allowed to have no more than 50 per cent of the operating frequency of all routes.
All passengers travelling by inter-provincial buses will have to have a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
They should have received at least one vaccine dose 14 days from departure day or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months.
They must fill out a health or vaccination declaration on the PC-Covid application before travelling.
In case passengers accompany people who are not eligible to receive a vaccination under the Ministry of Health’s guidelines, their companions must follow the 5K protocol, make a health declaration, and have a negative test.
When leaving bus stations, passengers must go straight to their accommodations, inform local authorities, and self-isolate for seven days.
Meanwhile, drivers and service staff must be fully vaccinated, or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months. They also have to have a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
The bus service companies must arrange accommodations for their staff at the departure site and destination in the city and other provinces.
The draft has been sent to provincial departments of transport for opinions. —VNS