|A photo taken in March, 2021 shows a karaoke bar in HCM City before all entertainment venues were forced to close due to the fourth outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY— HCM City has agreed to reopen entertainment venues, as the southern hub adapts to the ‘new normal’ situation.
Nightclubs, bars, spas and massage parlours will be allowed to resume operations, but only if they have strict COVID prevention measures in place and are in areas currently deemed ‘low risk’.
Cinemas will also reopen, along with karaoke bars, libraries and video game establishments, but restrictions will be placed on the amount of customers allowed into each venue at any one time.
The move comes after HCM City People’s Committee on Tuesday (November 16) agreed to proposals to get the city back to business.
As well as kick-starting the entertainment sector, other measures will be put in place to resume conferences, culture and art performances, workshops, training courses and funerals.
These new steps will be a welcome relief to both business owners and customers alike after months of lockdown.
But the measures will not mean a green light to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. And visitors to venues must abide by the rules in place.
The lifting of restrictions comes just days after the country surpassed the 100 million mark for total number of vaccinations administered.
The Ministry of Health has urged localities to speed up the vaccination drive as it strives to have 100 per cent of adults and children aged between 12 and 17 inoculated in the near future.
In the coming days, venues will prepare to reopen, but depending on their location, will be limited on capacity.
In wards, communes and towns at medium risk of COVID-19 spread, establishments are only allowed 50 per cent of their normal capacity.
High risk areas can only function at a 25 per cent capacity, but in these places, spas, karaoke parlours and nightclubs must remain closed.
All staff on duty, and customers, must also have been vaccinated with both shots, or show they have recently made a full recovery from the virus.
Visitors must also show they have tested negative within the past 72 hours.
Ride hailing service companies are allowed to re-operate with 50 per cent of their total vehicles because the city’s status is at the medium risk of COVID-19 spread.
Traditional taxi motorbike drivers will be resumed if the city’s status is at the low risk of COVID-19 spread.
According to HCM City COVID-19 map on November 15, Thủ Đức city and districts of 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, Phú Nhuận, Tân Bình, Tân Phú, Gò Vấp and Củ Chi are at the low risk of COVID-19 spread.
Districts of 3, 10, 12, Bình Thạnh, Bình Tân, Hóc Môn, Bình Chánh and Nhà Bè are at the medium risk of COVID-19 spread.
Cần Giờ District is at the high risk of COVID-19 spread.
The city does not have districts, wards, communes, and towns at extremely high risk of COVID-19 spread. VNS