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Thursday, December 2, 2021

HCMC proposes reopening waterway passenger transport services from tomorrow

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The HCMC Department of Transport has proposed the resumption of high-speed boat and sea ferry services linking the city with neighboring provinces starting from tomorrow, October 20.

The department yesterday sent the proposal to its counterparts in the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Tien Giang aimed at meeting the travel demands of local residents, workers and experts, among others, as the country is resuming socioeconomic activities and adopting measures to live with Covid, reported VnExpress.

The high-speed boat and sea ferry services connecting the city with Ba Ria-Vung Tau are offered on fixed routes. The high-speed boat route was put into operation in 2018, connecting the Bach Dang Wharf in HCMC’s District 1 with Vung Tau City of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. The ferry service, which was launched in January this year, transports passengers between HCMC’s outlying district of Can Gio and Vung Tau City.

The riverway services connect HCMC with Binh Duong via nine terminals, mostly serving motorcyclists and pedestrians.

As for Tien Giang, the HCMC transport authority requested reopening inland waterway passenger services linking HCMC’s Can Gio District with Tien Giang’s Go Cong Dong District.

Earlier, on June 20, HCMC had suspended these waterway passenger transport services due to the impact of the latest Covid wave. It has recently resumed waterbus and other inland waterway services in the city.

According to the Transport Ministry’s guidelines, waterway passenger transport services are allowed to operate normally in areas at low or average risk of Covid transmission, categorized as Level 1 and Level 2 areas, respectively. In high risk or Level 3 areas, the number of passenger service vehicles subject to the resumption was not allowed to exceed 50% of the total and the vehicles were asked to operate less than 50% of interprovincial trips. In extremely high risk or Level 4 areas, passenger transport services remained suspended, except for some special cases.

The ministry also regulated that passengers using waterway transport services only need to take a Covid test if they are from virus-hit or lockdown areas. The others would be tested if they develop symptoms of fever, coughing, sore throat, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath.

For passengers who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid, they only have to be tested upon the request of the authorities or if they come from Level 4 or lockdown areas.

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