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Thursday, December 2, 2021

HCMC restaurants likely to resume dine-in services soon

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Restaurants in HCMC could soon resume dine-in services but no alcoholic drinks would be served amid Covid-19 concern, according to the Food Safety Management Board’s plan.

The board has sent the city government a proposed plan detailing six criteria for assessing whether restaurants are fit to restart indoor dining services.

The board also proposed air-conditioning be banned at restaurants and that diners commit to fully comply with the anti-Covid protocols provided by the health authority.

Restaurants must own a certificate showing they meet all food safety requirements and apply for a QR code at antoan-covid.tphcm.gov.vn.

They must have soap or hand sanitizers available for employees, guests and delivery persons to use.

Depending on the Covid situation, restaurants will have to restrict the number of workers and guests.

All restaurant employees, guests, delivery persons and others would have to comply with anti-pandemic measures such as wearing face masks, washing hands, keeping a safe physical distance and presenting a QR code showing their health declaration and vaccination status.

Regarding the ban on alcoholic drinks, Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the HCMC Food Safety Management Board, said guests drinking alcohol are more inclined to come into close contact with one another, posing a high risk of Covid transmission. Therefore, serving alcoholic drinks at restaurants should be banned for the time being.

“The competent forces in each district will increase inspections into restaurants when they resume dine-in services and strictly sanction violators,” she said.

Ha Binh Kha, the owner of Hai Chau Restaurant in Go Vap District, said his workers have cleaned up the restaurant and purchased ingredients to prepare for the resumption of dine-in services. According to Kha, the resumption of indoor dining will help boost the restaurant’s revenue.

While some restaurants in the city are preparing for the resumption of dine-in services, many others remain cautious due to the stringent restrictions.

Ngo Van Thanh, the owner of a restaurant in Binh Thanh District, said the city should only restrict the use of alcoholic drinks at restaurants, instead of banning it.

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