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HCMC to ease indoor dining restrictions in Covid-safe areas next week

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC is planning to resume dine-in services next week in some areas which have brought the Covid-19 pandemic under control, said HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai.

Speaking to the local media on the sidelines of the 15th National Assembly’s second sitting on October 22, Mai said the city would gradually reopen dine-in and other non-essential services. The reopening must meet all Covid safety regulations, he added.

The city will not adopt a blanket plan for all areas, but instead, each ward or district will decide whether to tighten or relax pandemic restrictions.

After the city assesses the pandemic transmission risk, with four risk levels–low, moderate, high and extremely high, the areas might resume some services. For instance, areas with a low pandemic transmission risk will be allowed to reopen more services than other areas with a moderate or high risk, Mai said.

HCMC is set to announce the pandemic transmission risk on October 25, the city’s chairman said.

In line with the HCMC government’s Directive No. 18 issued on October 1, several groups of services are allowed to resume, except for bars, beer clubs, pubs, spas, massage parlors, beauty services, dine-in services, cinemas, circuses, dance clubs, karaoke parlors, game shops, makeshift markets, street vendors and lottery ticket sellers.

Under the directive, restaurants, eateries and coffee shops can reopen, but no indoor services are allowed, the local media reported.

Elsewhere, the Binh Duong government issued a dispatch on October 22 permitting restaurants to offer dine-in services provided that they follow safety protocols.

In addition, the provincial government allowed traditional markets, karaoke parlors, bars, cinemas and gyms to reopen if they operate at lower capacity.

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