HCMC – Several provinces and cities have drawn up plans for a gradual reopening of socio-economic activities as their fight against the latest Covid-19 outbreak has shown signs of paying off.
In the southern province of Dong Nai, its anti-coronavirus authority chaired a meeting yesterday, September 14, discussing measures to ease mobility restrictions and reopen the economy.
Nguyen Thi Hoang, vice chairwoman of the provincial government, said Dong Nai is set to reopen on September 20.
Under the province’s reopening plan, in areas where over 70% of people aged over 18 have received the first shot of the Covid vaccine and over 20% of the population have taken the second dose, green and yellow zones are allowed to return to the new normal, orange zones, which are still at high risk of transmission, will enforce the social distancing order under the prime minister’s Directive 19 and red zones, which are still at extremely high risk of transmission, will implement the stay-at-home mandate under Directive 15.
If 60-70% of the 18-plus population receive the first dose and 20% of the population is fully inoculated, green zones will follow Directive 19, orange and yellow zones will be under Directive 15 and red zones have to implement the stay-at-home mandate under Directive 16.
If the first dose coverage rate among the over-18s is below 60% and 20% of the population is fully vaccinated, green zones will follow Directive 15 and the remaining zones will follow Directive 16.
Zones that return to the new normal will not limit the number of people gathering outdoors, indoors and the physical distance among people when they are communicating. Religious events, funerals, weddings, sports and entertainment activities, essential services, construction works, local markets, shopping malls and restaurants are allowed to reopen, provided they follow anti-virus protocols. The inter-provincial transport of goods is permitted as well. Meanwhile, non-essential services such as bars, karaoke and massage parlors have to operate at 50% capacity.
Commenting on the draft plan, Nguyen Hong Linh, secretary of the Dong Nai Province Party Committee, noted that local authorities must ensure only residents who are vaccinated can step out. The province’s official plan for reopening is expected to be released today.
In the neighboring province of Binh Duong, it issued an economic restoration plan in the new normal and is expected to execute the plan after September 15. According to this plan, industrial businesses are required to continue to register to adopt safety protocols. Their plants must ensure compliance with anti-virus protocols and regularly carry out Covid tests for workers. Moreover, boarding houses of their workers need to strictly follow anti-Covid measures, while workers got the first shot of the Covid vaccine over 14 days ago.
Regarding household businesses selling food and essential goods or offering dining services, the authorities will consider allowing them to reopen based on the Covid situation at their place of operation.
By September 14, six of the nine areas in Binh Duong were recognized as green zones, such as Thu Dau Mot City, Ben Cat Town and Bau Bang District.
In the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, where the latest outbreak has shown signs of abating, the province is expected to return to the new normal and restore production and business operations starting from September 16.
Tran Van Lau, chairman of the provincial government, said there are no more Covid red and yellow zones in the province, only two communes are deemed as orange zones, while the rest have turned into green zones.
Meanwhile, other provinces in the delta such as Long An, Kien Giang and Bac Lieu will still tighten mobility restrictions until further notice.