Ho Chi Minh City Eases Social Distancing in “New Normal” Starting From September 30, 2021

On September 30, 2021, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City announced plans to recover and develop the economy after a long period of paralysis due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, Directive No. 18/CT-UBND (the Directive) was issued at the same date to gradually lift social distancing corresponding to the circumstances relating to Covid-19 and the safety assessment results of the Ministry of Health. The Directive has been applied from 6pm September 30, 2021, with key contents as follows.

Control People’s Movements by Technology, Instead of Road Permits

Instead of road permits, Ho Chi Minh City will apply technology to make travel safe and seamless. People will be required to use the QR codes to declare their movements of the VNEID application and to declare their vaccination history of the Ho Chi Minh Health application or electronic health book (until the official launch of PC-COVID). In case there is no QR code, people can present similar documents to confirm that they (i) have recovered from Covid-19 within six months, or (ii) have at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccination in at least 14 days after vaccination.

Organizations and enterprises located in Ho Chi Minh City must apply technology into their operation to ensure the safety against the Covid-19 by registering their QR codes at http://antoan-covid.tphcm.gov.vn. Until October 8, 2021, organizations and enterprises have to scan the QR code of all people coming to their workplaces to work or transact and utilize the application of Ho Chi Minh City (or PC-COVID application) to control and operate their activities.

Competent authorities in Ho Chi Minh City will establish interdisciplinary inspection teams and groups to regularly inspect and supervise the epidemic prevention of organizations and enterprises.

Reopen Some Business Activities

From 6pm on September 30, 2021, some business and services lines have been reopened, including medical examination and treatment establishments, medical service facilities; establishments operating in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical supplies, and equipment businesses. Enterprises operating in some areas and business lines are also allowed to reopen, such as those located in industrial parks, export processing zones, and high-tech parks; cooperatives and households carrying out agricultural, forestry, and fishery production, providing agricultural production support services; and veterinary facilities.

Additionally, traffic works and construction; services providing food and foodstuffs; commercial centers; convenience stores and grocery stores; wholesale and traditional markets; services providing chemicals, electricity, water, fuel; services of buying, selling, repairing, and maintaining vehicles, machinery, civil and industrial equipment; services of management, operation, maintenance, repair, application of infrastructure systems, equipment of agencies, buildings and apartments have been allowed to resume.

Foodservice establishments are allowed for takeaway only. Restaurants in accommodation establishments, resorts, and tourist attractions are only authorised to serve visitors staying on-site (buffets are not allowed).

The Directive also provides that some activities continue to be suspended, such as bars, beer clubs, spas, massages centers, beauty services, on-site food services, cinemas, dance clubs, circuses, karaoke, video games centers, spontaneous markets, street vendors, lottery tickets sellers. Other activities not specifically provided in the Directive to reopen are also suspended.

The legal regulations applied during the Covid-19 epidemic are subjected to daily changes. If you have any questions or concerns and want us to keep you updated about such changes, our experienced lawyers are always available at letran@corporatecounsels.vn.