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Saigon to Resume Shipping Across Districts From September 16

After weeks of being banned, Saigon will soon allow shippers to deliver citywide.

Yesterday, September 13, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Lê Hòa Bình confirmed in a livestream session that after September 15, the city will give the green light to inter-district shipping again. The stream was part of an ongoing dialogue program organized by Tuoi Tre newspaper; over 14,000 questions were submitted by audience members last night.

Not many details, however, were given regarding what kind of precautions shipping staff would need to undertake in order to deliver. At the moment, shippers can only operate within their district and must undergo rapid tests daily, though the tests are provided for free by ward healthcare authorities.

Bình also shared that municipal departments are working on a set of safety guidelines for the future re-opening of local businesses. At the time of writing, markets and supermarkets are only open in “green zones,” such as District 7, Cu Chi and Can Gio districts; residents elsewhere have to rely on shippers and local teams of “grocery proxies.”

Those three districts will be part of a pilot plan to use QR codes to facilitate movement in the city after the current lockdown is eased. The municipal departments of communications and health are using the app Y Tế HCM (HCMC Healthcare) to store personalized QR codes.

The app has been in use for several months for health declarations and self-monitoring of home-quarantined F0’s.

According to the plan, residents of the three districts will each have a unique code on the app, which, when scanned, will provide information on health declaration, vaccination status, COVID-19 test results, and health status (in the case of F0’s).

The personal code will be used in contexts such as entering and leaving workplaces, grocery shops and supermarkets, and at road checkpoints. Those without smart devices will be provided with OTP codes via text messages or a paper version.