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Restaurants, Cafes, Tourist Sites Among Places That Can Reopen, PM Says

Vietnam has transitioned into a new period in the COVID-19 epidemic with reduced threats of infection and a slowly reopening economy.

Last week, after three weeks under a strict nationwide social distancing order, policymakers officially lifted the restrictions on movement and business operation as detailed in Directive 16.

As Tuoi Tre reports, on Saturday, April 25, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced a new set of guidelines for the new period of cautious reopening, detailed in Directive 19. Under the new rules, a number of businesses are allowed to welcome patrons again, while night entertainment venues remain shuttered.

The list of operations that can open again include enterprises like shops, lottery vendors, accommodations, restaurants and cafés; sports facilitie; heritage sites and famous landmarks.

Intercity passenger transport is allowed, though buses can only carry a reduced number of guests to ensure sufficient space between riders. Air carriers and train operators have increased their offered trips. Over the weekend, the first since the lockdown order was eased, domestic tourists flocked to resort towns like Da Lat to unwind.

Most provinces in Vietnam have either restarted schools or are preparing to do so. Directive 19 requires education institutions to impose alternating schedules for classes and grades, thoroughly disinfect their campus, and limit activities involving too many students.

Some social activities and venues deemed high-risk must remain closed, such as arcades, beauty salons, karaoke and massage parlors, bars, nightclubs, festivals, religious gatherings, and sports tournaments.

On April 24, Vietnam confirmed two new COVID-19 cases, both Vietnamese students who returned from Japan, bringing the total number to 270. They were quarantined upon arrival at Quang Ninh’s Van Don Airport and have been transferred to Hanoi for treatment. The flight was among 13 humanitarian flights that Vietnam organized to repatriate citizens stuck abroad due to the global pandemic.

Vietnam hasn’t reported any new community transmissions in more than a week, though the number of total cases is predicted to rise as more overseas nationals return.

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