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Vietnam to Increase Fines for Not Wearing Masks 10-Fold in November

The penalty for not wearing facemasks in public places will soon increase by a factor of 10.

A draft law being prepared by the Ministry of Health would increase the fines from VND100,000–300,000 to VND1–3 million and take effect in November. It would apply to people in public areas such as transportation terminals and supermarkets as enforced by local authorities.

Last week, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc directed authorities in Hanoi and Saigon to enforce the regulations already in place to penalize those not wearing masks in public places. He stressed that an outbreak in either of the two densely populated cities would be difficult to curb and noted that risks for transmission remain as the pandemic has proven unpredictable on a global level. 

Nguyễn Thanh Long, Vietnam's acting health minister, cautioned that individuals and even some authorities have been growing increasingly lax in maintaining COVID-19 prevention methods such as wearing masks, social distancing, and using hand sanitizer. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport recently asked for the strict enforcement of previously established rules demanding passengers on buses, airplanes, boats, taxis, and trains wear masks for the duration of their journey

PM Phúc also stressed the importance of strict tracking and supervision of all those who enter Vietnam. Short-term entrants are asked to avoid spaces such as karaoke parlors, clubs, bars, festivals, and other public gatherings.