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Hanoi enforces social distancing at eateries and bars
The city’s authorities may fine or even close local catering businesses for infringing Covid-19 prevention regulations.

Social distancing will be enforced at eateries, nightclubs and bars in Hanoi from August 19 as community infections in the city become more complicated and unpredictable while the local government seeks to avoid economic disruption.

 Hanoi enforces social distancing at eateries and bars from August 19. Photo: Kinh te & Do thi

Food and leisure facilities in the capital city are now required to keep customers at least one meter away from each other, check their body temperature, give them hand sanitizer, and staff must wear face masks.

In addition to seat spacing and temperature measurement for guests, the city encouraged restaurants, pubs and bars to set up anti-droplet screens.

This is one of the measures aimed at strengthening Covid-19 prevention and control, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy stated at the meeting on August 17.

Mr. Quy, who now heads the city's Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said that there are street eateries becoming Covid-19 hot spots for serving virus carriers.

Mr. Quy expected that there will be new coronavirus cases in Hanoi in the coming days, but said that the risk of outbreak is not high and the Covid-19 situation is still under the control.

Standing Vice Chairman of the city People's Committee Nguyen Van Suu demanded more forces be mobilized to enforce social distancing at restaurants and pubs.

Those violating the rules may be fined or even forced to close, Mr. Suu warned.

Mr. Suu suggested residents should refrain from going out. If they have to, they need to wear face masks.

Deputy Director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control (CDC) Truong Quang Viet said that at this time, locals tend to be lax in preventing the pandemic compared to the previous wave of infection. The CDC found that people are not serious about wearing face masks and disinfecting at work. Some units have not developed a response plan if a case of infection is detected.

From July 25 to August 17, Hanoi recorded 33 cases positive with SARS-Cov-2, of which 10 are community-acquired infections and 23 others are imported and put under quarantine upon entry.

By the end of August 16, the city had collected more than 50,000 samples of 77,000 returnees from Danang for PCR testing between July 15 and 29. Test results of more than 28,000 are negative while others are waiting for results and pending sample taking. By August 20, all the 77,000 people will be sampled for PCR testing.

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