Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed the national patient tally has already reached 667,650. The national caseload includes 663,232 locally transmitted cases recorded in 62 provinces and cities since the fourth wave started.
The MoH also reported a total of 16,637 deaths related to COVID-19, or 2.5% of the overall patient tally.
As of September 17, Vietnam has administered 33,006,632 doses of COVID-19 vaccine or 33.7% of the 98 million population. Of those, 6,184,726 people have received two doses.
Over the past week, the MoH and local authorities have announced they’re lifting some of the restrictions and will start reopening establishments considered essential on set dates.
Ho Chi Minh City
Always on top of the daily patient list, Ho Chi Minh City continues to implement strict social distancing rules under the Government’s Directive 16 until the end of September. However, the city - considered the commercial capital of Vietnam - has already allowed some economic activities to restart.
Allowed in HCMC
Delivery drivers can travel through different districts from 6am to 9pm and COVID testing is required every two days
Employees of business and enterprises can deliver goods within one area and COVID testing is required every two days
Agricultural production support services and veterinary clinics
Laborers who are vaccinated with at least one dose
Takeaway food services can only operate online
Postal and telecommunications services, computer and tech shops, stationery stores can operate from 6am to 9pm
Food production, processing, and trading services
Maintenance, construction repair, machinery repair services
HCMC also announced its easing the lockdown restrictions in some districts where the situation is stable — Districts 7, Cu Chi, and Can Gio.
Allowed only in these areas
Aside from all the items listed above, residents in the stable districts are allowed to go to the market once a week
Pilot COVID-19 green card and personal QR code
On September 15, Vietnam’s capital city allowed the reopening of delivery-only food and drink establishments but only in districts with no community cases since September 6.
19 districts and townships including Ba Dinh, Ba Vi, Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Dan Phuong, Gia Lam, Hoai Duc, Long Bien, Me Linh, Me Duc, Nam Tu Liem, Phu Xuyen, Phuc Thọ, Quoc Oai, Soc Son, Son Tay, Thanh Oai, Ung Hoa, and Tay Ho are at a ‘new normal’ level.
Allowed in Hanoi
Delivery-only food and drink services
Reopening of stores for stationery, textbooks, and other learning equipment (given that the new school year has started), mechanics, electronics, and home appliances.
Business and service establishments can operate under the management, supervision and inspection of local authorities.
Everyone is still required to follow pandemic prevention measures, including mandatory 5K [khẩu trang (face mask), khử khuẩn (disinfection), khoảng cách (distance), không tụ tập (no gathering), and khai báo y tế (health declaration)] for staff, requiring consumers to scan QR codes to register their visit, regularly performing cleaning and disinfection at the establishment, and limiting direct contacts.
Other than these relaxed measures, most parts in Hanoi, especially the inner urban districts, remain under strict lockdown in line with the Government’s Directive 16 implemented since late July.
Dong Nai Province
So far, Dong Nai province has reported 35,901 cases, 15,000 of those have already recovered. The province has 320 deaths.
On September 15, Dong Nai province released their plan to slowly resume socio-economic activities in green zones after September 20.
It said that the province will have to review the vaccination rate and the risk of contracting the virus in different areas before allowing such activities to resume in areas where no COVID-19 community cases have been detected for at least 14 days, areas known as the green zones.
To date, Dong Nai has recognized 75 of 170 communes to be COVID-safe zones — these areas are mostly located in Tan Phu, Dịnh Quan, Xuan Loc, Thong Nhat and Cam My Districts and Long Thanh Town.
As for those in the red, orange, and yellow zones, social distancing measures must be strictly followed.
Allowed in Dong Nai
Food and drink businesses will only accommodate takeaways and both sellers and buyers must keep their distance and wear a face mask at all times.
Fully vaccinated people and those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days in green zones can join essential activities.
Residents who are fully vaccinated or COVID-19 patients who have recovered over the past six months in green zones can go out for essential reasons from 6 am to 6 pm.
Construction projects in green zones, as well as agriculture, transportation and goods transport activities can resume under certain requirements after September 20.
Non-essential services in green zones can only reopen if their employees have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in the last 14 days and strictly follow safety protocols.
Not Allowed in Dong Nai
Sports and cultural events and services will remain suspended until further notice.
Long An Province
Less than an hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City, Long An province in the Mekong Delta region has started to gradually reopen its economy while most of the localities are still fighting the virus.
Party Committee Secretary in Long An, Nguyen Van Duoc, “epidemic prevention and control efforts so far have had positive results, and the province has vaccinated almost everyone aged above 18 years and is speeding up their second shot, with priority given to factory workers.”
In an online dialogue led by Secretary Van Duoc, he told business executives to regularly check on the situation and health conditions of their workers living on-site, and proactively conduct COVID testing.
However, some delegates expressed their concerns for their employees who are based in Ho Chi Minh City and can’t travel back and forth when they reopen their services. To address that, Long An provincial authorities provided specific guidance related to resuming business activities and supporting testing, among other things. The People's Committee has issued guidelines for resuming business activities from September 15 to October 15.
Allowed in Long An
Enterprises in Long An that have workers living on-site and those that produce essential goods and services can operate.
For those based outside the province, enterprises are only allowed to operate with 50% of the workforce at a time and workers have to temporarily live in Long An.
They must have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine and have a negative RT-PCR test result within the last 72 hours and employers must test them on a regular basis.
If a worker wants to go home, the company must organize transportation and not allow them to use personal vehicles.
After October 15, more business activities will be allowed to return to normal programming.
Not Allowed in Long An
Unvaccinated workers. When going back to HCMC, only workers who have had two doses of vaccines should be allowed to travel by personal vehicles. Their company must organize transportation and ban them from using personal vehicles.