The Ministry of Health in Vietnam issued on Wednesday an updated regulation on wearing masks against COVID-19.
According to the new guideline published on September 7, people with symptoms of acute respiratory infection or suspected COVID-19 infection and all the citizens (except children under 5) in areas announced as epidemic Level 3 and Level 4 must wear face masks in public places.
All health departments are requested to work with related units in the implementation, as well as inspection, supervision, and handling of cases of violations against the new mandate.
These are the specific cases where the wearing of face masks is compulsory:
- All people who are at medical facilities, medical isolation places, and accommodations where they are in medical isolation or under medical observation and supervision (except people that are isolated in special rooms or those with respiratory failure); patients undergoing medical procedures prescribed by a doctor and children under five years old
- All passengers, drivers, and attendants on public transport; service staff, managers, and workers at railway stations, bus stations, docks, and waiting sheds in close interaction while using public transport (airplane, bus, train, etc.)
- All service staff, managers, and workers at the shopping centers, supermarkets, and wholesale markets when in close interaction with customers.
- All service staff, salespeople, managers, and workers at enclosed and poor ventilation spaces (bars, discos, karaoke, massage and beauty services, gym, bodybuilding studios, food and drink services, cinema, theater, circus, gymnasium, studio) when in close interaction with customers.
- All service staff, salespeople, managers, and workers at cultural and tourist facilities; places where large numbers of people are held (monument works; museums, libraries, exhibitions, galleries, tourist areas, amusement and entertainment areas, cultural, physical training, and sports events, weddings, funerals, festivals, fairs) when in close interaction with customers.
- All document-receiving staff and transaction staff when in close interactions with customers at transaction offices.
Noticeably, apartment buildings, schools, amusement parks, health training, outdoor activity areas, and traffic stops have not been mentioned in the new guideline. The two-meter physical distance rule in public places has also been scrapped.
The health ministry, however, continues to encourage vigilance and self-protection measures against the coronavirus.
As of the latest, Vietnam has recorded 11,428,632 coronavirus cases; more than 10.2 million patients have already recovered. So far, the pandemic has claimed over 43,000 lives in the country.
Vietnam is seeing an increase in daily cases, reaching more than 3,000 new infections in the last few days. Ho Chi Minh City is said to be currently experiencing a renewed surge. Health facilities across the metropolis have already been alerted.