Vietnam considering flights from 'safe' areas, bars to reopen: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday said that there would be no limit on the number of flights that bring Vietnamese people home or foreigners to the country as long as they meet regulated criteria.

Vietnam considering flights from 'safe' areas, bars to reopen: PM
Passengers waiting for flights at Noi Bai International Airport. Vietnam is considering reopening commercial flights from "safe" areas. — VNA/VNS Photo

The Prime Minister also allowed the reopening of bars and karaoke venues after they were closed in the end of March.

Chairing a Government meeting on Tuesday on COVID-19 prevention and control, Phuc said that Vietnam would create favourable conditions for foreign experts, investors and skilled workers to enter the country, seeking investment opportunities and jobs.

He asked the ministries of transport and foreign affairs to suggest suitable routes and flights.

People’s Committees of provinces and cities were asked to arrange quarantine areas, picking up and hosting the guests as well as offering proper medical tests as regulated.

The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health would work on current regulations of Vietnam to propose quarantine fees, particularly medical costs to ensure the State budget.

The Prime Minister would decide on the issue at a later date.

To Vietnamese citizens who are living overseas and want to return to Vietnam, PM Phuc asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to publicise detailed criteria and open registration.

The Ministry of Transport was asked to direct the organisations of such repatriation flights.

For commercial flights, the Prime Minister assigned the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control to announce safe areas with no cases of new COVID-19 for 30 days.

The Steering Committee would continue to instruct, manage and conduct quarantine for all people who are eligible to enter Vietnam at this time.

“Vietnam cannot close the border completely but would not open the border when we have not identified other countries' level of safety,” Phuc said.

 

Also at the meeting, PM Phuc agreed to the reopening of bars and karaoke venues which have been suspended since the end of March to contain the pandemic.

However, the Ministry of Public Security was asked to tighten its inspection to avoid violations that are said to usually occur at such sites, for example illegally narcotic use and trade.

PM Phuc said at the meeting that Vietnam’s achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control were much appreciated, particularly when for nearly two months, the country had gone without any community transmission of the virus.

“The top priority of Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19 is to make Vietnam safe to develop sustainably in the 'new normal',” Phuc said.

Secondly, Vietnam’s Government has followed the Politburo's direction on focusing on domestic socio-economic development first.

At the same time, Vietnam was also prepared to open for integration and continuing developing Vietnam into the world’s safe destination, Phuc said.

He said that there was no room for neglect or carelessness at this time, especially along borders of road, sea, air and at border gates.

By Tuesday morning, Vietnam confirmed 332 COVID-19 cases, of which, 316 recovered, accounting for 95.2 per cent. Of the 16 active cases, three cases tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once while two others tested negative for the coronavirus at least twice.

Of all COVID-19 cases in Vietnam, 192 cases were imported.  VNS

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