COVID-19 measures must be strengthened when reopening KTVs, bars

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Bars, karaoke, and massage services were allowed to reopen in HCMC from January 10, 2022. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has suggested the reopening of karaoke and bars based on the pandemic evaluation in each area.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Trường Sơn this week issued an official dispatch in response to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism about the proposal to reopen karaoke and bars to help the businesses recover after two years of serious disruptions.

Throughout 2020 and 2021 in Việt Nam, karaoke and bars, deemed inessential services and breeding grounds for the virus, were usually the first to be closed and the last to be allowed to resume operations when a COVID-19 outbreak emerged.

The health ministry asked the other ministry to ensure karaoke and bar businesses strengthen pandemic prevention measures including frequent disinfection and better ventilation as they are indoor venues.

“Staff and customers must closely comply with 5K protocols and be fully vaccinated. Services are not to be delivered to those with COVID-19 symptoms like coughing and fever,” the dispatch said.

The locality where the karaoke and bar services open must have a response plan in case there is an outbreak to avoid it being spread widely, the dispatch said.

On January 10, bars, karaoke, and massage services were allowed to reopen in HCM City, the former epicentre of the fourth wave of infections in Việt Nam. The businesses have to meet the safety criteria of the city.

Staff and customers must be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days or be recovered COVID-19 patients within the last six months. They have to wear face masks.

The businesses also have to make sure they have space of more than 4 square metres per customer, have temperature checks for all staff and customers, and do not use or serve staff and customers with symptoms like fever and coughing.

In Hà Nội for example, despite still high caseload, cinemas and theatres along with schools have reopened on the back of a high vaccination rate, while karaoke and bars remain shut.— VNS

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