Ho Chi Minh City issues safety criteria for massage service reopening

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Ho Chi Minh City issues safety criteria for massage service reopening

Employees talk with a customer at a massage parlor in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Hien / Tuoi Tre

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have issued a set of criteria that local massage parlors will have to meet in order to reopen safely amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new regulations issued by the municipal People’s Committee require massage parlors to register for a QR code and provide it to employees and customers for health declaration.

The establishments have to measure the body temperature of all staff members and guests, as well as prepare hand sanitizers.

Employees have to be at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the respiratory disease.

They need to wear face masks as well as change masks and wash their hands after providing service for each customer.

Customers have to be at least partially inoculated against COVID-19 or have recovered from the disease, and test negative for the novel coronavirus within 72 hours prior to their appointment.

Facilities must ensure a minimum density of four square meters per person and keep a minimal distance of one meter between each customer.

Staff members have to disinfect beds, chairs, and relevant items after supplying service to each customer.

Restrooms and high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and elevator buttons must be disinfected at least twice a day.

Massage parlors are allowed to operate at full capacity in areas at low risk of infection, and have to reduce to 50 and 25 percent in areas at medium and high risk, respectively.

The service is banned in areas at a very high risk.

Ho Chi Minh City has been the hardest-hit place since the fourth virus wave hit the country on April 27, with more than 495,000 cases.

As of Monday, over 6.9 million out of nine million people in the city had received two vaccine doses. About 62,750 people had been inoculated with the third shot.

Massage parlors across the metropolis have been suspended since April 30 due to the serious pandemic.

The municipal authorities resumed the service on November 16 but closed it again on November 18 as it still posed a high risk of transmission.

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