HÀ NỘI — Preparations have been completed for the reopening day of the Perfume Pagoda, a famous spiritual tourist destination in Hà Nội.
Everything is ready to welcome thousands of Buddhist pilgrims back on February 16.
Hương (Perfume) Pagoda opened on a pilot basis four days earlier than expected, to check its ability to cope and prevent the pandemic before officially welcoming visitors back.
Mỹ Đức District has set up eight checkpoints to control the pandemic at the entrances and exits of Hương Sơn scenic area, and two mobile medical stations at Hương Sơn commune health station and Bến Trò .
Visitors with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 will be taken to the isolation point and supported by health workers according to regulations.
Organisers recommend that tourists and boat owners strictly follow the 5K message, wash their hands with sanitiser, and have a sense of self-prevention against COVID-19 to protect themselves and the community. Visitors who have not received two doses of the vaccine should not visit Hương Pagoda on this occasion due to the high possibility of infection.
Nguyễn Bá Hiển, head of the management board of the relic site, expressed his joy when he learned Hương Pagoda would reopen.
“We are very excited when Hà Nội People’s Committee allows Hương Pagoda to open. Currently, the plan to ensure pandemic prevention at Hương Sơn scenic area has been specifically planned,” he said.
According to Hiển, boats carrying tourists to the pagoda will not carry too many passengers, about 70-80 per cent, and are equipped with antiseptic water and masks. In addition, there is a quick test department in case of suspected COVID-19 infection.
Also, at the ticketing area and ticket gate, there is a guide asking visitors to follow the 5K guideline of the Ministry of Health, which requires wearing a mask, disinfecting hands, checking body temperature, declaring medical by QR Code.
In the case of guests travelling in large groups, the group’s representative must make a medical declaration, and provide information and phone numbers for tracing when necessary.
Hiển also added the ticket price to visit Hương Pagoda is still the same as in previous years. Scenic tickets are VNĐ80,000 (US$2.7) per person, ferry tickets are VNĐ50,000 per person, cable car fare is VNĐ180,000 per person.
In January, Mỹ Đức District People’s Committee announced the locality suspended the organisation of the Hương Pagoda festival during Tết (Lunar New Year) to ensure the regulations on safety and pandemic prevention.
This is the second year in a row that the largest and longest-running festival in the North did not welcome guests during the Lunar New Year.
Implementing the “dual goal” of both effective prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic and socio-economic development, in addition to locals and pilgrims’ wishes, the local authority has worked with departments to assess the situation and take measures to ensure the safety of visitors at the relic site in the new normal.
In a related move, Hà Nội has just allowed historical sites to welcome visitors.
The relics are expected to open from February 15.
Hà Nội Department of Culture and Sports suggested localities direct and guide historical-cultural sites to develop plans, prepare adequate facilities and conditions for pandemic prevention and control.
At all relic sites, it is required to create a QR code to manage people entering, leaving and making medical declarations according to regulations; arrange guiding force; and separate visitors to avoid crowding.
Visitors at the site is recommended that they have received at least two doses of vaccine or have a negative PCR test result within 72 hours. — VNS