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HCMC bus stations deserted

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HCMC bus stations remain deserted as many provinces have yet to resume routes to the city due to different Covid-19 safety regulations.

Few passengers were seen at Mien Dong Bus Station in Binh Thanh District on Thursday when it resumed 13 routes with 40 trips to southern and central provinces.

A bus company operating a route between Ho Chi Minh City and the central province of Quang Ngai only operates one trip a day due to a limited number of passengers.

Passengers leaving the city are required to be fully vaccinated or to have recovered from Covid-19 in six months or test Covid-19 negative within 72 hours.

“Some localities require passengers to register their arrival and isolate themselves after the trip, which make many hesitant in booking trips,” the spokesperson said.

Twenty-year-old Huynh Ngoc Thi Nhi, although fully vaccinated, still had to show her negative Covid-19 test to a bus company Thursday when leaving HCMC for the central province of Binh Dinh.

“I would not have left if there were no emergency. Fares are high and procedures are inconvenient. I also have to isolate myself for seven days when I arrive.”

A manager of Mien Dong Bus Station admitted the station is still deserted after a week of reopening, with only 25 buses leaving on an average day, carrying around eight passengers.

“Buses are not even half full.”

At Mien Tay Bus Station in Binh Tan District, there were nearly 60 passengers transported to other localities a day from Oct. 15–20.

This is because most residents have left for their hometown on their motorbikes or on free buses that the city organized earlier, said the station’s deputy director Tran Van Phuong.

Some provinces have not resumed routes with the city, while some have different Covid-19 regulations, he added.

Only half of the 2,000 trips registered a day by bus companies conducted in 38 localities, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The ministry allows cities and provinces at Covid-19 Level 1 and 2 (low or average risks) to conduct bus trips as normal.

In Level 3 areas (high risks), buses can operate at 50 percent capacity, while in Level 4 areas (very high risks), passengers who are not vaccinated are required to test Covid-negative.

By Gia Minh – VnExpress.net – October 22, 2021

HCMC bus stations deserted
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