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Vietnam city recommends people not to return for Tet

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Thanh Hoa Town in the eponymous central province has called for people not to return for Tet if not necessary out of Covid-19 fears.

Earlier this month, residents of the city received a letter from the local Party Committee, People’s Committee and Fatherland Front Committee asking for their “cooperation in implementing Covid-19 prevention measures.”

The letter stated the coronavirus situation in the area was complex, with a rising number of cases and outbreaks, including many cases from outside the city, presenting the risk of community infection.

As such, city authorities called on residents to tell their family members not to “return to their hometown if not truly necessary, especially before, during and after Tet.”

The letter has proved to be controversial, with many saying the travel restriction would oppose current governmental policies for adapting to life with Covid-19.

Nguyen Viet Hung, head of Thanh Hoa Town Fatherland Front Committee, on Wednesday said the letter was a recommendation, not a travel ban.

“The city doesn’t plan to and cannot ban people from travelling. The recommendation is for people to protect their own health, their loved ones’ and the community’s,” he said.

Around 215,000 people returned to Thanh Hoa from outside the province for Tet last year. Over 96 percent of its adult population have been fully vaccinated.

Earlier, authorities of Chieng Yen Commune of northern Son La Province called for people outside the commune to return home at least 22 days before the Lunar New Year so they could be quarantined in time.

The commune’s People’s Committee on Dec. 30 sent a document to local leaders, requesting workers outside Son La, seeking to return to the commune, to do so before Jan. 10.

The date, which is 22 days before Lunar New Year’s Eve, would “satisfy quarantine protocols set by the Ministry of Health.”

Ha Van Phuc, chairman of Chieng Yen People’s Committee, on Tuesday said the request for people to return early is to monitor their health and quarantine them early if possible.

If people return either a day or two before Lunar New Year’s Eve as scheduled, the time left to monitor their health would be too short while people would travel around during the holiday, which may trigger outbreaks, he explained.

Nguyen Hop Cuong, chairman of Van Ho District People’s Committee, has requested Phuc to retract the decision.

“Previously, Son La has sent documents to local authorities regarding preparation to receive returning workers and avoid a situation where there’s not enough resources to quarantine people returning from very high-risk areas,” he said.

“The document did not mention any specific date for people to return. Maybe the commune was confused, so they decided on a date themselves.”

The commune’s document has sparked debate. Phuc said he is now adjusting the original.

Chieng Yen has around 112 workers employed outside Son La. Authorities are encouraging their families to tell them to return home as soon as possible.

Vietnamese will have a nine-day break for the Lunar New Year, the country’s biggest holiday, starting from January 29.

By Lam Son & Pham Chieu – VnExpress.net -January 5, 2022

Vietnam city recommends people not to return for Tet
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