In an attempt to kickstart the economy, the Transportation Department of HCMC has submitted a draft plan to the Government that suggests a 3-phase strategy that allows interprovince travel to resume.
Beginning on the 1st of November, select services will allow people to travel from HCMC to other destinations. Those eligible are people who:
- Have had at least one dose of a Corona vaccine at least 14 days prior.
- Or have recovered from the virus no sooner than 6 months ago.
- And can show a negative test result that was done within 72 hours of departure.
- Can make a health declaration and follow social distancing protocols
Those who arrive in HCMC may only need to show a negative test result to enter the city.
What’s the plan?
From the 1st of November, the capacity of interprovince buses will be limited to 50% of the pre-pandemic passenger numbers and bus operators must strictly adhere to COVID prevention protocols. These include social distancing and mask-wearing.
The daily frequency of services will be cut to 3 to 5 trips, however for popular routes that exceed 100 trips pre-pandemic will be allowed to conduct 15 daily trips.
From November 15th to the 30th, operators will be allowed to increase their frequency of daily departures to between 10 and 30 trips per day with strict COVID prevention methods still in place.
The third phase, which is likely to begin on the 30th of November until the end of 2021 will see bus and coach departures reach a limit of 50% of their previous schedule.
Covid-19 prevention protocols will also require interprovincial bus drivers to be fully vaccinated and have a negative test result in under 72 hours of departure. Drivers who have had Covid-19 less than 6 months prior and recovered may also resume their routes.
Other changes to the rules include restrictions at service stations and rest stops with passengers unable to eat or drink during breaks.
What’s the situation in HCMC?
While most bus services in HCMC ended on the 20th of June, some routes were allowed to continue to aid in the mass exodus of HCMC temporary residents returning to their hometowns.
However, since the reopening of commercial activities from 1st of October, Ho Chi Minh City has allowed more travel within districts. Taxi companies are allowed to resume at 30% of their fleet and ride-hailing services, such as Grab, are allowed to resume at 10%. Passenger vehicles with more than 9 seats are currently not allowed to operate.
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Or if it’s fun things you’re looking for, check out our guide to things to do this week in Saigon.