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Hanoi shuts in-person dining, barbershops starting July 13

A pho restaurant on Dai Co Viet street, Hanoi, on June 22, the first day after the city allowed the reopening of in-person dining. Photo: VNS/VNA
Hanoi will once again enforce further restrictions on non-essential services in response to growing risks of COVID-19 transmission from arrivals from outbreak-hit regions as well as insufficient public observance of COVID prevention measures.

Dine-in services at restaurants and other food and beverage establishments will no longer be allowed starting July 13, though takeaway services can remain operational, according to an urgent dispatch on Monday signed by Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Chu Ngọc Anh.

Hairdresser salons and barbershops will also be closed.

The ban on outdoor physical exercise and gatherings in parks, gardens and other public places is also still in place.

No crowds of 10 people or more outside workplaces, businesses and schools are allowed.

Violators face stiff penalties and business owners may have their business licences permanently revoked if they break the rules.

The closure order came just weeks after the venues were allowed to reopen on June 21, on the condition that the capacity is capped at a maximum of 20 and the businesses must close by 9pm, as outbreaks in the capital city were deemed to be under control.

The document noted despite high risks from other localities with worsening outbreaks, especially in the southern region, the compliance with COVID-19 measures among "certain members of the public" leaves a lot to be desired - with people still going out for exercise in public places and cafes and restaurants flaunting prevention and control rules, including opening past 9pm.

The move comes in response to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the capital.

The city's health officials have so far recorded 61 positive cases since July 4, with 29 connected to an outbreak in an industrial zone, nine cases in An My Commune outbreak, and 23 cases related to arrivals from HCM City, the country's COVID-19 epicentre.

People who have recently been to HCM City and other outbreak areas designated by the health ministry must report to their respective wards' health department, fill in health declaration forms and self-isolate for 14 days.

People with symptoms such as breathing difficulties, high fever, coughing and loss of taste must inform health officials in advance before they go to a medical facility for a check-up.

Police have been instructed to set up checkpoints across the city. People who return to the capital from places considered COVID hotspots must provide negative test results before entry within three days of their arrival.