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PM allows lifting of social distancing at schools

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, while chairing a cabinet meeting in Hanoi on May 7, spoke of easing certain measures introduced to tackle the COVID-19, including the removal of social distancing measures at schools.

Three weeks have passed without any new infections in the community, he said, adding that Vietnam has largely contained the pandemic, which enables the resumption of daily activities.

He warned, however, of the high risk of transmission from outside of the country, given the complexity of the fight against the COVID-19 in the region and the world while a vaccine is yet to be found.

Social distancing measures suitable to the new normal circumstances must therefore be maintained in education and training and socio-economic sectors, the PM ordered.

He asked border provinces to reopen only auxiliary border gates and those with huge flows of goods, especially farm produce, fisheries products, and essential materials serving domestic production, while ensuring disease prevention and control.

Only goods - no passengers - are allowed to enter Vietnam, he emphasised.

In tourism, the PM urged the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to boost the domestic market, especially during the summer holidays, and to map out plans to restart international markets at a suitable time.

Vietnamese citizens stranded abroad will be brought home in line with domestic quarantine capacity, he explained.

The leader also directed the prevention of violations on financial management regulations during the fight against the pandemic.

Greater effort is needed, he went on, in maintaining the achievements made in fighting the outbreak, in particular the prevention of infections within the community and the prompt action taken to deal with the consequences of the disease.

He also stressed the importance of rebuilding the economy in the post-COVID-19 period.

“Speeding up economic recovery and building the country is an important priority that requires focus of authorities at all levels while not ignoring anti-pandemic measures,” PM Phuc said.

He reiterated certain prevention measures such as keeping people arriving from abroad in quarantine facilities for 14 days, except for experts, skilled workers and investors who will be in on-site quarantine, wearing masks in public places, and maintaining the operation of rapid response groups.

It is not compulsory for students to wear masks while in classrooms, the PM said, requesting that personal hygiene be practiced among students and disinfection measures taken at schools.

The PM allowed the resumption of previously disallowed services, except discos and karaoke parlours, and sporting events, and the lifting of restrictions on the number of passengers in public transport vehicles.

He emphasised that financial support packages must become effective ahead of his conference with businesses slated for May 9, and ordered the implementation of social welfare packages for people rendered jobless by COVID-19.