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Hoi An During COVID

Authorities in Vietnam have extended some movement and gathering controls, initially imposed in Da Nang from late July due to a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, to the nearby city of Hoi An, Quang Nam Province. From Aug. 14 onward until further notice, public gatherings in Hoi An are limited to no more than two people. Schools, tourist venues, bars religious sites, and beaches will remain closed for the duration of the restrictive period. Public transport services are suspended. The restrictions also apply to the Cham Islands.

Restrictions are scheduled to remain in place in Da Nang until at least Aug. 25. Residents of Da Nang are only allowed outside their homes for specific purposes, including purchasing food, seeking medical care, and working in essential services. Only one person per household is authorized to leave their home once every three days to buy food and other essential supplies. Public gatherings are limited to two people. People must wear protective face coverings when in public.

Commercial passenger flights, trains, and long-distance bus services remain banned from serving Da Nang. Trains linking northern and southern Vietnam have continued to operate, though they pass through Da Nang without stopping in the city. Private vehicles are not allowed to leave Da Nang. Authorities have also suspended ferry services linking the city with nearby islands. Commuter bus services and taxis are not allowed to operate. Transport restrictions only apply to passenger services; cargo movement remains authorized. Officials have organized some evacuation flights for domestic travelers stranded in the city. Any individuals who are allowed to leave Da Nang are required to undergo COVID-19 testing and self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at their residences.

Security forces are deployed to enforce the controls. Officials may introduce new restrictions in the coming days and weeks. Authorities could further expand the geographic scope of control measures to additional areas in central Vietnam in the coming days and weeks.

Background and Analysis
Officials introduced business and transport controls in Da Nang after cases were discovered in the city on July 25; the patients were Vietnam’s first reported community transmission cases since April. Vietnam had a significant degree of success in containing its initial outbreak, and Vietnamese authorities are highly likely to enforce proactive movement and gatherings controls to prevent further spread of the disease.

Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas. Stock up on essential supplies as a precaution. Confirm all travel reservations; consider deferring nonessential travel to and from Da Nang and nearby areas. Make allowances for likely domestic travel restrictions if operating in the region. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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