Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Vietnamese officials continue to impose COVID-19 controls in Da Nang as of Sept. 1. Quang Nam Province has eased some protocols.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 09:06 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Da Nang (map)
  • Date: As of Sept. 1
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Vietnam continue to implement strict movement and gathering restrictions in Da Nang as of Sept. 1 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents of Da Nang must stay at home at all times, with exemptions for people obtaining essential supplies, seeking medical care, and working for an essential business or service. Only one person per household can leave home once every three days to purchase essential supplies. Public gatherings remain limited to two people. People must wear protective face coverings when in public. Authorities have indicated that they are considering easing restrictions in Da Nang if COVID-19 activity in the city remains low, though the policy's start date remains unclear.

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, as long as 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. Cargo movements remain authorized. Evacuation flights may occur on a case-by-case basis for domestic travelers stranded in the city. Any individuals who are allowed to leave Da Nang have to undergo COVID-19 testing and self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival at their residences.

Additionally, officials have eased movement controls in Quang Nam Province, including Hoi An city, as of Sept. 1 due to decreased COVID-19 activity. Authorities have lifted the ban on public gatherings of more than two people. Several types of businesses, including food establishments and hotels, can reopen with protocols in place; safeguards include requiring workers and patrons to wear facemasks and frequently sanitize their hands. However, local authorities continue to ban some nonessential services, such as beauty parlors, clubs, and bars. Festivals, religious events, and sporting and other activities remain suspended.

Security forces have deployed to enforce the controls. Officials may implement or reintroduce 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 authorities discovered cases 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.

Advice
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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