Vietnam to End Virus Lockdown in Largest City After Three Months

VUNG TAU, Vietnam (AP) -
Police officers remove a barricade in Vung Tau, Vietnam, Thursday. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Vietnam will lift the lockdown on its largest city on Friday, ending nearly three months of restrictions on movement to curb a coronavirus surge.

People in Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis of 10 million, will be able to leave their homes, restaurants can serve take-away meals and other essential businesses can open, the city said on its website Thursday.

A social distancing order, however, will still be enforced. Schools are closed, public transport remains suspended, travel in and out of the city will be controlled and public gatherings of more than 10 people outside is banned.

People who wish to attend social activities will have to show proof of vaccination to be admitted to establishments, authorities said.

Ho Chi Minh City along with 18 southern provinces went into lockdown in mid-July when cases started to surge.

In the past three months, the Delta variant of the virus has infected 770,000 people and killed over 19,000, according to the Health Ministry. Most of Vietnam’s COVID-19 deaths occurred in this wave, with Ho Chi Minh City accounting for the majority of them.

Other southern cities have also eased lockdown restrictions, gradually resuming activities as infections decline.