Wearing face masks in public in Saigon is not just a safety guideline anymore, as city officials have decided to once again start fining Saigoneers for flouting the rule.
In a meeting of the municipal anti-Covid steering committee on August 3, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong ordered district officials to closely monitor the state of face mask wearing in their community and fine anyone who fails to comply starting from August 5, reports Tuoi Tre.
District officials must also properly inform their constituents of where and how to purchase face masks in the given district.
In an interview with the newspaper, Từ Lương, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Information and Communication, said that the penalty is being brought back because there have been signs of complacency during the current wave of COVID-19 infections among community members.
Lương added that Saigon runs high risks of viral community spread, as thousands of people reported having visited Da Nang in July, when the outbreak was brewing under the radar in the central Vietnam metropolis.
HCMC Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân also echoed caution during yesterday’s meeting, saying that around 20% of Saigoneers don’t wear masks while outside.
Nhân urged all city dwellers who returned from Da Nang to self-quarantine and get tested. If they don’t, he said, neighbors and community members should report them to local officials.
According to local law, not wearing face masks during a COVID-19 outbreak against guidelines by health officials can lead to a fine of VND100,000–300,000.