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Hanoi to reopen historical sites, walking streets

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

March 09, 2021 | 17:05

Hanoi authorities have agreed to resume operation of certain historical sites starting next Monday while its famous walking street near Hoan Kiem lake will reopen from Friday.

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A young girl praying for peace at Huong Pagoda (Photo: PYS Travel)

The move follows three weeks without Covid-19 community transmissions in the capital city.

Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, a collection of temples and shrines built amid mountains and forest in the outlying district of My Duc, will welcome tourists back from Saturday but must comply with pandemic prevention measures.

One of the country’s biggest spring celebrations, Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival commences on the sixth day of the first lunar month, which fell on Feb. 17 this year. However, due to the country's latest Covid-19 outbreak which began on Jan. 28, local authorities had earlier canceled all related events.

As reported by VNE, Huong (Perfume) Pagoda, a collection of temples and shrines built amid mountains and forest in the outlying district of My Duc, will welcome tourists back from Saturday but must comply with pandemic prevention measures.

One of the country’s biggest spring celebrations, Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival commences on the sixth day of the first lunar month, which fell on Feb. 17 this year. However, due to the country's latest Covid-19 outbreak which began on Jan. 28, local authorities had earlier canceled all related events.

The famous walking street near Hoan Kiem lake and nearby streets are also green-lighted to resume normal activities starting March 12.

The lastest closure marks the third time Hanoi’s Walking Street put under a halt since the pandemic first broke out in Vietnam last year. Earlier last August 21 and February, Hanoi also closed the pedestrian streets, in an effort to stamp out the novel virus.

The pedestrian streets often attract a large number of people, which poses high risks for COVID-19 spreading without appropriate preventive measures, according to Vietnamnet.

The pedestrian street around Hoan Kiem Lake, for example, draws an average of around 3,000-5,000 visitors during the day and 15,000-20,000 at night.People walk on the pedestrian zone near Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi, December 2020

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People walk on the pedestrian zone near Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi, December 2020 (Photo: VNE)

From Monday morning, the Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son Temple, Hoa Lo Prison and other historic sites in Hanoi welcomed tourists back after nearly a month of closure as a Covid-19 containment move.

Body temperature checks, hand sanitizers, along with information boards on Covid-19 prevention in Vietnamese, English and French have been present in many areas. All visitors are required to wear face masks and gather in groups of no more than 30.

Vietnamese, especially Buddhists, have a long tradition of visiting pagodas and temples in the first lunar month to pray for peace and luck in the new year. It is estimated over 70 percent of Vietnam’s population are either Buddhists or follow Buddhist practices.

With the pandemic situation under control, many provinces and cities, including Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Ninh, home to world famous Ha Long Bay, have resumed tourism services.

The Ministry of Health this morning did not record any positive cases of COVID-19 this morning. Meanwhile, Covid-19 hotspot Hai Duong recorded one new case Monday evening, taking the community transmission tally in Vietnam's latest outbreak to 893. The new case in Hai Duong is a person who has been quarantined since Feb. 14, following contact tracing protocol. The patient is being treated at a field hospital in the northern province.

Monday evening also saw 11 new imported cases who came to Vietnam from Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines. They'd been quarantined upon arrival. With the latest addition, the number of community transmissions confirmed since the country's latest outbreak began on Jan. 28 is 893, led by Hai Duong with 709 cases, followed by Quang Ninh (61), Ho Chi Minh City (36), and Hanoi (35).

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Jasmine Le