Ba Ria-Vung Tau reopens beaches
Ba Ria-Vung Tau has reopened its beaches from Thursday, the last province in Vietnam to do so following a social distancing ease effective two weeks ago.
Locals and holiday-goers are allowed to swim in public beaches in Vung Tau, the southern province’s capital, but large crowds are still banned as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Early in the morning, locals rushed to Bai Sau, a popular beach in the town, a top holiday destination in Vietnam.
Nguyen Van Hung, a local resident, said streets leading to the beach were crowded Thursday morning and everyone was excited to be back to the beach after more than a month.
Barricades along the road leading to public beaches in Vung Tau have been removed and chairs and umbrellas have reappeared along the beaches.
All beaches in the country had closed down for more than a month as the nation battled the coronavirus pandemic with strict travel restrictions and a social distancing campaign.
However, many beach-goers ignored the ban and flocked to Vung Tau on April 30- May 1, prompting local police to stand guard and prevent the gathering of large crowds on the beach.
On Tuesday, the central provinces of Quang Nam, which boasts a long coastline of 125 kilometers and is home to the beautiful beaches of Ha My, Cua Dai and An Bang and Cham Islands; as well as Thua Thien-Hue, home to the famous Lang Co beach, reopened their beaches to the public.
A day earlier, Nha Trang, a popular beach town in the central province of Khanh Hoa, began welcoming beach-goers again. Nha Trang has been a top holiday destination in the country for years, favored particularly by Russian and Chinese tourists for its long sandy beaches and islands. It had closed all beaches on April 1.
A year-end trend report by Google last December showed beach getaways Nha Trang, Vung Tau and Quy Nhon were among most sought after destinations by Vietnamese Googlers in 2019.
Vietnam received 3.7 million foreign visitors in Jan-April, a 38 percent drop year-on-year, as a direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tourism revenues dropped 45 percent to VND7.9 trillion ($337 million).
The country has banned entry for foreign nationals since March 22, except for special cases. Since March 25, international flights have been suspended to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Vietnam has gone five days in a row without new Covid-19 patients and 21 days straight without any community transmission of the virus. The nation’s Covid-19 tally has stood at 271, unchanged since Sunday evening. Of these, 39 are still under treatment.