Ba Ria-Vung Tau closes beaches, suspends boats to Con Dao

 Ba Ria-Vung Tau closes beaches, suspends boats to Con Dao

High-speed boats on Con Dao Islands, a popular tourist destination in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Ngan Duong.

Authorities in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, which neighbors Covid hostpot HCMC, ordered a swimming ban and suspended all boat services to Con Dao Islands, a popular tourist destination, from Monday.

The decision came as Ho Chi Minh City struggles with a surge in community transmissions, mainly linked to the cluster at Revival Ekklesia Mission, a Christian congregation, considered the biggest in the southern metropolis so far.

All public beaches in Ba Ria-Vung Tau have been closed and no boat services are allowed to carry passengers to Con Dao, famous for its beautiful beaches and wartime prison, until further notice.

The province, home to a long, sandy coastline, has not yet recorded any domestic infections linked to the clusters in HCMC though authorities fear some city tourists had travelled around the locality before a two-week social distancing order was imposed Monday.

The south central province of Binh Thuan, home to famous resort town Mui Ne, also suspended receiving tourists from HCMC while popular localities like Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Lam Dong and Thua Thien-Hue also halted all public transportation to and from HCMC.

Since April 27, when the fourth coronavirus wave reemerged in the country, HCMC has recorded 157 domestic infections, 142 of them linked to the religious mission.

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