Tourist cities regain bustle after Covid restrictions relaxed
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With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, popular tourist destinations Ha Long and Da Nang are getting back their hustle and bustle though not visitors.
People walk along a promenade by the iconic Han River in Da Nang City, but wear masks and keep a distance of one meter from each other. After three weeks without new cases the city reopened public beaches and allowed restaurants and eateries to resume business from Wednesday, and allowed people to again use public parks.
Huynh Thi Diem Trinh, 41, a teacher, and her six-year-old son, Vo Phuc Hung, return to the beach after more than a month. She said: "My son likes swimming very much. Although the pandemic situation in Da Nang is basically under control, I am still worried, so we always wear masks and keep a safe distance." But people are only allowed on beaches from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to reduce risks. Da Nang, which has recorded 158 infections in the current wave, closed all beaches and non-essential businesses on May 4.
The shower area remains closed to avoid gatherings.
Restaurants and food establishments are allowed to serve guests but with only half the covers. At a famous vermicelli and sticky rice shop on Hung Vuong Street in Hai Chau District, staff wear masks while customers sit apart from each other. Seaside restaurants and eateries remain closed since tourists have not returned to the city. Since June 3 visitors from areas with social distancing or lockdown are subject to 21-day quarantine.
A hair salon on Le Do Street in Thanh Khe District welcomes the first guests after 35 days it was closed to comply with the city's pandemic prevention measures. Nguyen Hoang Hung, 41, owner of a hair salon, said customers are required to wear masks and disinfect their hands, and make health declaration online. "I am very happy that the city quickly brought the outbreak under control and allowed some businesses to reopen to restore livelihoods."
Locals distance themselves from each other at a coffee shop on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in Hai Chau District.
Hon Gai beach in Ha Long Town, home to the world-famous bay of the same name. The 900-meter-long beach only opened during the recent Reunification Day-Labor Day holidays. After more than a month without new infections, local authorities lifted the swimming ban and reopened tourist destinations, relics, historical sites, and golf courses on Tuesday.
People walk on the 4.7-kilometer Tran Quoc Nghien Road that runs along Ha Long Bay.
Public gyms are a popular choice. During the fourth coronavirus wave that has hit the country since April 27, Quang Ninh recorded one infection.
Tuan Chau Wharf, where all Ha Long Bay cruise ships and boats dock, is deserted since Quang Ninh has not yet lifted an entry ban for tourists.
Without tourists or business, hundreds of cruise ships have remained anchored for long. Since its recognition as a UNESCO natural world heritage in 1994, Ha Long Bay has found a spot on the global tourism map, with travel bloggers and filmmakers hailing its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone pillars topped by rainforests.