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Stricter Lockdown Begins for Saigon at Midnight

Stay safe out there, Saigoneers.

Starting at midnight tonight, strengthened lockdown restrictions will go into place in Saigon, though it is still not entirely clear what they mean for everyone.

Yesterday, Tuoi Tre reported that the military would provide food supplies to residents for a two-week period during which people will be prohibited from leaving their homes.

This news, combined with the belief that all supermarkets would close, led to long lines and enormous crowds at stores across Saigon, creating dangerous conditions for further spread of the Delta variant.

However, the actual rules appear to be less severe than expected, at least for some areas.

Zing reports in Vietnamese that seven groups of people will still be allowed to move around the city with proper permission and documentation. Delivery services, meanwhile, will be suspended in the following districts: 8, 12, Go Vap, Binh Tan, Binh Thanh, Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon, as well as Thu Duc City. Residents of the rest of Saigon's districts will be able to use delivery services, but only from locations within the same district.

Meanwhile, wards are being classified into green, yellow, orange and red zones, with varying regulations depending on the color. People living in green and yellow zones will be allowed to shop for food once a week, while those in orange and red zones will have food provided through official distribution systems.

Supermarkets in green/yellow zones will reportedly stay open as well.

Saigoneer has not been able to determine where these zones are officially designated, though this map from the city government does break specific areas into colored zones.

Zing further notes that green zones are those that have gone over 14 days without a new infection; a yellow zone has one household with an F0 within the last seven days but without contact with other homes; an orange zone has two households with an F1 in seven days; and a red zone has over three households with an F0.

It is not clear whether residents in green/yellow zones will receive vouchers with an assigned day for food shopping, though further details are expected to be announced today. The ongoing vaccination campaign will continue as well.

The 14-day stricter lockdown comes as Saigon continues to register high numbers of new COVID-19 cases each day, though the numbers are lower than they were in late July. As of Sunday morning, the city had logged 171,801 infections during this ongoing outbreak, by far the most of any locality.

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