People watch a countdown near Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in downtown Hanoi on December 31, 2020. Photo by VnExpress / Giang Huy
Hanoi will not allow any outdoor programs on New Year’s Eve while the central cities of Hue and Hoi An will suspend a series of countdown events due to the worsening pandemic situation.
Hanoi authorities have decided not to hold fireworks and outdoor countdown events on New Year’s Eve as in previous years in order to avoid gathering large crowds amid the upsurge in daily infections over the past few weeks.
The capital of more than 8 million inhabitants recorded more than 42,000 infections during the fourth wave of coronavirus which hit the country at the end of April. It has seen an increase in daily infections over the past two weeks, becoming the country’s Covid epicenter, prompting local authorities to suspend on-site meals in many downtown neighborhoods and step up measures to prevention of pandemics.
Hoi An will also cancel an arts program scheduled for December 31 to welcome the New Year, as the city has recorded a series of community transmissions over the past few days with an unclear source of transmission.
The ancient city plans to welcome more than 400 domestic tourists on package tours that include tours of the city and local traditional craft villages with strict pandemic prevention measures on the first day of 2022.
Authorities in Thua Thien-Hue province have also decided to suspend a scheduled countdown in downtown Hue on New Year’s Eve and to postpone the launch to January 1 of a nighttime street zone around the city. Imperial Citadel of Hue.
Over the past week, Thua Thien Hue has registered nearly 400 new infections every day, more than half of which are community transmissions.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh last week ordered a ban on large gatherings during the New Year and Head holiday (Lunar New Year) due to the worsening pandemic situation and growing concerns about the Omicron variant.
HCMC is among several localities to announce the cancellation of the New Year’s fireworks.