The People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district in Hanoi has announced the capital city’s popular ‘walking streets’ will be temporarily closed from August 21.
The move is made in line with Hanoi authorities’ regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control, said Vice Chairman of the district People’s Committee Dinh Hong Phong.
The pedestrian streets include those around Hoan Kiem Lake, its neighbouring streets in the Old Quarter, such as Hang Dao, Hang Giay and Dong Xuan Night Market.
These streets often attract a large number of people which poses high risks for COVID-19 spreading without appropriate preventive measures, said Phong.
The ‘walking street’ around Hoan Kiem Lake, for example, draws an average of around 3,000-5,000 visitors during the day and 15,000-20,000 at night.
This is the second time the district decided to close these pedestrian streets since the COVID-19 pandemic started to hit the country in early 2020. Vietnam News Agency reported.
Hanoi pedestrian zone, launched September 2016, includes Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Khay, Le Thach, and Trang Tien streets immediately surrounding the lake. Before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in late January, foreign visitors joined the local crowd in large numbers, estimated at about 3,000 to 5,000 people on average during the day and from 15,000 to 20,000 in the evening.
With Vietnam banning entry for all foreigners, the number of visitors to Hanoi in the first seven months of this year dropped sharply.