The traffic ban will be in force from 6pm on December 24 to 2pm on December 25, 2021.

 Policemen at work on Hang Ma Street. Photo: Cong Tho

The square of St’ Joseph Cathedral, Hoan Kiem Lake, and its surrounding streets in the Old Quarter often attract a large number of people, especially on the occasions of festive holidays.

Thus, suspending outdoor activities and banning traffic in the area are the proper method to lower the risk of Covid-19 spreading at the moment, according to Chairman of Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee Pham Tuan Long.

“The district People’s Committee will divert vehicle flow from this area and close it to traffic,” he said.

Accordingly, Hoan Kiem District will limit vehicle access and re-route traffic. It will also hang 17 “no-entry” signs while adding 23 checkpoints to prevent possible congestion. Bus routes and specific access for other types of vehicles may also be adjusted accordingly.

The decision was released after some areas of the district were placed at a higher risk for serious infection. The novel coronavirus situation in the capital city has been progressing in a complicated way, with new outbreaks being detected in many wards and an average of 1,200-1,500 new infections per day.

This year’s Christmas holiday coincides with the weekend and people may flock to Hanoi’s Old Quarter, which poses high risks for Covid-19 spreading without appropriate preventive measures.

In addition, many festive entertainment activities on the occasion of the year-end of 2021 will not be held like previous years due to Covid-19.

The Hoan Kiem Lake and surrounding areas in downtown Hanoi is a brand name, a cultural venue, and a highlight of the capital city, luring thousands of visitors during daytime and at nights before Covid-19.

Youth flocked to Hang Ma Street to celebrate Christmas and New Year Holidays in 2020. Photo: Duy Khanh