OneStepVietnam presents
Monthly Newsletter of October 2021

 

COVID-19 and ECONOMIC NEWS

As of October 31, 2021, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 916.287 cases of infection in the country hit by the fourth COVID-19 wave (from April 27, 2021) (787,903 cases as of September 30, 2021). The most severely hit areas are Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with 432,142 infections and neighboring provinces, such as Binh Duong Province with 233,058 infections, Dong Nai Province with 65,779 infections, Long An Province with 34,774 infections and Tien Giang Province with 16,644 infections.

There were 22,083 deaths announced due to the pandemic as of October 31, 2021. On the other side, around 211,513 patients were given the all-clear during the month, raising the number of recoveries to 820,334 during this wave.

Around 82,051,163 doses of vaccine have been provided as of October 31, 2021. In detail, around 32,700,000 people older than 18 years old (33.9% of the population) were partially vaccinated and around 24,300,000 people (25.2% of the population) were fully vaccinated. Top 5 provinces and cities in providing partially vaccinated for people older than 18 years old are Ho Chi Minh City (100%), Long An Province (100%), Khanh Hoa Province (100%), Dong Nai Province (100%) and Bac Ninh Province (100%) while top 5 in providing fully vaccinated are Long An Province (93.3%), Quang Ninh Province (86.8%), Ho Chi Minh City (79.2%), Khanh Hoa Province (73.1%) and Lang Son Province (67.6%).

With the positive results in the COVID-19 prevention and vaccination, on October 11, 2021, the government issued a Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP named “Provision Regulations on “Safety, Flexibility, and Effective Control of Covid-19 Epidemic” with the main content is about bringing people’s lives to the new normal; prevent cases of bureaucracy in issuance and implementation of solutions in a manner that negatively impact manufacturing, business, and social lives. In addition, the Resolution also issued the guidance on how to classify and assess 4 levels of the epidemic and the details of which activities, organizations, agencies, and enterprises are allowed to open corresponding to each level. The Resolution also stopped applying the Directives 15, 16 and 19 in COVID-19 preventions in the country scale. Please see the next part for the details of this Resolution.

As mentioned in the Newsletter of September 2021, the factories and enterprises have returned to operate with a dual target: Economic development comes with COVID-19 preventions. Each local government has its authority to issue the requirements about the dual target. By reducing the social distancing requirements, it has contributed to helping production and business activities gradually be restored to the new normal, giving the index of industrial production (IPP) of October 2021 estimated to increase 6.9% over the previous month. In general, in the first 10 months of 2021, the number of industrial production increased by only 3.3% over the same period in 2020. The World Bank pegged Vietnam’s growth at 4.8% this year, expecting the economy to rebound in the last quarter.

The transportation concern is getting better and more flexible for the people who have fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or F0 who has fully recovered.

On October 29, 2021, the central government also agreed to apply vaccine passport in the country scale for foreigners and tourists. However, this only be applied when the related Ministries such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issue the requirements accordingly.

Source: Ministry of Health, Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, General Statistics Office of Vietnam

NEW LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

1. Resolution No. 126/NQ-CP on Amendments the Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP dated July 1, 2021 of the Government on Implementation of Certain Policies to Support Employees and Employers in Difficulty Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Government issued Resolution No. 126/NQ-CP on October 8, 2021. Some regulation of Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP shall be amended by this resolution. This Resolution comes into force on the same date of issuance.

1) Clause 4 Section II is amended as follows:

 “Employees will be entitled to a lump-sum support if they have worked under employment contracts and having participated in compulsory social insurance before suspension of the employment contracts or unpaid leave; their period of suspension of employment contracts or unpaid leave within the term of the employment contracts is 15 consecutive days or more from May 1, 2021 to the end of December 31, 2021, with a start date of suspension of employment contracts or unpaid leave between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021, and fall under one of the following cases: they have received treatment for COVID-19, been put on isolation, lived in lock down areas, or could not go to the workplace by orders of the competent authorities for prevention and control of COVID-19; their employers have to temporarily cease operations by orders of the competent authorities for the prevention and control of the COVID-19, or have headquarters, branches, representative offices, or production or business sites in areas where the measures in Directive No. 16/CT-TTg are imposed, or have to rearrange production and labor for COVID-19 prevention and control: The rate is VND 1,855,000 per person for 15 consecutive days or more but less than 1 month, and VND 3,710,000 per person for 1 month or more.”

2) Clause 5 Section II is amended as follows:

 “Employees will be entitled to a lump-sum support of VND 1,000,000 per person if they have worked under employment contracts and have been put on furlough for the reason mentioned in clause 3 Article 99 of the Labor Code; they have participated in compulsory social insurance before the furlough, and fall under one of the following cases: they have received treatment for COVID-19, been put on isolation, lived in lock down areas, or could not go to the workplace by orders of the competent authorities for prevention and control of COVID-19; their employers have to temporarily cease operations by orders of the competent authorities for the prevention and control of the COVID-19, or have headquarters, branches, representative offices, or production or business sites in areas where the measures in Directive No. 16/CT-TTg are imposed, or have to rearrange production and labor for COVID-19 prevention and control for at least 14 consecutive days from May 1, 2021 to the end of December 31, 2021.”

3) Clause 6 Section II is amended as follows:

“Employees will be entitled to a lump-sum support of VND 3,710,000 per person if they have worked under employment contracts and have participated in compulsory social insurance and have to terminate the employment contracts from May 1, 2021 to the end of December 31, 2021 and fall under one of the following cases: they have been put on isolation, lived in lock down areas, or could not go to the workplace by orders of the competent authorities for prevention and control of COVID-19; their employers have to temporarily cease operations by orders of the competent authorities for the prevention and control of the COVID-19, or have headquarters, branches, representative offices, or production or business sites in areas where the measures in Directive No. 16/CT-TTg are imposed or have to rearrange production and labor for COVID-19 prevention and control but they are not eligible for unemployment benefits.”

4) Point a Clause 11 Section II is amended as follows:

“Loan to pay furlough wages: The employer is entitled to borrow a loan from the Bank for Social Policies at the interest rate of 0% and is not required to furnish a loan security to pay furlough wages to the employees who have contributed to compulsory social insurance and have been put on furlough for 15 consecutive days or more as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 99 of the Labor Code, from May 1, 2021 to the end of March 31, 2022. The maximum loan amount is equal to the regional minimum wage for the number of employees according to the actual payment period of furlough wages but not exceeding 03 months. The loan term is less than 12 months.”

5) Point b Clause 11 Section II is amended as follows:

“b) Loan to pay wages for production recovery: The employer is entitled to borrow a loan from the Bank for Social Policies at the interest rate of 0% and is not required to furnish a loan security to pay wages to employees if it has to temporarily cease operations by orders of the competent authorities for the prevention and control of the COVID-19, or have headquarters, branches, representative offices, or production or business sites in areas where the measures in Directive No. 16/CT-TTg are imposed and its line of business is in the field of transportation, aviation, tourism, accommodation services, sending Vietnamese workers to work abroad under a contract from May 1, 2021 to the end of March 31, 2021. The maximum loan amount is equal to the regional minimum wage for the number of employees under employment contracts and having participated in compulsory social insurance according to the actual payment period of wages but not exceeding 3 months. The loan term is less than 12 months.”

2. Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP named Provision Regulations on “Safety, Flexibility, and Effective Control of COVID-19 Epidemic”

The Government issued Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP on October 11, 2021 to update new temporary regulations on “Safety, Flexibility, and Effective Control of COVID-19 Epidemic”. This Resolution comes into force on the same date of issuance.

According to the resolution, the epidemic will be classified into 4 levels:

– Level 1: Low risk (new normal) corresponding to the color green.

– Level 2: Moderate risk corresponding to the color yellow.

– Level 3: High risk corresponding to the color orange.

– Level 4: Very high risk corresponding to the color red.

The provincial government shall conduct assessment and decide the epidemic level of each communes based on guidelines issued by Ministry of Health. The government also encourages conducting assessment from the smallest administrative unit.

Three (3) main criteria for assessing epidemic level are:

– Percentage of new infection cases in community/population/time.

– Vaccine coverage (noting group ages with high risk, percentage of recipients receiving only one vaccine dose, percentage of recipients receiving adequate vaccine doses).

– Capacity for accepting and providing treatment of all administrative levels (clarifying current capacity for accepting and providing treatment and plans for further addition).

Manufacturing facilities which belong to all of 4 levels are allowed to operate, however, they shall develop plans and responsibilities for implementing COVID-19 epidemic management solutions.

For individuals, people shall comply with 5K principles and utilize information technology applications to perform medical declaration, register for vaccination, receive medical examination and treatment.

There is no movement restriction for people in level 1 or level 2 areas. Nevertheless, people form level-3 area shall comply with vaccination and testing requirements as per guidelines of Ministry of Health. In addition to mentioned requirements, people from level-4 area shall comply with quarantine requirements if any.

These Provisional regulations shall be applied across the country. Based on guidelines of Ministry of Health and ministries, People’s Committees of provinces and cities shall decide on appropriate administrative measures including specific regulations and guidelines on capacity and number of individuals involved in manufacturing activities, business activities, services, cultural activities, art activities, and events, etc. and may apply additional measures flexibly without contradicting regulations of central governments or causing congestion to commodity transport, manufacturing activities, and movement, daily activities of the general public. In case regulations and guidelines of central government are not appropriate or feasible, promptly report to agencies issuing regulations and guidelines. Agencies issuing regulations and guidelines must provide immediate order to deal with difficulties and conducting research to amend regulations and regulations.

Chairpersons of People’s Committees of provinces shall decide to quarantine infected areas as soon as possible and as narrow of a scale as possible, implement activities guaranteeing social security and access to medical services to allow the general public to comply with epidemic management regulations.

Temporarily cease to comply with Clause 1 Article 1 of Resolution No. 86/NQ-CP dated August 6, 2021 of the Government, Directive No. 15/CT-TTg dated March 27, 2020 of the Prime Minister, Directive No. 16/CT-TTg dated March 31, 2020 of the Prime Minister, Directive No. 19/CT-TTg dated April 24, 2020 of Prime Minister, and Decision No. 2686/QD-BCDQG dated May 31, 2021 of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 epidemic management. For cases where epidemic management solutions to be adopted in an entire province or city are higher than solutions under these Provisional guidelines, Chairperson of People’s Committee of respective province or city must report to Ministry of Health and Prime Minister.

ONESTEPVIETNAM NEWS

OneStepVietnam employees are allowed to work in the office in Ho Chi Minh City since October 11, 2021

From 0:00 on July 9, 2021, all OneStepVietnam employees followed the Directive of the government and the requirements of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to implement work-from-home to protect ourselves and the community in the complicated situation of COVID-19. On October 11, 2021, OneStepVietnam has returned to work in the office after registering a company’s QR Code and applying all criteria of an office to re-open (according to The Criteria in Decision No. 3589/QD-BCD of Ho Chi Minh City’s People Committee).

OneStepVietnam team’s auditors have fully vaccinated and now allowed to travel in all areas in Vietnam. OneStepVietnam team can provide its on-site services in Ho Chi Minh City and most of the provinces in the South of Vietnam, where the team can travel by car with COVID-19 negative testing result. However, the on-site service in the Central and the North of Vietnam, where the team needs to travel by flight may have difficulties when almost provinces there still apply quarantine in public areas or quarantine at home or where the guest locates. Our team will keep customers updated when we are able to provide our on-site services for the factories in the Central and the North of Vietnam.

In October 2021, OneStepVietnam team has conducted 2 on-site services, including training and audit to the customers. Besides that, OneStepVietnam still provides our remote services, including consultation and virtual audit (internal audit and audit for customers) in Vietnam and Thailand (numerous audits in Vietnam and 2 virtual audits in Thailand). From July 9, 2021 to October 31, 2021, OneStepVietnam team has conducted 26 virtual audit to our customers and has been providing this service to the customers in the next time as well as on-site services.

OneStepVietnam team – October 2021