Directives 15, 16 and 19 no longer provide guidelines in light of COVID-19. Instead, Resolution 128 outlines how services can be provided and businesses can operate. The country will be divided into red, orange, yellow or green zones with connected possibilities and requirements. The provincial People’s Committees are responsible for implementation.

20 Oct 2021



As most provinces of Vietnam have announced the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, the Government issued Resolution No. 128/NQ-CP on 11 October 2021. This resolution aims at safely and flexibly adapting and effectively controlling the COVID-19 pandemic (Resolution 128).

Effective immediately, Resolution 128 lays out the legal foundation for public authorities on all levels. It prescribes the implementation measures to control local events and bolster the provinces’ socio-economic development in adaption to the new status quo.


1. Key Take-aways of Resolution 128

The Government’s Directives No. 15, 16 and 19[1] immediately stopped being effective when Resolution 128 was issued. The country shall be assessed and classified into four pandemic risk levels: Green Zone, Yellow Zone, Orange Zone, and Red Zone. The allocated colour code will define the scale of business activities, production, and travels allowed in each area. The provincial-level People’s Committees (Provincial PCs) are responsible for implementing the area classification and need to administer appropriate defence measures per Resolution 128.


2. Suspension of Directive 15, 16 and 19

Since the first outbreak of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s Directives No. 15, 16 and 17 have been Vietnam’s core instruments to combat the domestic spread of Covid-19. They devise a staggered system of social distancing, business suspensions and prohibitions, corresponding to the respective pandemic level of the area.

Now, these Directives no longer apply Vietnam will move into the new normal under Resolution 128. The new rules stipulate that social distancing measures may only be re-imposed by the Chairman of the Provincial PC after reporting to the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Prime Minister.


3. COVID-19 Pandemic Level Classification

Under Resolution 128, all Communes (or Wards within provincial-level cities) of each Province (Assessed Units) will be assessed and classified according to the below risk levels:

  • Level 1: Low risk (the New Normal) = Green Zone

  • Level 2: Medium risk = Yellow Zone

  • Level 3: High risk = Orange Zone

  • Level 4: Very high risk = Red Zone

Provincial PCs shall follow the following criteria in their assessment:

  • Rate of new cases in the population over time

  • Vaccine coverage in the respective Assessed Unit, and

  • The Assessed Unit’s resources to treat new cases.

The Provincial PCs shall refer to the assessment methods outlined in Decision No. 4800/QD-BYT of 12 October 2021 issued by MOH. If the classification of an Assessed Unit is to be changed citizens, organisations, and enterprises located therein must be notified 48 hours in advance.


4. General Guidelines for Business, Production, and Travel Activities in Assessed Units
4.1 Transportation Services by Taxi, Coach, and Bus

Services in Red and Orange Zones are subject to many restrictions, and in Yellow Zones can operate normally or are subject to certain restrictions. In Green Zones they can operate normally.

For the inter-provincial or intra-provincial transportation of goods (including technology shippers) in or through Red Zones, the Provincial PCs may stipulate the number of traffic participants.

4.2 Production Facilities, Implementation Units for Construction and Traffic Projects

Operations are subject to a local plan in all four zones and businesses shall be responsible for implementing measures to ensure COVID-19 prevention and control.

4.3 Trade Centres, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, and Wholesale Markets

If the trade centres, supermarkets, convenience stores, and wholesale markets are located in Red Zones, they either can operate normally or are subject to some restrictions. Businesses in the other colour zones can operate subject to a local plan and need to ensure COVID‑19 prevention and control measures.

4.4 Restaurants and Conventional Markets

Only establishments located in Red Zones are subject to restrictions. Businesses in the other colour zones can operate normally subject to COVID-19 prevention and control regulations issued by MOH.

4.5 Discotheque, Karaoke Services, Massage Services, Bars, Cyber Cafes, Barbershops, and Beauty Salons

Businesses in Red Zones cannot operate, and in Orange and Yellow Zones they can either not operate or operate with restrictions. Businesses in Green Zones can either operate normally or are subject to some restrictions only.

4.6 Activities of Offices

Businesses in Green and Yellow Zones can operate normally. In Orange and Red Zones, enterprises must reduce the number of on-site employees and shall rely on working from home, where possible.

4.7 Travelling through and between Assessed Units

There are no restrictions for Green and Yellow Zones. For Orange Zones no restrictions apply but travelling is subject to compliance with the conditions on COVID-19 vaccination and testing. The Red Zones must comply with the conditions of COVID-19 vaccination, testing and quarantine. Centralised quarantine may apply to F0 cases, subject to MOH’s regulations.

5. Flexible Application by the Provincial PC

Resolution 128 is applicable across Vietnam. Provincial PCs shall choose appropriate administrative measures for the individual Assessed Units. These may include guidelines on the capacity, number of participants, and other conditions to participate in any activities listed in Section 4 above. Additional measures may apply flexibly, but must not contravene regulations of the Government, cause congestion in the circulation of, disrupt business and productions activities, or hinder travelling activities and daily life.


For more information, please contact:

 An Tran / Senior Associate  


Thien Pham / Junior Associate

[1]  Directive No. 15/CT-TTg dated 27 March 2020, Directive No. 16/CT-TTg dated 31 March 2020, and Directive No. 19/CT-TTg dated 24 April 2020 as issued by the Prime Minister.

© 2021 ACS Legal Vietnam Company Limited – All rights reserved

This legal update is not an advice and should not be treated as such.

Download pdf: Resolution 128: Flexible Adoption and Effective Control of the Pandemic

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