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|Ta Hien Street is a popular place for visitors at night, especially at weekends.- Photo vietnamplus.vn|
It claims the lives of residents in the area are being seriously disrupted by the late-night activities associated with drinking establishments.
They fear that bars staying open so late could lead to drunken behaviour, public disorder, drug use and other crimes.
The proposal of chairman of People’s Committee of Ly Thai To Ward Nguyen Trung Thuy came after households living near a bar on Hang Tre Street sent a letter complaining that the bar operating overnight, seriously affecting the lives of local residents.
Since September 2016, the Hanoi People’s Committee agreed to allow restaurants, bars and entertainment centres in the Old Quarter to stay open until 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on a pilot basis.
Hoan Kiem District, particularly the Old Quarter, attracted a lot of foreign tourists. Along with opening of pedestrian streets in the area near Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake, the lifting of midnight curfew has helped making capital tourism more attractive with services and entertainment at night.
The move was applauded by travel companies who had for long complained that there were no entertainment activities for tourists after midnight, which made their stay in Hanoi less interesting and therefore, short.
A representative of Hoan Kiem District People’s Committee told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that allowing businesses to stay open until 2am has contributed to the development of tourism. Specifically, the average monthly turnover of registered businesses (allowed to operate until 2am) last year rose 55 per cent compared with 2016’s figure, the representative said. It was expected that this year’s turnover for these businesses would be 30 per cent increase over the previous year.
However, shortcomings have been revealed after two years implementing the pilot project. Before then, bars and restaurants were required to close at 12.00pm
Many establishments do not strictly follow their business in accordance with their licences. Some businesses even sell “funky balls”, shisha and doing businesses over 2am.
An old woman residing on Ma May Street who wanted to be anonymous told online newspaper Vietnamplus she once received treatment at hospitals for headaches as she couldn’t sleep at night due to loud music from a near-by bar.
The district’s authority recently decided to review the conditions of registered businesses which operate until 2am. Accordingly, four businesses have been suspended from operation because they couldn’t meet the fire safety and security requirement.